Capsule Review: Sprout: Idle Garden

An idle game in which you grow flowers. Flowers earn you money, and with more money you can buy better flowers. The twist is that it’s also sort of a city-builder - you buy and place flowerpots, but also grass, paths, trees, houses, and more. The game is wholly free and has no in-app purchases, but there are a few optional boosts you can get by watching ads.

Flower pots must be placed on grass and must be adjacent to paths that connect to houses in order for the gardeners to harvest flowers for you. Flowers grow twice as big if adjacent to a lamp, and twice as fast if adjacent to a fountain. And so on - there’s just enough constraint in placement to encourage a healthy mix of order and creativity.

The UI for moving objects around is sometimes frustrating on small screens, which can unfortunately make large-scale remodels unappealing - being able to switch from isometric to a top-down angle would have helped here. But the game does thoughtfully include a photo mode which hides the interface and temporarily blooms all your flowers to enable good screenshots.

Sprout works as a casual yet creative experience. I really enjoyed checking in on it a few times a day and occasionally setting aside some time to rearrange my garden.

I Stopped Playing When: I completed all in-game goals and collected every flower.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.