Go Go Plant is an action/arcade game by Wiesi and Crazy Monkey Games that was released in May 2008. It is based on the original Mario series of games, in that you start a level from one side and move towards the right in a 2D environment while avoiding obstacles and collecting objects as you go. As the Mario series has already proved, games based on this concept are generally extremely entertaining and addictive, and Go Go Plant promises to be all that and then some more. Here are some of the key features of this game.
As mentioned above, the gameplay itself is pretty simple to understand. You start off as a plant that can walk and does walk along a route. To win, you must complete the route, but there are a load of obstacles along the way which are designed to keep you from doing so. The concept is pretty cool, but the game misses is a pretty major trick by not having even a rudimentary storyline of some kind. The ways in which you could work a walking potted plant into a funny story are pretty much endless, but the game doesn’t explore any of those avenues.
The game begins with a tutorial that tells you what all the buttons do. To play this game, all you need are the arrow keys and nothing else. The left arrow key allows the plant to release a net up in the air to catch items that are floating around in mid-air, the up arrow key allows the plant to release a fan up in the air and hence fly above immovable objects or catch some more objects up there. The down arrow key allows you to drill into the ground and under immovable objects, while the right-arrow key allows you to punch objects that are in your way in such a way that they are no longer in your way. This is still not applicable to immovable objects, of which there are plenty. However, if you bump into any object whatsoever (except the ones that you can collect for points), you die.
The variety of objects, both moveable and immovable, is quite a lot. Even within 5 frames of beginning the game you will see everything from massive dragonflies to a huge blob of jelly and everything in between, like bank vaults, moneybags, targets, walls, and, well, you name it and it’ll be there. The variety only increases as the game continues, but since most of them can be punched away it doesn’t really improve the gameplay or increase the difficulty much.
The lack of increase in difficulty is actually a good thing here because the game is really difficult to begin with. The biggest problem is that you cannot perform two actions at once, meaning that you can’t have a net up while you punch objects out of the way, can’t fly while you punch objects out of the way, and so on. So, because of the really short distances between objects, you have to switch between actions really quickly and the game isn’t very conducive to that, meaning that you’ll frequently have to leave points behind in order to continue onwards unharmed. That is pretty much the strategy quotient of the game right there, deciding which points to go for and which to leave behind. Punching objects out of the way also gets you points, but not everything can be punched and if you end up trying to punch the wrong thing then that’s pretty much the game right there. The game isn’t unplayable, but it is really challenging and that is quite a good thing.
Despite that though, this game gives off a distinct feel of being unfinished or not being quite as developed as it should be in terms of gameplay. There are no checkpoints, no real breaks between levels, no lives and it is basically one touch and you’re back to the beginning. If you’re quite far into the game and that happens. You would be pretty annoyed, and that lowers the “replay ability” of the game quite drastically. Add to that the fact that there is absolutely no variation in between different tries and the same objects will be there at the exact same position each time you play the game, and you have a pretty repetitive game. The same structure does help you plan a strategy for next time, but the real challenge of the game is in making a strategy on the fly so that is no good.
The graphics for this game are pretty good. Everything is extremely colorful and very well detailed, and the background made of potted plants just like your potted plant and houses designed as potted plants is admittedly quirky and amusing. The colors are pretty vivid too and really bright, so you’ll never really tire of looking at the game, even if you get tired of playing it.
The audio is regular arcade game music on a very short loop. It’s suitably peppy and fast, but it gets old really quickly and the worst part is that there is no mute button for it, so you can’t have the game running in the background while you take a breather. The lack of a good audio track as well as a mute button could prove to be a serious deterrent for people looking to play this game for more than ten minutes.
Go Go Plant is certainly a very enjoyable and addictive game with a quirky sense of humour. Afterall there aren’t many games that feature a mobile potted plant with combat expertise with Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare being an exception, but once you get bored of playing it (should take around an hour or so) you probably won’t be returning to it because it isn’t particularly special or memorable. The graphics are awesome but the audio is a sheer disappointment and you will need to keep your volume as low as possible. The concept certainly has potential though, and the game could be vastly improved by just a couple of changes. Hopefully these will be incorporated into a sequel.