“Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak!” – George Bernard Shaw
Sprout is a short, casual, botanical-puzzle-adventure in which players take on the role of a seed and must make friends, learn new skills and solve puzzles in order to become the mighty oak it was always meant to be!
Developer: Jeff Nusz, Mindful Mammoth
Released: March 2007
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Available on: Steam
Sprout features simple gameplay in which the protagonist seed encounters other botanical friends which it can then mimic. Players can eventually become a coconut, a dandelion, an apple tree or a vine and utilise their different movement styles to overcome the unfriendly terrain. Often these transformations will need to be used in combination with each other to reach the next stage of the landscape which adds a nicely satisfying puzzle element to the game.
Narrative and Styling
Viewed literally, Sprout is the story of a little acorn striving to become a tall oak tree, but in a more general sense, it is a narrative about potential, inspiring in its own cute way! There is a definite silliness to the game which also adds to its charm, the pinnacle of which was possibly being pooped out by a sheep!
The game’s art style is its stand-out feature, hand-drawn with what looks like coloured pencils, cut out with white borders and layered with different resolutions giving the game a sense of innocent simplicity and adding to its relaxing nature. The ambient nature noises and sound effects aren’t quite as noteworthy but help to bring the environment to life in a fun and lively way.
Sprout is a short game, but it will provide a good fifteen minutes of endearing, laid back puzzling with a unique aesthetic for free. It is a sweet, enjoyable little game that is very easy to recommend!
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