Monthly Archives: February 2024

Game review: Grow Home for Steam

Fair warning that there will be higher than average swearing in this week’s review. That’s because I didn’t play Grow Home so much as I endured as much of it as I could stand before throwing my aching hands up and declaring “fuck this.”  Part of this physical agony could be blamed on my first controller choice, which has triggers with a higher amount of tension than the standard PC gamepad. It’s great for shooters, helping me avoid accidental misfired shots. But here, the constant back and forth of “left shoulder, right shoulder” left me ending sessions with massive hand cramps.

But even setting that aside, this is the kind of half baked formula that could be good with more effort, and instead it got released as good enough in a damn near broken state. It fails to explain some of its most important mechanics, botches control schemes for both gamepad and mouse and keyboard gamers, and adds a list of busy work to drag out what is already a tiring slog.

I got to the point of the game where I had grown the central plant up to the little robot’s (BUD) mothership. (MOM) I collected a star seed and delivered it where I was instructed. Credits rolled, and the game was done, yes? FUCK NO. The game said, “Go fetch eight more seeds for us. Do you want to?” I selected NO, and the game went, “Thank you for your opinion. Now go get them seeds, biyatch.”

It was then that I said, “No. And not just no, but fuck no, and Grow Fuck yourself.” Continue reading

Game review: Unit 13 for PS Vita

Readers, I come to you a broken and defeated reviewer. In the last two weeks, I have tried and bounced from five games. Some, like Pillars of Eternity and Kao the Kangaroo, I knew were going to be iffy at the start. But then there was Party Hard 2, a game I wanted to love, until they kept tossing in new ingredients I never asked for. (Why was “Kill everyone” dubiously upgraded to “Follow a boring checklist” anyway?)

Running out of options, I decided to go back and play something I started ages ago, but never reviewed, Unit 13. Back when I first got my PS Vita, I bought the digital version of the game, only to discover that any attempt to play it in English caused it to revert to French. At the time, my Italian wasn’t strong enough for me to play that version, so I ended up getting a refund.

But it always stuck with me for reasons I couldn’t put into words. The simple premise for a third person shooter, a mercenary team taking out terrorists, had just enough meat on it to carry forward a set of missions of increasing difficulty within a limited number of locations. It’s kind of like if Counter-Strike had a single player version. Continue reading