Nov 2, 2015
Prune, from the get-go, feels so peaceful.
From the deliberate (yet soft) pastels through to the smooth, animations that frame the gameplay, it is serene in appearance, but translates relatively well visually.
With regards to gameplay, it’s a quiet game, with definite horticultural undertones. The main idea is hinted at by the the game’s name itself, in that one is tasked with guiding the growth of a plant, past obstacles and/or towards helper light, to the point it is viable and the level is completed.
More specifically, one has to initiate a high-growing plant by swiping up in the defined soil area, and to tend to the resulting sprout that pops out. The idea is to manipulate the growth of the tree by slicing off errant branches and giving an opportunity to one main lead branch to reach light, which allows it to bloom and unlocks the next play level.
Of course, the game is not that simple. It starts off with dead areas that one must avoid; the light is not so easily gotten to, and as such, one has to prune in the right direction. Also, the plant grows at a fast clip, so one has to nip fairly quickly. As one advances, more wrinkles are tossed in, and they are fairly creative. For example, a gentle breeze makes swiping to cut pretty difficult, which isn’t too good, because lopping off the very top kills that level. Then there are things like colored globe viruses that one cannot stay in physical contact with too long, and layers of zones one has to get to to finish the level
It’s a very calming experience; it is almost ethereal in presentation, and somehow manages to be genteel and challenging simultaneously. It ratchets up the gameplay oh so imperceptibly, adding in new elements as it goes, and mostly disallowing for boredom to set in.
It’s a safe game, bereft of in-game disturbances, and probably worth the investment its one-time $3.99 price tag calls for.