September 15, 2007
You need to try this right now: Grow Island. It’s a sort of oblique, cutesy, super-simple SimCity. Sort of. And actually, that comparison doesn’t do it justice, because SimCity, unlike this game, never really had any soul.
This earlier iteration is fun, too (there’s a whole site full of them), but less systems interacting and more absurdist choose-your-own-adventure. In one go-round I got a smiling cabbage; in another I ended up with an underground kingdom of tiny cyclopean goblins.
In any case, the Japanese designer who made them is a genius. Actually, the whole thing feels kinda like a Japanese Orisinal to me — less arcade-y, more puzzle-y, but with the same underlying sweetness.
(Via the new and excellent Rock Paper Shotgun, which tags this game, correctly, “cute as a basket full of ducklings.”)