The biggest element that sets Grow apart from other online multiplayer games is the growing system. Rather than picking a class, spawning, dying and picking a class again, every player will start off equal and work their way up to their desired play style.
The benefit of this is that players can change their play style to suit the situation they’re in, rather than picking and regretting the decision once they’ve jumped into the fray. Realise there’s a sniper somewhere? Make your priority a quick character that can sneak up behind and take them out. Stuck in a battle where you and your team-mates need a medic? Become one yourself without needing to leave the action. So how do you grow? Eating of course! The three types of food – meat, sweets and fruit – will send you growing toward different play styles.
Meat leads to big, strong characters with a lot of health and/or armour, this usually supports a play style of defense; characters who bulldoze through the opposition, protect weaker classes, and act as the core of team.
Sweets make a character hyperactive, resulting in faster, sneakier characters who are great at taking out single targets or obtaining objectives but have very little health. Most sweets characters rely on tricks like illusions or debuffs to help in fights.
Fruit leads to what we call ‘skillful’ characters. Generally, skilled characters can do unique and interesting things to support their teammates or achieve goals. Most skill classes are support roles, providing things like buffs, healing or traps.
Too simple for you? Well you’re in the luck! At the moment it’s possible to grow twice which allows players to further tweak their play style. If you want to be more resilient grab yourself some meat; if you’re hating your weakness to water grab some fruit. There’s plans for further stages of growth and other ways to customise your style, but for now the 2 growth system results in a lot of gameplay variety.
The second benefit of the growth system is that when you die there’s no need for a respawn timer. Players respawn as a weaker character and have to work their way back to another class which acts as the penalty for death. It also adds another layer of teamwork: supporting and defending your teammates as they grow.
Oh, and don’t forget vomiting. Vomiting allows you to move back to a previous growth state and also provides some of the food you’ve eaten to other players. I’ll write more on vomiting later on when we come to the food post.
So that’s growing! Next time I’ll delve a bit deeper into how the characters work together when I discuss fighting.