The Climb: Ubi Announce Grow Home

Falling probably not a great option

Ubisoft have announced Grow Home, a climbing game about nurturing plants and producing seeds.

The idea is that you’re playing a robot called BUD who wants to oxygenate his home world and thus you must persuade a beanstalk from another planet to produce seeds. I will tell you more about the game but I also have questions.

ONE: As a robot, why is he bothered about the level of oxygen on his home planet? He is a robot. He presumably is not indulging in respiration so there must be something else afoot.

TWO: Also, as a robot some parts of him could be made from iron. Iron combines with water and oxygen to make rust, no? Is this beanstalk thing a cry for help?

THREE: Is this a Gone Home sequel? A SEEDquel perhaps? You get to the top of this weird beanstalk on another planet and the robot finds his parents’ house and has to find out why his brother has disappeared by decoding binary files scattered around their mansion.

I suppose we can find out the answers to those when they game launches on 4 Feb. In the meantime Ubisoft explained some different things on their blog. One of which is the game’s origins – apparently the whole thing started life as an experiment for exploring procedural animation (hence the climbing around an irregular 3Dworld).

BUD (botanical utility droid)

Ubi go on to say:

“Taking control of BUD, you’ll help the plant grow as you climb your way to the top. Along the way you’ll find yourself traveling through a series of floating islands and crafting your own playground in the sky. As you ride branching vines through the air, you’ll be shaping your own unique world, exploring new locations, and encountering strange plants and animals.”

The climbing part is the more interesting bit to me because they’ve mapped the left and right hand controls to the left and right triggers of a game controller. I feel like that could make the experience of clambering about more enjoyable, although there’s also a chance I’m just saying that because I tried playing Assassin’s Creed Unity last night and I still hate how climbing works in that Ubisoft franchise.


  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Silly robot, oxygen causes rust!

  2. ulix says:

    I just played Assassin’s Creed Unity last night and I still LOVE how climbing works in this franchise.

    For the most part… IF it works that is. Still doesn’t always work, unless you’re incredibly precise.
    Which I guess is my fault then, for not being precise enough with my stick. And in the game.

  3. waltC says:

    This is like all the WalMart copy-cat stores that have opened…everybody wants to be the “next” Minecraft….sigh It would be really nice if they’d remember that this is 2014; not 1994, and all the objects in a 3d game don’t have to be composed of visible triangles…! Both the robot and the pods could appear far more convincing than looking like a collection of tortured Lego blocks…! It’s a good illustration, though, of how low-end gpu tech (cell phones, etc.) can negatively influence high-end computer-game graphics…

    • ulix says:

      I think it looks great. Spiffy even. Really like the art style. Very unique.

    • MeatMan says:

      “It would be really nice if they’d remember that this is 2014”

      It would be really nice if *you’d* remember that this is 2015. =P

    • Eery Petrol says:

      This graphical style is so common it would be silly to credit it to Minecraft. It’s called low poly, which for a low budget, procedural game, makes a lot of sense.

      Another big part of the aesthetics is the lack of apparent texture – contrary to minecraft – giving it a more clean feel.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      Fuck that. Flat-shaded polygons are beautiful.

      Also they do not occur anywhere in Minecraft, so I’m not sure where you made that jump. Unless you’re moaning against the entire concept of games that are stylized rather than photorealistic, in which case double fuck that.

  4. Banks says:

    I can’t even remember the last time I played a good 3d platformer on pc so I hope this doesn’t suck.

  5. ulix says:

    Oh and Phillipa, you should try Climber Brothers for your Smartphone. It’s a deceptively simple, yet very interesting and unforgivingly hard climbing game.

  6. Ross Angus says:

    Perhaps the plan is this:
    1) Encourage the ecosystem
    2) Wait for animals to evolve
    3) Wait for planet near-death event
    4) Wait for layers of dead animals to turn into oil
    5) Burn oil, to make electricity
    6) Recharge!

    Admittedly, it’s a long-term plan.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    Slow robo-suicide confirmed.

  8. Paradukes says:

    “Screw you guys! I’m growing home!”

    Sorry, I have nothing of value to add :/

  9. Siimon says:

    BUD: Botanical Utility Droid

    He wants to oxygenate his home planet (Earth) because humans have polluted it and destroyed the Amazon forest and anything else that produces oxygen. He is on a mission to save humanity. At least that is my theory.

    As he is building a “towering two-kilometer-high bridge from the ground to his space ship.” so maybe he fell out of his ship and this is his only way back up?

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    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    So it is basically Minecraft+ Wall-E? I am getting a bit of a Pikmin vibe off of this as well.

  11. Jimbo says:

    So it’s a climber then? Can’t wait to trellis one out.

  12. Mr Coot says:

    Interest piqued but it is by Ubisoft – that means ignore. Are you obliged to use the UPLAY interface and have a UPLAY account to play it?

    • jrodman says:

      I’m with you, but there have been some exceptions. We can hope.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      Not if you pirate it!

      (I have pirated a game I paid for on more than one occasion. Also, quite a few games I didn’t pay for, but less of that in my advancing years.)

    • KenTWOu says:

      Its announcement trailer mentioned Steam but didn’t mention Uplay.

    • RobF says:

      It’s confirmed Steam but not with no uPlay requirements.

  13. emptee says:

    the mapping of separate hands to the shoulder buttons and using them to grab climb and stuff has a very Gang Beast vibe to it.