wed 17/10/2018

Prune | reviews, news & interviews

Prune

Prune

A meditative and artistic puzzle game

'Prune': Cut the tree to make it grow.

It begins so gently. Initially, Prune is a slow-paced and simple puzzle game – you stroke the screen to start growing a tree, then encourage it to bloom by pruning away errant branches with finger-swipes. It's simple, but beautiful and calming. That doesn't last, though.

Wordlessly, the game gradually ups the tension. The trees you're growing are so delicate, so beautiful. And the world you're growing them in is so inhospitable. The only puzzle is how to encourage your tree upwards towards the light, where it can flower sufficiently to pass the level.

Prune - iOS gameAs the levels pass by, however, soon you're having to avoid horrible giant red balls that contaminate and kill your tree, or use blue orbs that encourage rapid, explosive growth to twist and bend your tree through labyrinthine mazes so that it can reach into the weak light in order to blossom.

The trees are your responsibility. You are the guardian of life. But against you is something cold, alien, horrible. Soon, what was a simply peaceful minute at the bus stop gently pruning trees becomes more fraught.

You find yourself furiously swiping, shifting orbs, swiping back to stop a growing branch you'd missed from infecting the entire tree. Soon you care for these trees. And soon you'll feel the frustration of starting over and over as you struggle to find a way to get a tree to grow successfully through the maze to the light and the twinkling stars above.

Calm down, breathe, go back to that earlier state – and the puzzle solutions reveal themselves to you. This is a game that doesn't punish failure or force an artificial difficulty on you. It'll let you skip levels you can't complete too. But you won't want to.

@psimonk

The trees you're growing are so delicate, so beautiful. And the world you're growing them in is so inhospitable.

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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