Version 1.2 Out Now! Strategy mode is now available on the plant selection screen This mode uses a set number of turns with no time limit. Plants will automatically collect resources between turns. Keep your plant balanced and try to maximize your resources on every turn to fruit each flower before winter comes!
User reviews: Mixed (235 reviews)
Release Date: May 6, 2013
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Recommended By Curators

"Help a flower grow and reproduce before winter comes in this casual simulation game."

Reviews

“Concealed beneath a smooth interface, a beautiful art style, and a really fun set of core-mechanics, Reach for the Sun, while certainly a successful game for the classroom, excels even beyond through the total consideration given to its design.”
Games for Change

“GameDesk saw great value in Reach for the Sun. Its ability to demonstrate systems of plant growth and the relationship between the root structures, leaf structures, flowering structures, and pollination is remarkable.”
Lucien Vattel (Game Desk, Executive Director)

“[In an interview with VentureBeat, Mark DeLoura (White House Senior Advisor for Digital Media) picked Reach for the Sun as one of his Top 3 educational games.]”
VentureBeat

About This Game

Version 1.2 Out Now!



  • Strategy mode is now available on the plant selection screen
    This mode uses a set number of turns with no time limit. Plants will automatically collect resources between turns. Keep your plant balanced and try to maximize your resources on every turn to fruit each flower before winter comes!

  • Players can now grow the prickly pear cactus
    Cacti like the prickly pear have no leaves. Photosynthesis takes place in enlarged stems, requiring a slightly different approach to growing.

  • Bees!
    We’ve added bees to replace the current pollen system. Creating nectar will now spawn a bee. Players must click and drag the bee onto a female flower to pollinate.

Description

Behind all those leaves, roots, and petals is an intelligent bio-machine of starch, nutrients, and water. Take over a flower's seedling to help it grow and reproduce before winter approaches. Carefully gather and manage three key resources needed to create flowers and fruits. You'll never look at these organisms the same way again!

Key Features

  • Learn about plant anatomy and function by controlling a plant’s lifecycle for a year
  • Make strategic choices from limited resources and evaluate how it affects your plant
  • Maintain your plant’s health against external influences such as winter weather
  • Create up to four different types of plants, each with unique attributes and challenges
  • Earn upgrades to enhance your garden, such as preying mantids to control pests

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
49 of 57 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
As a botanist and a gamer, Reach for the Sun makes me feel both sad and embarassed. It's not a fun game; it's not a good learning tool; and the lessons that it does teach are often wrong. Yet, somehow, this game has won multiple awards, and the fact of those awards really does make me sad. To give this game an award is to suggest that this is the best we can do. That suggestion is disrespectful to science, because science has huge potential for fun (e.g. Kerbal Space Program). It's also disrespectful to gamers, and to our proven ability to create great games.

The most obvious problem is that the gameplay is all about clicking - even in strategy mode, it's all about the clicking.

A much bigger problem is that, as a player, you have very little agency. You can't just grow your plant in whatever way you like. Instead, each plant has a predetermined fully-grown shape, a shape that was fixed by the developers at compile time. When you add new parts to a plant, you're really just unlocking bits of that predetermined shape. This means that the game is much more about memorization than it is about botany or tactics. To be successful, you need to learn the shape of the fully-grown plant, and then figure out the series of choices that will allow you to most quickly unlock all of the parts of your plant.

As a botanist, I teach that plants must adapt themselves to their environment by making choices about how they will grow. If a seed lands in an unfortunate place, it can't simply pick itself up and go somewhere else, but must instead grow where it lies. For example, a bush on a rocky cliff may grow short and squat to protect itself from cold and wind; while a bush in a shady glade may grow tall and slim to try and reach above its neighbors, and grab a bigger share of sunlight. Thus, the idea that each species of plant has a fixed shape (an idea implicitly taught by this game) is false and misleading.

Another big flaw in the game is the lack of differentiation among species. While there are several different species in this game, from a gameplay standpoint, they're pretty much the same. As a gamer, I find this boring. As a botanist, I find it offensive. The joy and beauty in life and biology come from from the huge variety of shapes, colors, and behaviors that are present in nature. To teach otherwise, as this game does, is a terrible lie.

If you're looking for a bit of variety in your procrastination, something to give you a break from Peggle or Candy Crush, then you may find a bit of enjoyment in this game. If you're looking for something with replay value or educational value, you should look elsewhere.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
This is the second game I've played from this developer (I went in reverse order) and I am greatly satisfied with the experience. Growing up, I was taught in a strict school that focused on learning vast quantities (in my opinion) rather than deep understanding of a less content. As a result, my science background was never really developed as much as it could have been. After playing this game, I've come to the conclusion that this would have been a great way to teach young students on some very (very) basic concepts on a plant's growth. I'd imagine it would have been a worthwhile afternoon that would leave a longer-lasting impression compared to a mechanical way of doing things back at home (I lived in the SE Asian region).

TL;DR: The game is very basic but it's a fun and impressionable medium.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
Reach for the sun is a flower 2D simulator type thing with a simple objective, survive until winter. You play as the flowering plant itself trying to collect water and starches in order to grow and survive. You can play a few different kinds of plants, all of which have the same objective. With bugs coming for your resources, you can buy little upgrades at the garden shop. As a story goes, there isn't one, just basic gameplay, trying to be educational. If you're like me and passed the first 6 grades then you know all the information they are trying to throw at you.


Where the game ha strong points, is that the music in the game and the overall look of the game is very calming. The game isn't difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but it is soothing (once i muted the narrator). I played this game when I had a rough day at work, and not only did it calm me down, but i also 100% it in about 2 hours.


The bad voice acting aside, the game falls short in a few places, being beaten so easily, and it lacks substance. The game was clearly rushed, or they ran out of money, because it's apparent there were going to be more content added. A gamemode where you have to outgrow a rival plant my sticking branches and leaves over it to cut off its sun supply. Now i’m not a dev for this game, but i would have added many other features to really bring this game to life.



Reach for the sun does a few thing right.

It has very easy achievements

it has playing cards

Its an easy drop in/drop out game.

Its very easy to grind through the game 100%

Reach for the sun has an inviting art style and music.


Reach for the sun does many things wrong


It has awful voice acting

It has very limited gameplay.

There is 0 story

The game lacks features

The game has some bugs that haven't been dealt with

Its pricy for only 3 hours gameplay.


The achievements on this game are very very easy, and anyone can 100% it in under 3 hours. It’s not a hard game and it isn't really fun but if you focus on the achievements then you have an end goal, making the game almost worth the $5.49(CAD) If its on sale and you like 100% games, grab it.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Enjoyable little time killer and easy 100%. Very relaxing, especially in strategy mode. I think I got it for US$2 and played almost 3 hours, so beats my $1/h threshold.

Did I learn anything about biology? It's a game, not a science book, but you do get the things needed for plat growth at a very basic level so play it with a younger grade schooler perhaps, or just have fun with it as a game. 6/10
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
A simple yet delightful little game. It's pretty a basic and minimalistic style racer that surprisingly delivers instant fun. Race the sun is a very satisfying game.

Game: 7.0/10
Graphic: 7.5/10

100% Achievement : Easy | Medium | Hard | Very Hard
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54 of 63 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2013
A cute little simulation game. I wouldn't pay the full price ($10), but I believe I made an okay deal when I got it for $5 on sale. The game doesn't offer too much gameplay time (aka replay value is pretty low, at least until they release more type of plants and maybe more extra stuff, if they ever do), but again - for $5 it's pretty much a fair deal. It's definitely not worth any more than that, though.
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A developer has responded on Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:58am
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
The recent update including the strategy mode cuts down on the "clickiness" by a lot; which leaves this game as a 4/5 for somehow being fun and educational. The update also had the unseen benefeit of cutting down a graphical issues, since it can go as a turn-based, not real-time.
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A developer has responded on Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:46am
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24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 4, 2014
A small educational game about plants that sadly lacks depth and becomes a manic click-fest just to gather your resources in time. Not quite sure how I would improve the game but its gameplay could need a fair bit of tweaking. The dev do seem fairly active so the game can still be very much improved.

Very simplistic achievements that mostly are tied to upgrades and growing each plant in an optimal way.

Time to 100%: 2-3 hours
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56 of 85 people (66%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Interesting game. The concept is what got me interested but at the end of the day, it felt like a click fest with no discernable goal or end game to achieve.

Why am I trying to grow individual flowers? Is it for the seeds? So that next season I can plant one more flower?

If they added some scale to this game, like, every year you have a few more flowers to take care of simultaneously, and then eventually you're tending a garden or something, it might have held my interest.

Beyond that, all I did was click click click click click click click click click to get a flower grown and harvest my seeds. Kind of one dimensional I guess...

Cool concept, needs more end game. Thanks for teaching me about plants.
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A developer has responded on Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:54am
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2014
I enjoy plant games but there isn't a lot of replayability with this one. The game is short, there's a LOT of clicking involved, there's no storyline or anything. Even the achievements only took a couple hours to get.

I wouldn't buy it unless you have some sort of need to have every plant game available on Steam.
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30 of 49 people (61%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
On surface level the concept seems very interesting. For once, instead of killing monsters and shooting people, you get to grow a flower and spread new life! With multiple different flowers and an upgrade system you're bound to have many hours of fun here, right?

Well, sadly no. There doesn't seem to be any way to really strategize the growing of your flowers, since there's actually only one right way to grow all the flowers, which there are four visually different ones, but which play identically. Reach for the Sun really feels like a simple flash game made as a proof-of-concept or something similar. Play time is somewhere under an hour after which you have gained everything and done everything.

A shame really. With extended gameplay and more interesting mechanics the game could potentially be a unique little flower, but currently it is just over-priced run-of-the-mill flash game you could find on any website.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
A clickfest that has you reveling in satisfaction. The game consist of clicking different sections of your plant to collect resources, using your spare time to grow and increase the rate at which you can collect resources. Budding flowers or fruit and ultimately collecting seeds before winter stops you. The life of a plant is an intense one and I have a new understanding for green life. The gamplay lasts about 3 hours before you complete the main. Replay value imo is low. Don't let that discourage you from the beautiful game that is Reach for the Sun. 8/10
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 31, 2014
This is more like an 'educational' game but it is nice.It provides you various plants to grow with their different stages and things to make the game enjoyable,which it does.Actually,I would've been more happy if they didn't provided the knowledge,which OF COURSE everybody knows(like photosynthesis,chlorophyll),but still I skip those things and play it. SO,my experience with this game is good and yes I would recommend it.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
My four year old daughter loves this one, not 100% sure what the target demographic is but as far as four year old girls are concerned, nailed it!
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 20, 2014
I'm really glad they included Strategy Mode in a recent update, because while I'm not that fond of RTS clickfests, I had a good time with the turn-based mode. Not that long game, got all the achievments in less than 2 hours.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 19, 2014
I'm not sure how I feel in general about such adult content on Steam, but that certainly didn't stop me from buying Reach for the Sun. The idea is simple enough, grow your plants tall and firm, then make them seed. But don't let such simplicity fool you, there are several extremely attractive plant types to choose from, and if you play your cards right, you can make each plant seed up to four times! From the seductive Sunflower, to the intoxicating Prickly Pear, Reach for the Sun is sure to keep you coming back for more.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 8, 2014
A fun timekiller. I'd recommend this for anyone intersted in botany or gardening. It's a surprising thinker of a game, cute, and actually teaches you about how a flowering plant grows, if you pay attention.
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12 of 20 people (60%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
Cute game that tries to teach you a thing or two about flowers. And it works. But in the end it just feels like a clickfest, though. It doesn't entirely work as a game, but it's an original concept nevertheless.

[Rating: 70/100]
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A developer has responded on Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:39am
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2013
Hrm... I thought when it said 'Strategy' that there would be... um, strategy. There wasn't. It's another one of those how-fast-can-you-click-the-things games. I do not like.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
33.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 12, 2014
I've finished this game, so I feel it deserves a review. It has a lot of good points, but overall, I'm afraid I'm not going to recommend it. On the positive, the graphics are lovely and the concept is good. It has a nice sound track and is very relaxing -- it is great to have a game that has a calm, positive, non-destructive theme. Although the gameplay is simple, it is not off putting. The "normal" mode is a bit of a click-fest, but the "strategy" mode solves that and makes it playable. What the game lacks though is depth and challenge. There are only five plants (sunflower, toad lily, lilac, squash and prickly pear) and having more would be better. The upgrades are also somewhat limited. And the "hard" plants are still straighforward to play-and-complete, without requiring too much thought. As a result, it is pretty quick to get through all of it. A few other problems exist (no full-screen mode, difficult to get to the almanac, etc.) and although it talks about plant biology, it does go into much detail with it. If you like a peacful, simple game then maybe, but otherwise the lack of depth lets it down. So, not recommended, but it was a close call.
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