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I have played a ton of visual novel games, but I think that Growing Up has the potential to be something truly special. As of me writing this, the game is still up for pre-order and there is a demo that you can check out. I think this is going to be a huge game when it is released and actually, calling it a “visual novel” I feel is actually doing the game a huge disservice as it is more of a life simulator than anything else.
Growing Up is set in the 1990s and that is cool with me as my high-school days were in the 90s so that is great and I feel that they have captured the time period pretty well.
The idea of the game is that you start as a baby and work your way to being a parent yourself. That is a very oversimplification.
You see, you need to go to school, make friends, train for a career, find a partner, have kids, and then do it all again. There are so many stories in this game to experience that no two play-throughs will ever be exactly the same. You can try to go down one path, but just like in real life, something will happen and you will be forced to change.
Blossom Meets World
I love the whole look of the game and the world that they have designed here in Growing Up. The 1990s setting really does shine through here and I get vibes from many of the shows I watched back then such as Blossom and Boy Meets World. It is the kind of thing that if you know shows like that, you get it. On the flip side of this, I think someone with no knowledge of 90s pop culture will still appreciate how stylish the game looks.
The game also has a great soundtrack and just like the visuals, I get a very 90s feeling from the soundtrack and it is great. I would actually happily listen to this soundtrack while going for a walk or hanging out around the house.
The Journey Is The Destination
The gameplay of Growing Up is far deeper than just a visual novel. Yes, you will be reading stories and making choices to move things along, but I was pretty blown away by just how much you have to do here. As I said, you start as a baby and go through life until you are an adult and have kids of your own and then you get to play the game again as a new person.
There are various mini-games here such as having to work on your “brain” training for a career, choosing where to go, picking what clothes to wear. It is like all of the little mundane things in life are made to be a “game” and that keeps you very invested in what is going on.
I like how you can have a path for your life in mind and something will then derail it and take you on a whole new path.
I love and I mean love the idea of Growing Up. The short demo that you can check out gives you a real insight into what you can expect here. It is more than just a visual novel, this is a great experience and one that I can see myself playing through many times so I can see how many different paths I can go down.
- I love the whole 90s vibe of the game
- It has a fantastic soundtrack
- Your choices feel like they can have major consequences
- There are many different mini-games
- I think this is a game that will either click for you or not, no middle ground here
- Will certain paths repeat more than others?