GamingReview: Growing Up

Review: Growing Up

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Ever wanted to go back in time? Growing Up allows you to relive those early years and decide on a new course. Vile Monarch developed Growing Up. They have also created Weedcraft Inc and Oh…Sir! The Insult Simulator. It’s a life simulator where you make decisions on how to progress.

What is Growing Up?

You start as a baby. You choose your parents, gender and name. Or you can leave the parents and gender up to the game to decide. It then opens up with your baby learning new skills and progressing over the years. It takes you all the way up to your 18th birthday, when you leave school. You are then presented with an ending that depends on all the decisions you made in the game. Once the ending is over you start again with a new baby.

Growing Up the Game

After the player has made their character. The player is then shown how to increase your skills using Knowledge points. Then you schedule a time to devote to those skills to learn them. Each skill has a specified time it takes to learn. Once you learn the skill you’ll receive bonuses. In early game, there isn’t any real difficulty and it’s a great way to ease the player into the game flow.

As you progress, the game introduces more mechanics. That you need to take into account when planning your day. You have to balance mental health vs parents’ view of you. If either of these drops to zero it can have massive consequences. I’ve only done it once, but I avoided it as much as I could. If either drops below a certain level, it limits what you can do throughout the day. This is where the difficulty lies. Do you focus on getting a skill at the cost of your mental health? Or do you have fun and disappoint your parents.

The Many Mechanics

Once the player hits a milestone they are then given an exam. The exam consists of a Bejeweled-like puzzle. Instead of colour jewels, there are your attributes. Once you destroy some of a specific attribute, you can then select a skill on the right. This awards the player points which increases his or her rating. At the end of the exam, the player is awarded a grade. Higher than a grade B and the player gets bonuses. Anything less than a B results in disappointed parents.

Another mini-game is the brain map. This is where the player selects attributes to improve. Only a few attribute points are visible at first. But as the player selects nodes, it reveals more attributes. It’s an interesting take on the RPG element. Which gives the player limited control over their character’s attributes. I found it interesting and was one of my favorite mechanics in the game.

Is Growing Up Pretty?

If you have ever played Doki Doki Literature club the art style is very similar. But less Anime and more western style. The characters are rendered in 2D and so are the environments which are beautiful. I played it on PC, which looked brilliant. The creators decided on as few characters as possible so that each could get a unique and memorable look. The characters also change as you progress through the game. Some change their looks while they get older. And they are believable changes.

The music is suited to the game. Each area has different music which suits the atmosphere. Some of the songs do have vocals which is nice to hear in an indie title. The music is pretty relaxed and I would love to have it on in the background when doing other tasks. Since there are no time-limited tasks, it’s a great game to play while doing other tasks. Though it is easy to get lost in the game and the music.

Many Endings

Growing Up has so much replayability available for the player. After each play through the player is awarded an ending scene depending on the actions you take. With so many skills to learn your characters have many endings based on that. There are also many characters to interact with. If you progress their relationship the ending will change. There are plenty of achievements on Steam to work towards. This means the player can focus on a different aspect for each play-through.

Final Verdict

I enjoyed my time with Growing Up. There was a lot to learn and each gameplay mechanic added more as time progressed. On top of that, there was also the replayability aspect which is very high. It is also not the type of game I would play. But I do feel like I want to explore more of these story-driven games since they are relaxing. It’s a great package of a game and would urge anyone who wants a more laid-back version of The Sims to play it. You can even sneak in games while working, but you didn’t hear that from me.

SUMMARY

Pros
  • Beautiful graphics
  • High replayability value
  • Varied gameplay mechanics
Cons
  • Game ends when the player character turns 18
Platforms
  • Reviewed on Windows PC
  • macOS
Brendan Freemanhttps://mcbean29.com
Hi I'm Brendan. I've been playing video games almost since birth. I've recently welcomed my son and hope to share this hobby with him. I love a wide range of games and always looking for titles with interesting stories or mechanics.

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