Prune – Review

If you have watched Karate Kid when you were younger then you must definitely remember Mr. Miyagi’s love for bonsai trees. The dedication, grooming, and patience that he put into those little trees makes you actually wonder what does he get out of it; maybe Prune can shed some light into the mystery.

Prune [$3.99] is one of those puzzle games that gives you a sense of fulfilment; a sentiment of achievement that will make you feel better about yourself. Conceptualized and created by Joel McDonald, Prune was nominated for the IMGA (International Mobile Gaming Awards). It is the embodiment of how simple ideas grow into something astonishingly beautiful.

We have very recently come across Prune and we wanted to give it a try because something about it was different. First, the graphics captured our attention and then our imagination. While playing this game we thought we were in feudal Japan or in a Quentin Tarantino movie. The simplicity of the graphics and the choice of colours, we believe, add more to the elegance and sophistication of this game. The purpose is simple; help a tree grow.

You start by planting a seed and then drawing a line from the ground upwards which represents the trajectory that the tree will materialize into. Very soon branches develop and in order to facilitate growth you essentially have to start cutting off some branches; and realistically speaking, other parts of the tree will grow stronger and bigger. In the background you will notice a beam of light, that when the tree comes in close proximity with, will enable it to grow flowers.

Different levels will make it more difficult for the tree to grow by casting shadow in different parts of the background. The direction of the branches’ cut – which is done by diagonal swifts of the finger – acts as a contrasting agent making the tree to grow in the opposite direction. This means that you can have control of the trees trajectory by trying to make it rise above the shadows. It becomes more challenging as you play with having to consider influential elements such as the wind, sun, and other facets.

The music in the background creates a calm and collected atmosphere that keeps you engaged with the whole pruning process that it almost feels like meditation. You will find yourself wanting to bury your feet in the sand and get carried away into the beautiful landscapes, the melancholic scenery, and perplexity of the puzzles.

We can honestly say that we have learned something by playing Prune and that is appreciation. For its novel concept, calm atmospheric experience, engaging challenges, & soothing music; Prune finds a home in our list of worthy games. It tells a story; the story of life. A seed that grows into the silent hero that we often overload with Christmas decorations. It represents all the small and beautifully humble things we take for granted. For what it’s worth, Prune has made us appreciate trees a little bit more. As Leonardo Di Caprio successfully coined the phrase in Django Unchained: “You had my curiosity but now you have my attention”. You can watch the trailer for this game below.

We rate it 9.1/10

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