Gro Flowers is a fantastic educational game meant for children between the ages of 0-5. It teaches children about the benefits of biodiversity and pollination. Gro Flowers takes a hands on approach to learning about these topics instead of traditional instruction. Players get to create their own flower species and then control a bee and other animals helpful to pollination in order to fill their field with flowers. Gro Flowers is compatible with all iOS devices running iOS 4.3 or later.
Players start by creating their own species of flower with different brushes and colors. After planting the flowers, players can pollinate them with the bee. After a few pollinations, the bee takes the nectar from the flowers and goes back to the hive to create honey. This causes a drop of honey to fall out of the hive and the player must move the jar to catch the drop. When you get enough honey to fill up the jar, it is then taken to a menu which holds the honey jars and flowers you have created. When you successfully pollinate enough flowers, the bee will reward players with either a new color or a new brush before returning to the hive. The reward structure is really nice to see and helps players want to keep playing the game. It was not very hard to get a lot of different colors and brushes quickly and that is a big plus for keeping children entertained and engaged.
Gro Flowers allows multiple people to play at the same time which works well for using multiple bees to pollinate more flowers and fill your field. This also allows parents to work with their children in helping them understand the concepts being taught. Some children may have trouble understanding how to use the bee to pollinate as holding the bee over a flower for a certain amount of time is not very intuitive. However, after a little trial and error, this control becomes second nature to the player.
Gro Flowers also features a nice challenge with the addition of a pesticide bottle that occasionally appears and must be tapped or the bees might get harmed. The random nature of this challenge prevented the gameplay from getting stale. Occasionally, however, when a bee adds a new brush or color in the panel and the pesticide bottle appears, it is easy to accidentally tap the new flower button. This is a minor annoyance to the game overall but doesn't take away too much from the fun. The only other problem I found in the game was on the launch screen; pressing and holding the "for parents" button didn't seem to do anything which always left me wondering what was in that section.
The sound effects in Gro Flowers are very whimsical and fun. Each sound effect fit the mood of the game and matched the art style as well. The field looks like it is made out of yarn and with a vivid color pallet, Gro Flowers is irresistibly beautiful. Gro Flowers is US$2.99 on the App Store and a great buy for parents interested in a fun way of teaching their children about biodiversity in a fun environment.