E.T. Grow Home.
Having just come back fresh from watching the anniversary release of E.T. on Bluray, Chillingo’s new game based on the character seemed like an ideal next step.
Set just after the events of the movie (and, I guess, acting as a major spoiler for anyone who has yet to watch this classic), E.T. The Green Planet sees our kindly alien botanist return to his own planet where growing plants is the task at hand.
Starting in a small plot of land, E.T. needs to grow and develop plants to bring his home planet back into bloom and saving it from dying. This means removing obstacles like rubble to make way for new plants, creating greenhouses and breeding units to mix plant types and come up with new species and setting little alien workers to work on the needs of the existing plants, keeping them alive and helping propagate the seeds for further expansion.
In addition to the plants, players will find plenty of decorations and resources which will either help them in their quest or provide a short distraction. Some interesting nods to the film are unlocked throughout the game including Gertie’s flowerpot and the speak-and-spell communicator.
As with any other world-builder, the game requires either lengthy amounts of time to grow and expand your garden or provides players with a fast-track system which involves payment, either in the in-game currency and ‘healing touch’ power or by spending actual money. The In App Payments don’t seem too steep in this case, though, and players familiar with this type of game will know by now whether they’re prepared to either spend money or wait anything up to a couple of days for their next building or plant to grow.
Being based on a film praised for its presentation (you only need to witness the backlash against the CGI included in the newer version of the movie to see how emphatic fans can be over this) Chillingo had their work cut out keeping the look and feel of The Green Planet faithful to the Spielberg movie. Thankfully, they’ve done a good job right from the intro video ,which gives a nod to the end of the movie via the rainbow effect, to the main character and plants, some of which were briefly featured at the start of the film.
The garden layout, while initially restricting, is uncluttered and brightly coloured, with plenty of different plant types to choose from and decorate the surrounding land. Even the buildings are carefully designed to fit around the overall aesthetic.
Fans of world building games who are keen to explore a bit more of the E.T. universe are well catered for by this garden sim. It may not be out-of-this-world, but it’s a solid game with plenty to keep would-be green fingers busy. If I had to grade this, I’d give it a B-good.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 7
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