Hello, I am Rodrigo, Senior Global Brand Manager at 505 Games. I am Senior because I am old but that is a story to be told some other time. I am here to talk about Grow: Song of the Evertree, available now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Back then, it was an early proposal to create a sandbox land where you could grow new worlds on the branches of a gigantic tree with the resources you’d previously gathered, then build and customize an impressive town and manage the community of NPCs it would hold.
A land that you could explore at your own pace in a relaxed environment allowing you to spend your days exploring and gathering resources, chatting to characters and helping them be happier, building and customizing districts of your town to the tiny detail, or having fascinating encounters with some colorful creatures. Up to you.
Little I knew how much the project would grow (no pun intended. Well, perhaps it was. Sorry). When months later I saw the game in action for the first time I was amazed as it already looked very charming. It had some of the cutest visuals I remember, the music Kevin Penkin was composing for it was heartwarming, and the gameplay felt already quite compelling.
How far could Prideful Sloth take this development? They are a rather small team, and they developed this game during probably the hardest circumstances of their lives as we were in the middle of a global health crisis that was affecting all of us in many levels.
Over the coming months what amazed me the most is the love and detail they put onto everything the game holds, big and small. So here is my personal list of things I think you should not miss in the game (warning there might be spoilers ahead):
The Evertree: C’mon, there is no way you can miss it… It’s huge! And you can grow worlds on it! But if you want to know more about its story you will need to find the broken pieces of the song of Myora and access its very heart.
The scenery: The artistic design of the game is superb. Early in development I found myself just capturing lots of screenshots just because of how good they looked. We toyed with the idea of having a photo mode and we finally did. Is a great tool to keep your memories… and also for content creators to create their own video thumbnails (wink- wink, elbow -elbow).
Coppertop and Book: They are not just pretty faces; they are a great source of knowledge! But they are also very fun to talk to. Some of their snappy dialogues really brought a smile to my face. Can you guess what personality inspired Coppertop’s witty chatter?
Tiny details: Please, spend some time just looking around, for instance, in your house you can find heartwarming family pictures and you can find the marks left on the doorframe as you were growing up.
Kazumi: Is your gentle flying companion and will transport you up the tree and to other destinations. As you advance the game expect some very cute moments from her!
The Everkin: They are industrious little folks. They have been around since the beginning of time and sometimes they can be quite cheeky. I identify with them!
Critters and Creatures: Prideful Sloth did an amazing job at creating a system that would generate randomized fauna that can show variations within the same species. We mentioned to them that we, as players, really like to look at them and hey came up with a Critter selfie feature! Try it out and share your favorite pics with us on social media!
Lykora: This is an enormous flying creature I describe as a dragon-whale that shows up in the sky. It’s so big that at first glance you think is just in the background to add flavor to the game. Well, that is not the case… is got its own micro story line.
Guest NPC: Most NPC are randomly generated on its looks, dialogues, likes and dislikes but some other are pre-scripted to match real life people. So, if you talk to Adrian… he is our lovely producer.
And much more: gnomes, mushroom people, passionate folk music aficionados, and even a bit of kazoo.
Prideful Sloth is Cheryl, Joel, John, Jason, Nicole, Adam M, Tony, Yasmin, Adam P, Anthony, Ryan, and the many Adopted Sloths’ who’ve joined their team for this journey.
We hope that you enjoy your time with Grow: Song of the Evertree.