Grow: Song of the Evertree is like the perfect combination of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. It has everything you could want from a farming game, with an alien element added in. Your role is to bring the expansive world tree back to life and create and nurture your own worlds by farming. You are also responsible for building villages, recruiting people to live in your town, and finding love in the face of adversity. The world has been taken over by 'the Withering' which is responsible for corrupting the land and disrupting the song created by the Evertree.
This game has an amazing ability to make the world seem so much bigger than it actually is. Whilst confined to specific places and allowed to explore within their means, it is surprisingly good at making the game feel like an open world. There is still so much that needs exploring and so many goals that need completing. Even so, while the game is expansive, and it's so easy to get lost in, it never feels overwhelming and anxiety inducing. It's relaxing at every step of the way, which is a huge deal for someone like me who always feels anxious in open-world games.
I was amazed at how much I could travel around the world and find new things constantly, unlocking new achievements in every corner I wandered into. There were always new bugs for me to catch, which made me feel like I was experiencing a new type of Animal Crossing.
A surprising element that feeds into how rangy Grow: Song of the Evertree feels is the sound design. Whenever I flew anywhere on my trusted companion, I was greeted with a very dramatic 'whoosh', accompanied by diving very dramatically into the chosen destination. As I played I saw a huge dragon flying calmly in the distance, with the eeriest of cries. It was a wailing sound like no other, and there was no way to interact with it, other than to watch it. It was peaceful and creepy at the same time.
Overall, Grow: Song of the Evertree is great at feeding you the fairytale aesthetic and I constantly felt like I was in a dreamland no matter where I travelled to. The creatures are sweet, the game is adorable, and the whole experience sits fondly in my mind.
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