Drawin’ Growin’ in Review – Farmin’ Fairys Flourish Fauna…

I never thought I’d care much for games about growing plants, but like a lot of other things iOS devices have convinced me that such endeavors aren’t so bad.  The latest such game to catch me attention is Drawin’ Growin’ by Taito, and this game is certainly different than the others I’ve played.  Your task is “simply” to make sure the plants get the right amount of water or sunlight, depending on the color of their pots.  However, your job is not as placid as it seems.  Many things will get in the way of your success, and how well and quickly you deal with them will determine your ultimate rewards.  There are times where the action can get a little overwhelming, but for the most part so far it’s been a pretty relaxed and interesting adventure.

The kingdom has lost all its beautiful foliage, and as a plant loving fairy it’s your job to make things bloom again.  There are several areas you’ll need to replenish, each containing multiple levels.  The standard mission would have you growing the number of plants corresponding to the pots at the bottom of the screen.  Harvest missions require you to grow at least a certain number of plants in a particular time frame, whereas Defense missions see you protecting already grown plants for a certain period.

Plants that feed off of sunlight have orange pots, while water loving plants have blue pots.  Some have multi-colored pots so they can use both food sources.  Some rain or sun will fall on the plants simply by way of falling but you can direct the rest of it by drawing lines on the screen with your finger, both towards the plant to feed it and away from the plant to keep the wrong elements away.  You get two lines by default, but you can get items that will let you use more lines simultaneously.  To get rid of a line you double tap it.

Along the way you’ll get attacked by bugs, foreign particles that fall on the plants and miscellaneous elements that try to strike the plants.  Tap bugs to get rid of them, or drag them to plants in green pots to use them as food.  When things like sand or snow fall on the plants you can just tap the elements to make them go away.   And lightening strikes and UFO attacks are thwarted by drawing a line between the plant that’s about to be victimized and its assailant.  The controls are very straightforward, but when there is a lot happening on the screen they don’t seem to be quite so responsive.  Also, it’s a lot easier to inadvertently clear a line then you’d think when you get caught up in all the action.

Sometimes Meu will give you a special item to use.  These will do anything from giving you more than two lines at once to helping plants grow faster.  Unfortunately, each object can only be used for one level – or more appropriately, one try of one level.  There is a shop where you can buy more items, but these items require gold coins, and so far the only way I’ve seen to acquire such coins is through IAP (in other words, real money).  If I could buy these items and use them repeatedly it might be worth it, but why buy something that will aid me in only one attempt at a level?  I’d rather just struggle through the levels without them.

Drawin’ Growin’ uses one of my favorite graphical styles, which is the one where everything looks like it is cut out of paper, and it does this to great effect.  Everything looks good, and I really like the lightening effect.  Your main character Meu looks a bit odd, though.  The sound effects are okay.  Most of them can get grating after a while, and if you get enough bugs on the screen it gets really annoying.  The music is good, but it would have been nice if each area had its own music, instead of just having one theme for the map screens and another for the levels themselves.

Drawin’ Growin’ is certainly a different specimen when it comes to plant raising games.  The more you draw lines to feed and protect those plants the more the game grows on you.  I do think that some levels become too cluttered to be enjoyable, however.  Additionally, the item system is a joke, because apart from the rare gift you basically have to shell out real cash for disposable in-game objects.  Aside from these gripes, Drawin’ Growin’ has been a pretty fun experience; it certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s a universal game and sells for only $0.99.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Drawin’ Growin’Developer: TAITO Corporation
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:3.2
Price:$0.99App Size:
  • Different style than most plant growing games
  • Cool visuals
  • Decent music
  • Universal game
  • Levels can get too cluttered
  • Useful items require real cash
  • Sound effects can get annoying

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