'Grow: Song of the Evertree' preview: For gamers looking for a little less intensity

Australia-based video game developer Prideful Sloth, creators of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, comes at us with indie sandbox game filled with beautiful pastel-colored visuals and immersive world-building for the farming guru at heart.

Described as a “cozy and imaginative” gaming experience, the game is being published by 505 Games.

Check out our first impressions of the game here:

Lore and world-building

First and foremost, you are an apprentice Everheart Alchemist and perhaps, the only great alchemist in the world of Alaria at the moment.

This is because you’ve managed to craft a World Seed, a mystical seed that would bring back Alaria to its former glory.

Myora, which is the game’s equivalent for aether or magicka like in most fantasy games, is slowly being depleted due to what the game calls The Withering, happening at the Roots of the Evertree.

Somehow, by unknown means, The Song which enabled the people of Alaria to harness Myora from the Evertree is now causing turmoil for everyone.

Fortunately, as fate would have it, it is your job, as an Everheart Alchemist, to restore the Evertree and to bring back life and Myora to the fantasy world of Alaria.

COMPANION. Throughout the game, you will be accompanied by your trusted steed or dragon-ish creature that will fly you to different places near the Evertree

Gameplay Mechanics

While most of the game’s mechanics resemble some of the basic Harvest Moon controls like farming and gathering, there are some minor differences that make it a unique sandbox game.

Besides being able to catch bugs and build towns from scratch, players can use a special Song ability that allows them to restore small portions of the Evertree, rewarding players with Myora and other fun collectibles.

Moreover, players can also craft more World Seeds through Alchemy to find more terrain to explore and reform.

Like most fantasy role-playing games, players will also be able to interact with NPCs that provide them with more tools and rewards that will help them along the way.

As you progress, you will meet cute and lovable creatures like the Everkins and many more throughout the game.

SELFIE. The game also provides very detailed camera features that allow you to get creative with your character

First Impressions

As a "cozy" indie sandbox, the developers did an astounding job with its first few minutes of world-building and in-game terrain. Besides the smooth graphics, the game does really well in creating an atmosphere deserving of a 3D Harvest Moon-ish game.

However, there are some things that may or may not hamper the immersive gaming experience that players crave for. 

For one, while it is a common thing for a lot of role-playing games, players go through quite a stretched-out list of dialogue options before being able to fully understand the background of the entire plot.

Additionally, the game features an in-game clock mechanism similar to games on mobile phones. An example of this is how players will have to wait for plants to grow before being able to complete a goal and receive rewards. This, however, is countered by alternative jobs and quests that players can do while waiting for the former to complete.

The game fits the needs of gamers looking for some time away from our more common anime-gore-drama game addictions to spend more time “in the countryside,” exploring caves and collecting bugs.

The game is set to be released on November 16.

It will be available on video gaming platforms Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.