REVIEW: Grow: Song of the Evertree

REVIEW: Grow: Song of the Evertree

The song has ended but the melody lingers on…

Released: Steam
Type: Singleplayer
Genre: Casual, Adventure
Developer: Prideful Sloth
Publisher: 505 Games
Release date: 16 Nov, 2021

Reviewer’s Note

I played a pre-release private preview version of the game and not the launch title for this review. The launch is still almost two weeks away at the time of writing this. While I am sure there won’t be that many drastic changes between then and now, I just thought it might be important to keep the readers informed.


Sometimes the best way to save the world is not through a violent adventure. Sometimes it is better to beat the swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. Grow: Song of the Evertree has a young alchemist trying to restore the Evertree to its former glory by removing the corruption that has wound a trail of destruction across the land and ensnared the Evertree. Rather than grabbing a weapon and carving a path through the innocent creatures roaming the world in order to gain experience and other things to assist on the quest, the alchemist grows and tends plants, captures fish and insects, befriends animals and becomes the architect and mayor of a town.

The game starts out simple enough, you get to design and dress your character as you see fit. After you have finished the introductions you are quickly put to work. You are given a seed and you proceed to carefully plant it. From that seed a new zone will spawn and you will have to nurture it in order for it to grow and thrive. You will be able to custom design future seeds based on your needs down the road as well. Tending to a zone is very repetitive. Tending to a new zone is much the same as tending to the previous zone. Sure, the biome may be different, but the tasks are the same. As a reward for completing achievements, you will unlock quality of life improvements that will speed up the tending process. You can even find helpers to take care of areas as soon as they are developed enough.

Once you have done everything you can in a zone, it is time for you to go find something else to do. You can always go to another zone and do the tasks there, or you may visit your town and see what your people are in need of. If you wish you could take stroll and see if you can discover any secrets or perhaps you might chose to explore some caves. Just before going to bed for the night, I like to take time to bond with my flying mount a little. When you awaken in the morning, you are informed of the changes that have occurred in your town and sometimes trigger new quests. If you have nothing new to take care of, you can spend time breaking down items into elements and then using those elements to either craft new seeds or build new buildings in town. I admit it took me a moment to realize that you are actually best to use the rarest elements you have when crafting a new seed because the new zone you generate will have those elements as the common ones. Any zones that are complete and you feel are redundant to you can be cut loose and their slot freed up for a new zone to emerge.

Let’s talk a little more about the general activities you perform every time you go gardening in a zone. First and foremost is tending to plants. Planting seeds, watering them and singing to them are the main activities. Removing weeds and debris is also quite important to help the area grow. Once a zone has been renewed enough wildlife will begin showing up that you can begin to bond with them although they are already pretty friendly. You can also chase after insects scattered throughout the zone and catch fish and items in the water found in caves and mine rocks as well. Sometimes in the caves you will find puzzles to complete. These are usually quite simple logic puzzles which involve sliding boxes around or finding objects scattered around the area and placing them in the correct slot. While the puzzles in the cave do not reset when you revisit the zone, the zone itself does a bit of resetting each day. When you go back to your zone the next day there will be new nodes to deal with and existing plants will usually want your attention as well. Once a section is suitably developed a new expansion usually materializes itself and the whole process starts over again. Each section needs multiple days’ worth of attention before it is completely developed. Eventually new sections will stop showing up and the zone will be completed. At this point you can either assign a helper to take care of it and harvest the resources for you or you can, as mentioned above, cut it loose and start again with a new seed. I have to say while the game is relaxing and caring for an area and seeing it grow is a fun experience, the chores do get tiresome fairly quickly since there are so many of them and it is so repetitious. It almost feels a little punishing to start a new seed since you need to start over from scratch doing the exact same thing ad nauseam for the umpteenth time. Clear some debris/weed with a hammer/axe/pulling, find a plot, switch to the seed bag and plant a seed, switch to the watering can and water the seed, sing to it. Move on to the next one. For singing you can do several at once if they are close enough, and you can run in a circle planting seeds in all plots before swapping to the watering can to save yourself some button presses, but regardless it can be a bit of an arduous process after a while.

When you are not off gardening, you can manage your town. You place the buildings you want to have and invite people to stay there and work. This will generate revenue for you which is good for purchasing useful items such as treasure chest keys. This game suffers from the classic adventure game trope that keys may work in any suitable lock but break after one use, so you will always want to have a stockpile of keys on you for the various locked chests you encounter. When you first start out you have a limited amount of room for your town but as you push back the withering vines you will reclaim more and more land. You have the ability to move the buildings around after they are placed so you don’t have to worry about it too much early on. If you are having trouble telling buildings apart, you can also do a lot of cosmetic changes to the buildings. You can also upgrade your various buildings with the things you find while gardening. Some circumstances may even allow for two or more people to live/work in the same place. Not only does growing your town unlock quests, it also gives you the ability to give gifts to your residents. This increases their happiness and the prosperity of your town. In the center of the starting area of the town is a guide stone that tells you what is needed to advance your town. It took me a while to get to 12 residents because of the limited room, the cost of housing and rare (to me) element shortages, so my town isn’t quite as developed as I hoped for the review.

The various characters and creatures in this game are all fun to interact with. The towns’ folk have a lot of variety to them and you can actually customize them more by giving them wearable gifts. The wild creatures are all very adorable, including the insects! While the characters don’t actually talk to you out loud, they are very expressive with sound effects and gestures. There is a creature made of alchemy and a talking book that you will spend a lot of time with. You will also have deal with the Everkin a lot, a small rodent like species that is quite helpful. Interactions with characters typically is just reading text and sometimes answering prompts, choosing which of the two you think is best. Some of the characters show clearly if you got it right or wrong (in their opinion!) but ultimately, I am not entirely certain if it matters in the long run. It is likely tied into their happiness though, so it is probably best to get it right! For creatures you are bonding with or your flying mount, you will see a symbol being shown. You have to guess which of the two prompts that is meant to represent. It’s not a difficult guess though, and every time you encounter that species the symbol/action combo will be the same. The animals do get frustrated with you if you get it wrong and it burns one of your three interactions with them for the day. If you don’t pay attention all that well it will take you even more days to finish the bonding process.

Before wrapping up and moving on to the next part of the review let’s talk about the elements a bit more. The elements are found randomly in the seed zones and world and can be found by breaking down things you find, mostly from items from the seed zones. Since the seed zones elements are based on what was used to make the seed in the first place, it is a good idea to make seeds out of elements you have a limited supply of. Once the seed world is growing you will have a steady supply of those resources as well as possibly some new rare resources to find. This is where one slightly annoying factor comes into play and that is having enough of the rare resource in order to make the seed. You need 50 elements to make a new seed, and you are limited to just five element types per seed. This means you need some combination of rare elements to equal 50 or you will need to add a few rares and stack up commons to fill the gap. With a little experimenting I have found that the makeup of the seed matters, if you go heavy on one element, that element will be most common in the seed zone. This… isn’t overly useful because odds are you used that as a filler element because you already have a lot of it and were just trying to get to 50. That or my seed zone was just very unkind to me and my personal rares remained rare until I was able to make yet another seed with the elements I slowly scraped together. This kind of acts like a roadblock for you and since the only solution is lucky draws on a random roll, it can really slowdown and hinder the gameplay. I needed to build a building which required a resource I did not have any of. I started smashing things trying to get the resources but had very little luck. I managed to get a couple but not nearly enough. I even tried breaking down costumes and town upgrades just to try to get the resources (something I didn’t really want to do). I then fortunately unlocked enough from a quest/achievement and was able to build the building and progress further. I realized after the fact I should have made a seed instead, but I just ran with it. It took me a very long time before I managed to cobble together 10 more of that resource and make my balanced seed for it. One could argue that this encourages a strategic use of resources, but to me it felt more like I was a victim of random number generator.

The game being a beta version and not the final version, the bugs (not the garden insect kind) I encountered hopefully will be corrected. For example, you have the ability to take a selfie with creatures that you have befriended (result of a bonding minigame that you do three times a day per animal, for several days, that involves choosing the correct option and watching the animation). There is a quest to take selfies with the creatures so I opted to do a selfie run. Going to each of the tamed creatures and taking a selfie or two and moving on to the next one. Unfortunately, when leaving the selfie mode, the game often glitches out and keeps you locked in the selfie pose and locks you out of doing anything else. You can glide around the world but if you try to access any other menu the game becomes unresponsive. Another bug is with fishing, if you catch a fish, you will hold it until you decide what to do with it. You get locked into that animation and often start sliding around for no reason without any user input. The auto-saving system is also a bit unreliable. It seems to only save when it feels like it. For example, after having done all my chores for the day and opting to do those selfies and getting locked into a game breaking bug… reset my progress back to the start of the day. For a while I assumed the auto-save was only at the start of days and maybe it is, however, my progress gets restored to random spots sometimes such as after exiting a cave, and I don’t remember making a manual save there. One last bug I encountered is more of a visual only issue. It didn’t really hinder the gameplay. It was more or less a “Hey who turned out the lights?” kind of experience that sometimes occurs when loading your save if you were inside your house at the time. Everything is quite dark even if it is mid-day. Stepping outside fixes it instantly.


The game has a slightly washed-out pastel look to it. It is a thematically appropriate artistic choice for this game though because it is a world where corruption has nearly sapped the life out of the Evertree. With the wide amount of customization options for your character, the NPCs, and the buildings and the ever-changing look to your various seed zones, this game is almost always fun to look at. Sure, it suffers from copy-pasted and recoloured assets where you have seen one of that bush you have seen them all, but there is enough varieties to keep it form getting excessive or boring. With how dynamic the seed zones are based entirely on the inputs and balance of the user; this is pretty much a necessity. The three-dimensional models of the characters, creatures, buildings and plants are all highly detailed with a stylized charm to them that worked very well. If you jump over a cliff, your character will deploy an adorable umbrella and slowly descend to safety.


While the characters might not speak to you, they do like to make their noises. The noises actually work quite well to reflect their mood and really do add to the experience. The music for this game is some of the best I have heard in this genre. It really helps set the tone. The part of the soundtrack that stood out the most was quite a beautiful piano tune that seems to offer a bit hopefulness and joy with an underlaying sense of despair for the suffering tree.

Controls and User Interface

You have to constantly switch tools in this game, but that is a matter of just pressing a button and either scrolling to the one you want or picking it from the tool wheel. You can reorder your tools to whatever works best for you. The menu system is fairly easy to navigate although the town menu itself feels a little clunky at first. There is nothing overly complicated to memorize or deal with and the user interface itself delivers all the critical information you need in an easy to view way. When you get a new item to break down you won’t know what components it will break down in to. As you break it down it will start showing possible elements it will break in to. There is a bit of random luck needed here to find out what all the elements are. I broke down around 25 of one item, and still had unknown elements left to unlock for it.


So, should you pick up Grow: Song of the Evertree? That depends entirely on what you are looking for. This is a relaxing, slow-paced game. If you seek an action-packed thrill ride, this is definitely not the game for you. If you like farming games and don’t mind repetitive non-stressful tasks, then you should find something here you will like. The singing feature kind of skips forward the development of the plants a bit so that might spoil a little of the farming joy for those used to games with a more involved growth period. This is one of those games that is likely to be divisive. There will be those that will be infatuated with the cute characters and creatures and charming visual style and easy-going gameplay and those that will be quite bored by the repetitive tasks and lack of action. Because of the bugs I encountered and the seemingly somewhat heavy dependence on random chance needed to progress some parts of the game and keeping in mind this is the pre-release version, I will save this game for later.

Written by
Join the discussion



November 2021

About Us

Save or Quit (SoQ) is a community of fanatical gamers who love to give you their opinions.

See Our Writers

We’re always looking for new reviewers! Interested?