Glittermitten Grove

Glittermitten Grove

Glittermitten Grove has a reputation as an inconsequential joke game, partially because of an open secret regarding certain hidden content, and partially because it’s so sickeningly twee that the most valuable in-game resource is sparkles. I’m therefore more shocked than anyone to have found it a genuinely enjoyable experience. It’s remarkably original; it’s a city management sim in which 80% of the gameplay takes place in the boughs of ever-expanding trees, and the other 20% happens underground and is explored using fireworks with customizable behaviour. The trees themselves are a fascinating feature, with an intricate physics system that allows you to influence individual limb growth for optimal positioning, and multiple seed types with different attributes.

These mechanics are designed and implemented reasonably well, and the audio design is lovely, making for some undeniably pleasant few hours. There’s certainly room for improvement, though. Most of your options are available to you from the first moments, and all of them could be further fleshed out. Additionally, the lack of any goals beyond “reach and maintain a certain population” means every village is destined to be unceremoniously abandoned. And lastly, the art is unimpressive even if its cutesy aesthetic doesn’t completely turn you off. In terms of depth, it’s no Civilization, but it manages to replicate the infamous addictiveness of that series on a small scale, to the point where I was legitimately invested in making sure a group of fairies had enough food to survive the winter.

7.5/10
7.5/10

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