Sprout


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JohnBSproutSprout is a creative and original adventure puzzle game created by Jeff Nusz, of New Zealand, for our second Casual Gameplay Design Competition. From the moment you lay eyes on it you know it's something special. The unique artwork for a Flash game has a paper-cut appearance that lends a storybook atmosphere to the game. This environment perfectly suits the role you play as a young seedling trying to find its way home. Sprout has everything we love to see in a Flash game: originality, a simple design, and a beautiful presentation.

Competition 1st Place award winnerSprout begins with a small green seed-pod stranded on a tiny island. This seedling has the peculiar ability to learn to grow into different plants. For example, stuck on the island with no way to cross the water, the palm trees teach you how to grow into a coconut. With a click of the mouse you transform, and then just sit back and watch the story unfold.

Different situations calls for different transformations, and you cannot always be sure what effect growing into one form can have. Competition Audience award winnerBecoming a coconut might help you move forward. It could also cause you to roll back to where you began. This sense of innocent exploration is one of the most charming aspects of Sprout. Making mistakes and testing the environment are integral parts of the experience.

Analysis: When I first saw Sprout I knew I was in for a treat. During the word-less introduction I could almost hear the seedling asking the palm trees where to find its home. As many game designers have pointed out, the main ingredient in a successful game is human emotion. If you can tap that your players are hooked. Sprout nets your emotions from the very beginning and never lets go. You want this young seed-pod to succeed and you'll do anything you can to make that happen. You internalize the story and bring the seedling to life; Sprout simply lets you play out the story you're already invested in. That gives the game a very magical feeling, and Jeff chose the perfect art style and setting to bring it alive.

Congratulations, Jeff, on an excellent entry into our competition. Sprout shows a lot of thought and creativity on your part and deserves all the praise we can possibly give it!

dancemonkeySprout was a welcome surprise from start to finish. Beautiful artwork is well complemented by a detailed soundtrack to create lush environments for your little sprout's journey. The gameplay itself is like nothing I've ever played before, and the puzzles are tricky without being frustrating. You have a very few simple options to choose from at any given point in the game, yet the solution to each puzzle sometimes vexed me through several attempts. A well-deserved win!

zxoThis one was really neat! I especially like games where you have to select the right tool for each job, and I feel Sprout does this in a superb way. The art is fantastic—charming and cute—and the noises complemented them well. I love how the ambient sounds fade from one to the next as you scroll along the landscape. This is also probably the most kid-friendly game of the contest. Not too challenging, but it's clearly not the type of game that would benefit from overly difficult puzzles. My only complaint is that it ended!

JayI, too, was delighted from the moment the game first loaded. How could one not be? The quaint colored pencil drawings and cinematic intro evoke feelings of being transported to a far away island. The transition to widescreen at the conclusion of the intro is an excellent touch that effectively pulls you right into the story, surrounding you in its magic. But my particular delight went deeper than the superficial; for when I was first presented with the choice between two options—the coconut and the dandelion—visions of Grow ver.1 danced through my head. But Sprout is not a Grow clone; Jeff has created a unique experience all his own. The game perfectly embodies the theme of this competition on multiple levels, and for that it is quite deserving of the highest award. It has been a pleasure and an honor having Sprout part of this competition. Well done, Jeff!

Play Sprout

246 Comments

Wow this is awesome, what great artwork, and so different from the rest of the entries.

This game is awesome.

Has anyone managed to get through the "desert"?

I really really like this one. Not very hard but gets huge points for style.

The artwork for this is wonderful. It's a very nice style that compliments the little adventure well.

I'm having issues with the desert, too. I don't really mind, though, because I like going back to watch the little farmer.

200 thumbs up!

Desert:

You need to get some water to the desert to keep your apple tree from burning up...

There's a lake with a dam at the village you just came from...

If you can get rid of the dam, water will flow to the desert.

If you grow a palm tree at the dam, the coconut will fall and do damage to it. Do this several times and the dam will be destroyed. You can the grow an apple tree in the desert.

I can't get through the desert.

Yeah, I beat the game.

Ooh, nevermind. Tricksy little bridge!!!

Absolutely adorable.
One minor bug when you

flick the bird off the branch

it just sits there in the wrong position rather than

actually flying away

Very Unique game with a storybook style to it. I like how the game combines moving backward and forward with different 'skills' for each plant.

Regarding the Desert:

I bet that Bird would eat Tomatoes, but they don't grow in the dry desert.

Still stuck?

I would bet that it used to be more foresty until the farmers cut off the water supply

By far my favorite of the bunch so far.
And it seems to me the grow theme is the
best implementation(sp) yet?

These are all really good so far.

Very interesting game. The sketched graphics are really good. Fun.

Beautiful. Short, but elegant, wonderful game. One of the more distinctive entries.

this one was really good. Easy but not too easy. Some tricky bits! I actually completed it though without having to look at a walkthrough or spoilers or anything, so yay! I really enjoyed this one.

Loved ths one. A perfect casual game, kept me happily entertained for half an hour.

I especially loved the sound effects as well as the graphics.

Loved this one!

Everything dies in the desert, right? You need a way to make something grow.

Maybe water would help.

That looks like a riverbed, doesn't it?

Drop the coconut on the dam before the village.

Oh.... hope I did the spoiler tags properly!

i need help with the last "hill" the red bird is gone, and im beneath the little bird. but being coconut doesnt get me anywhere... help :D

This is a great piece of work.

Managed this without a walkthrough and picked up the gameplay instantly.

And the sketched artwork adds feel if this being more of an interactive video than a game, which makes it more relaxing.

Whoops, late to the desert hint.

At the last bit, I was able to use what I did

back at the dam: use tools to adjust other bits of surrounding.

Specifically, I needed a way to raise the "ramp."

By growing a tall tree that would knock into it.

That was great fun! I don't usually do well at games with no explicit rules (I couldn't handle Tower of Babblers) but that was very nice for the casual gamer. The illustrations made the experience all the better.

One bit that had me laughing a little too hard:

When the sprout must grow into a vine to fling the first bird off in to the distance.

Great job Jeff! I absolutely love this entry, very unique gameplay and fun interpretation of the theme.

I love the ending

The "You win" sign and all the plants growing is cool

Oh, and if you wondered what happened to the little red bird

He comes to rest on one of your branches at the end

Very cute! Here's some help:
Desert

Go back to right before the dam. Use the coconut tree enough times to break down the dam.

to stop the big bird from eating the berries from the little bird

after you attain the vine, use it on the branch where the fat bird is, it will fling the bird away

to attain the vine

while you are under the branch with the fat bird on it, use the coconut tree

the barren area with the branch

get under the branch, and use the coconut tree. it will push the branch up. Get back up on the hill and use the coconut tree to roll down and over the river.

Thats pretty much all of the trick parts!

This is definitely my favourite so far!
That has everything i want out of a casual game: the right amount of trickery (i.e. i could complete it without any of help on my own :p, but it still stumped at times), great style, the right sounds for the game and an original (i think?) idea.

Yeah, dug that one. Good stuff.

short and easy but it gives a delight feeling
my fav <3

and the fruit plant. is that apple or tomato? too small to be an apple tree

Wow, i am impressed. realy, realy nice game.
Idea, Gfx, sound, everything.
Part 2 please :-)

cheers,
cosie

Wheeeee!

I also hit the bug where the bird was static. Just curious, I thought I had solved it a second way but I guess I just didn't realize it was a bug.

I thought getting the apple tree up to the left of the second bird by using the vine worked

Excellent game! Hats off to you!

Man this comp. keeps getting better.

I don't know if that second bird is so much a bug as much as it is a clue that you have to do something to that species of bird, atleast that's how I took it.


That was adorable. It had great gameplay and was very relaxing. 2 thumbs up. :D

Trang: I think the fruit is a Pomegranate.

This game is great, I had a really good time helping sprout along on his quest. Best of the competition so far in my opinion.

Love it! Great job Jeff!

I was stuck at the desert for a little while, but figured it out. Great game!

The art work was especially cool. I haven't seen anything like it, but it made what to do next so much clearer. Beautiful.

Loved this. Best so far. Couldn't really get into any of the other ones, but solved this without hints. Lovely variety, just a smidgen repetitive but maybe that was me trying all the options to see what they did.

Beautiful artwork, felt like I was in a kids story, helped me to relax and not feel stressed, unlike some of the other entries. Same sense of wonder as in the original 'Grow' series.

Do we have a potential winner here?

Great artwork, complements the game nicely. Not too difficult, but the desert had me stumped for a while, didn't resort to hints tho :) A great entry in a highly competitive competition.

Ah, what a delightful little game. I love extended canvas type things, and the artwork is elegant yet it does not feel overcrowded. Love it!

(JiG competitions are my favorite time!)

This is sooo beautiful! That's my favourite so far, although Rings and Sticks is close up and not really comparable.
What I especially liked about it is the fact that there is a nice and imaginative story which evolves during the game, whithout the need to read a lot.
I loved the very realistic background sounds, and especially the very artificial, contrasting growing sounds ;)
This game was made so thoughtful and with so much effort- I really admire that!

WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL! Best game out of the lot!
Bravo!

Loved it!!

I really liked this game :)
The artwork is beautiful, the story is cute, a little bit tricky but not too hard - quite the right mix!

Beautiful. Loved the graphics and sound, loved the theme, loved the puzzles and the way they flowed organically and logically into each other. My only complaint: Too short! I wanted to keep going and see more of that world!

By the way, I think that's some sort of berry bush, not an apple or tomato tree. (As someone else pointed out, apple trees are much bigger. And tomatos don't grow on trees.)

I like the fact that I beat it without hints. Great game! Very relaxing & comfortable.

This game is loads of fun - it is simple, but requires thought; it is beautiful, but not to compensate; and, most importantly, it is fun. And it Grows!

wow, I'm impressed. These games just keep getting better and better! wonderful game; creative, fresh artwork. I love it.

Sprout is a greeeeaaaaat game. Three, er two thumbs up.

well, the fact that i beat it without spoilers is a plus!
it was a neat idea, and i love the graphics!

Excellent. It's got my vote.

This game has my vote!
great graphics, story, and difficulty level.

Definite thumbs up on this one. Graphics and style were great and it had a nice story line. I thought it was going to be too easy at first - but having to go back and change things made it just enough of a puzzler.

Wow! great graphics and simple game. Best of all, I won from the first go

, and i'm usually very clumsy at such games! WOOHOO!

thanks Jay and thanks Jeff

I really liked this game. It's my favorite amongst the other games entered in the competition.

It was easy, but very enjoyable.

i really liked this game....
i found myself trying what i thought would be the wrong combinations first just so i could check out any other little art moments :)

WONDERFUL!

Oh... and Jeff, just in case you are reading this - sound effects were great - especially the little happy boing-boing sound that went along with the happy bouncing seed.

(Well - except that I suspect the sheep sound of being made by a human....)

Oh, so simple, yet so clever! I really enjoyed this one!

This has got to be the best among all the entries I've seen so far. Its artwork is brilliant, simple yet pleasing. Great job!

Got it! That was a lot of fun. I didn't even realise that I'd solved the last puzzle. I was stumped for ages and discovered that I'd already done what was needed.

The main problem people are having is this:

they think that the answer lies in sprouting plants in the correct sequence, when really, you must interact with the environment.

What a perfectly beautiful game. The "hand-drawn" graphics are lovely, and the lack of clear direction really enhances the whole experience: you can go back and forth and see what happens without losing lives or getting frustrated at "bad" choices.

It's going to be VERY hard to choose the best games this round. There's such creativity and pure talent out there...it's always feast, never famine. Thank you, JIG, for bringing these together here. I'd never find them otherwise, and they really brighten up my day.

- Merri

Very nice and poetic game. Congratulations to you, Jeff.

Just adding my voice to the chorus of "This is my favourite game ever in the history of the universe ever ever!!!". I got through it with no/almost no resort to spoilers, it's got a unique gameplay, and it's beautiful. And funny. And I think it should win.

Simply wonderful.

The idea of hand-drawn graphics is extremely original, and the gameplay is very well balanced, smooth, intuitive, not too easy and not too hard.

Clap! Clap! Clap!

very nice game indeed.
congratulations.

What a gorgeous game! Relaxing, rewarding and I loved the red bird.

Very, very nice. Just about right for a lunchtime brain teaser, and the difference of the graphics is very endearing

the best. the very best!

Interesting! You can scroll through the 'map' to see how far the seed had reach to. But I am right now stucked near the desert area.

HAHAHA..so cute!

Cracking game, I loved the whole plant idea...I could actually see it being turned into a full game, like a plant okami type of game.

Great game, but it doesn't have replay value like the original "grow" games. A suggestion I would give would make different outcomes available.

I must really be missing something, because I can't even get started. All I can do is make the seed dream and then not dream. I've scrolled through the whole landscape clicking on everything that looked like it might possibly be clickable, and nothing is.

Hints?

very very nice game

This explains why most PnC-games don't work for me I guess: a lack of pure original content.
But this game has it! and it's great! Very well done.

this one is a winner

I thought it was a good game. I liked the use of coloured pencils like a childrens dream world of a seed.

I completed it and it has a happy ending. I thought it was the best game so far.

I am under the second bird, what do I do now? When I become a coconut I just fall into the river and roll back.

Wonderfully illustrated and implemented. Kudos!

P.S. I would love to see a multi-level version.

I'm jealous, but not without good reason! Great game :)

i got it, this looks like a bug. When I played it a second time this works:

grow a palm when under the jump-off rump

I love it and plan to play again and send it to others.

That was great! The graphics were perfect; they gave the game a really nice "feel." The bird was cute, too...

I'm glad he put in an appearance at the end!

Nice job,
VERY original thinking! This kind of reminds me of Pikmen where you can choose the type of sprout. The artwork is intersting, but the game idea is very original. You could expand the game to provide multiple endings depending on what the person chooses. Or you could provide points based on the number of seedings it took to get to the end. The lower number the higher the score, and perhaps a different ending. I work for a software company that does telephone recording systems, but I can totally respect the work it takes to create something like this. Good job.

Great little game! I loved the style and the enjoyability(if it's a word) of it!! Definitely has my vote for the competition!!

This is the first game like this I have ever completed on my own. Great game, loved it!

I've never posted on this site before, but this game inspired me to do so. I loved it! Easy but not too easy, pretty, very cute ending.

Lovely, lovely, lovely...just what I like in a little game: relaxing, cute, easy enough to do on my own, and humorous to boot. I agree with someone's comment further up; I was cracking about the red bird!
Great job!

Aaaand I continue to be befuddled.

Could someone please tell me how to get started? Is there more to it than mouse clicks? I've tried arrow keys, to no avail.

I have to admit, I'm frustrated that 15 comments after mine, and still no one has offered a helping hand. Please? Just the first step, that's all I need.

So sorry, Dana. I saw your comment earlier and got sidetracked before I had a chance to reply.

You should be able to choose a seed from the thought bubbles that pop-up by clicking directly on the seed icon. To grow into a palm tree, click the coconut.

If the coconut is not clickable, then perhaps you have a technology issue. I'd try reinstalling Flash from the Adobe website and see if that corrects it. Let me know how you make out.

...Of course I would click on everything except the one thing that is clickable... Thanks, Jay!

:D

Glad it was something simple.

Nice charcoal drawings, and the music fits too. The game idea is original, even if the game itself is a bit short. I found the difficulty level about right, and I love being able to scroll from one side to the other. Another excellent contribution to the competition.

1. Orbit
2. Gateway II

That was beautiful. I quite enjoyed it, the sound, the artwork and the idea just made a magical little story game.

Also I think the bush/tree was a blueberry bush (just my addition to the mystery bush conversation) :)

Nice game. Very fun.

very pretty, and simple. I enjoyed it immensely.

Excellent !! Thanks a lot !!

managed this after half an hour with my 7 year old!!

QUICK NOTE: Tomatoes do NOT grow on trees!!!!!!!!

What an adorable, beautiful game! Excellent use of the theme, and a really creative concept.

LOVED IT! Wow what artwork. I'm immensely impressed, and I managed to finish it all by my wee self. Score one for rulz.

Plus I just love the sound of the sprout... it's so cute.

what a sweet game! the art is adorable and the concept is so so good/cute/good-on-its-own-as-opposed-to-just-cute. i totally love the gameplay and the process of figuring out how to solve problems with plants is a great concept.

i hope someone tops this just so I have an even greater time than I did playing this one!!! fantastic...my vote is here!

Very, very fun. XD It was adorable (I want a sprout!), and pretty graphically, and fun, and it wasn't annoyingly hard, but it wasn't too easy, either. And it definitely made me smile the entire time. ^_^

Very cool. <3

Really really nice game!! :-)

I love it... Didnt know there was a walkthrough though...

Could have saved some time near the desert :-)
But hey its more satisfying to find out by yourself...

EXCELLENT game. I want more.

wow this game was very very well planned and very neat

Cute lil' game, I liked the graphics, nicely done. Is it just me or did it take others about 5 minutes to cross the river, before learning acorn?

how do you get through the desert?

What a cute little game! I wish it was longer.

I loved

catapulting the little bird. Something about his pitiful little squawk as he flew off into the distance made me laugh so hard I almost cried.

Truly delightful! :)

Dude this game was amazing. Games that hook you from the initial. I kept going, come on I want to learn to be more things but you kept just enough of a tease before turning into another thing.

You show great potential for creativity and logic and I hope you'll set it up so you can pump out another game.

Is it just me, or did any body else think,"Ha! Serves that bird (the fat one) right for stealing food from the skinny bird," when it got shot into the distance?
Also, someone mentioned they wanted to know what the moral of the story was. Although I don't think it was meant to be over analyzed, the moral might be finding a place to belong.
Nice game!

wow i love this game - best one i've played in quite a while!

great work jeff xx

lol this game

Rules!

I really want that spoiler thing that is on this page
but all the ones i get dont look as good can anyone help?

PLEASE!

Fun and beautiful! Won on the first go-round!

Wow I really, really suck at point and click games, which this is most reminiscent of, but this I got through without a problem, which was nice, it wasn't annoyingly easy, which was nice, and I burned some time, which was also nice. Probably the most satisfying game I've played in a long time.

That was a most wonderful game!
I do not think that the story had a "moral", but I do think that it is just showing the journey a seed can make, and how many varities can be made (the little group at the end!).

I reckon sequels are definitly in order... or a longer version!

WOW! Great game! Really beautiful!
Make more games!:D

aww! great game
I love games like this one :)

That was a most wonderful game!
I do not think that the story had a "moral", but I do think that it is just showing the journey a seed can make, and how many varities can be made (the little group at the end!).

Loved the colored-pencil style graphics and the soothing sound effects (no annoying background music, yay!).

I don't get why everyone keeps saying it's a pomegranate, though, when it's clearly a blueberry bush. I'm grown both, and birds will not eat all the fruits off a pomegranate, but they'll strip a blueberry bush in minutes.

I don't think anybody made a walkthrough yet, so I guess I'll do it.

1. Coconut

2. Dandelion

3. Coconut

4. Dandelion

5. Fruit

6. Dandelion

7. Dandelion

8. Coconut

9. Dandelion

10. Coconut

11. Dandelion

12. Coconut

13. Dandelion

14. Coconut

15. Fruit

16. Coconut

17. Pod

18. Fruit

20. Pod

21. Coconut

22. Pod

23. Fruit

24. Coconut

25. Coconut

26. Pod

27. Dandelion

28. Coconut

29. Acorn

You win!

I created a video walkthrough for this game,
the link is below

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE DESERT TIPS!!!!!!

Really cool

nice! i like it!

Nice game!!!

Very nice!!!!!

This is one of the sweetest games I've ever played! Point and click games are so my thing and this has to be my favourite!

Color coded, the order to victory is:

brown yellow brown yellow red yellow yellow brown yellow brown yellow brown yellow brown red brown green red green brown green red brown brown green red brown orange.

What a happy ending!

I have a problem.

How can I go through the river?

Please reply.

you have to use the vine to get up on the first birds tree then whack it off.

What dam is everyone talking about?

Cynthia: the bridge near the house is actually a dam.

I just wanted to say, this is a little gem of a game! I am going to send a link to my nieces, as I think both of them would enjoy this. I'll include a link to these hints, too, as a couple of spots were a little tricky (the dam, the large bird, and the tree stump), but what a lovely plotline and ending!

how do i play the game i click play and it comes here i want to play it not read plz help

[Edit: You have to click the word "Sprout" at the beginning of the article and you come out here
Play Sprout
~ Kayleigh]

This game is so incredible for me. The adventure of a tiny seedling from start to finish, perfect.

I liked it so much I screenshoted the winning screen! :D

I want a sequel.

I need a walkthrough!

great game lovd it
recommend it!!!

love the ending with the tree

Second sprout

at the end the bean thinks o a pineapple is there a second sprout

[Edit: Spoiler added ~ Kayleigh]

Wow...It's an immigration story. Especially if you think of it in the way of seeds: not the little bean, but his children's children's children's children reaching the other side. It's almost biblical, which, you know, whatever...but it's just plain amazing that a little game about a bean can pack that much wollop.

this is the one game where everyone wants to write a walkthrough lol

I love this game so much i could marry it :)
P.S. the fruit is either a persimmon or pomegranate

Love it, great art and such a good concept. I made it without looking for help, yay :)

awesome game finished ot with the comments help thanks

I know this is quite a bit late, but to everyone who was talking about the apple tree or the tomatoes, or what have you, it's a fig tree. Just thought y'all oughta know I'm pretty sure that's what it is.

On another note, this game is cute and something I enjoyed playing. Not a real challenge, but a good way to spend fifteen minutes. Would play a sequel if there was one.

Yes! I beat it! I needed help on the dam and a little nudge in the right direction on the bird ;),but eventually got it! great game.

how do you get out of the desert.?

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