Review – Room to Grow

Give it up to the massive amount of small puzzle games coming out on all platforms to satiate us gamers with a steady influx of new titles and ideas during these days of Covid. A time in which most games are being constantly delayed, leaving gigantic holes in the year’s already unusually dry launch schedule. Games like Knight’s Retreat and Iris.Fall have not only filled in these gaps just by existing, but also by actually being quite fun and inventive. Let’s see if Mischka Kamener’s Room to Grow will continue the trend as well.

Room to Grow

I am sure this simple picture pretty much summarises the entirety of Room to Grow’s gameplay.

Room to Grow is a very simple puzzle with a straightforward objective: you control a sentient (as well as stupidly adorable) cactus, and your objective is to move other cacti into specific slots in each level. The catch is that you are very limited in terms of movement. In order to go from A to B, you need to grow your cactus towards a desired direction, essentially limiting how much you can move afterwards in the process. You can, however, push your entire grown body if you ram the tip of the cactus towards some specific bush-like walls. Think of it as Snake meets that 2048 game released on mobile phones many, many years ago.

The game does a good job teaching you the basics, then gradually challenging you with increasingly harder levels later on. One thing I did appreciate from Room to Grow is something I don’t think I have ever seen in any other puzzle game: a skip button. If you can’t figure out how to solve a puzzle, press the skip button and move to the next one, without any kind of penalty. Given how this game doesn’t even feature Steam Achievements, you’re not going to miss out on anything by doing so. No one will ever find out.

Room to Grow Push

See this kind of bush? Move towards it and your entire body will be pulled backwards.

All in all, a cool idea for a game, but completely hindered by how simple it is. There’s not a lot in here, be it in terms of puzzle variety, music or graphics. Even though both the visuals and music are cute, you’ll get bored pretty quickly with the lack of variety included in here. Furthermore, even though the difficulty curve is, for the most part, decent, there are some instances where the difficulty spikes from out of nowhere, which annoyed me a lot. Sure, there is the skip button as previously mentioned, but I didn’t exactly like having to use it whenever I faced one of this nonsensical surges in difficulty!

Room to Grow becomes very tricky after a while.

Room to Grow isn’t spectacular, but it’s not bad either. It’s a simple puzzle game with a very interesting gameplay mechanic that becomes a bit tiresome after a while due to its repetitive nature. The excessively simplistic visuals and sound effects don’t add much to it either. It’s fairly enjoyable, but as mentioned with many other small Steam indies I’ve tackled in the past, this would have been a better fit on the Switch or a phone instead of a PC.


Graphics: 6.0

The art style is absolutely adorable, but the game becomes visually repetitive very quickly. Considering how little it demands from your PC’s hardware, it also runs perfectly no matter how weak your rig is.

Gameplay: 7.5

Room to Grow features a unique gameplay loop with its growth and movement mechanics. Its difficulty curve is fair, for the most part, but there are some sudden nonsensical spikes.

Sound: 5.5

Just like the visuals, the few tunes and sound effects in the game are quite cute, but the sheer lack of variety is what brings the sound department down.

Fun Factor: 6.0

Even though Room to Grow features nice puzzle mechanics and a very welcome “Skip” feature, it’s a one trick pony of a game. If you don’t like its gameplay loop right from the start, there won’t be anything else in it that will make you think otherwise.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Room to Grow is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Room to Grow was provided by the publisher.