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Game Info:

Germination
Developed By: Sullivan Boyd, Caden Petersen
Published By: Sullivan Boyd, Caden Petersen
Released: April 13, 2018
Available On: Windows
Genre: Arcade; platformer
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $3.99

Thanks to Sullivan Boyd and Caden Petersen for the Steam review key!

Germination is a simplistic arcade platformer designed around the Mario head-stomp mechanic combined with a combo system. The game is the pure definition of coffee break with my longest session being at most 5 minutes long and an incredible sense of “one more try”.

The main goal in Germination is to simply get to the end and rack up a score. Supposedly there’s a boss fight at the end, but I’ve never made it further than maybe halfway. The game is brutally difficult but remains completely fair. Your only mode of combat is stomping on top of plant-based enemies. Enemies are designed in a way to make this difficult, with some shooting from side to side and others drilling through the planet and launching themselves into the air. Even the basic flower can do a bit of a sidestep to just barely get out of the way of being stomped. To get a good score, you have to take advantage of the combo system. Make sure to never touch the ground and stomp as many plants as possible. From a 5-15 combo, your character becomes faster and faster, while also being harder and harder to control. At a 25 combo, you can activate an ability and break the planet you’re on, killing everything on the map. These systems are mechanically simple, but require a lot of precision to execute.

Germination
Highlights:

Strong Points: Addictive; clean pixel art; mechanically solid; challenging
Weak Points: Challenging; unfitting soundtrack
Moral Warnings: Crushing several plant-based enemies

Your playing field is the outskirts of a small 2D planet with a bit of gravitational pull. The gravity is a large part of what makes character control difficult during a combo. During a combo, you end up less and less affected by gravity, which means you end up further and further off the surface of the planet, and your astronaut is faster and lighter. While at first I wasn’t a big fan of this because it felt impossible to control with precision, I found that with practice you still can control the character just fine.


The artwork of Germination is really good. The pixel art characters blend together nicely and everything is easy to distinguish. The sound effects have a nice weight to them despite being arcade-like. The music is very good and has a dynamic system where certain enemy spawns change the soundtrack, but it sounds way too laid back for the fast paced nature of the game. There is controller support but I haven’t gotten it to work with my Xbox One controller, and controls cannot be rebound. I haven’t noticed any bugs in my playtime. There was no tutorial which was off-putting, but luckily this wasn't a huge issue due to the simplicity of the game.

Germination
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 95%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 9.5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Germination consists of a lot of killing, but it’s all against various plant-based creatures. There is no blood in sight and your human character simply drifts off into space when they die. There is an online leaderboard so there is potential for offensive names.


I thoroughly enjoyed Germination. It’s simple and has a high skill ceiling and stomping on enemies has a perfect ‘oomph’ feeling to it. The online leaderboards give me a great incentive to keep grinding away and each session is unique and short enough to keep from becoming stale. For the cheap price and minimalistic mechanics, I recommend it to everyone who may be interested.

About the Author

Evan

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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