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 (267 reviews) - 69% of the 267 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 6, 2013

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Buy Reach for the Sun


Recommended By Curators

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


“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.]”

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.


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

    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 150 MB available space
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
23 of 24 people (96%) 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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18 of 31 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
I liked the game , but i dont really know why !?! I got all achievements in 72minutes. The idea is simple: you are the plant and have to grow up. Anything else ? NO ! You can pick one of 5 plants (you have to unlock them) and you start with the good old sunflower. Tutorial is available, my game crashed first time. But somehow it was interesting to be the plant :D

Pros and cons:

+I liked it
+you learn something about indie games
+you learn the name of 5 plants and their look
+you learn chemical names from water , Co2 and "the sun"
-bad animation
-bad graphics
-you cant fullscreen
-its 4:3
-short playtime

Why i recommend this game ? I DONT KNOW !!! (But i loved it :3)

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
This is one of the educational games that you barely encounter, but it's still a game. In this game you grow a plant and your goal is to grow as many fruits as possible before winter arrives. You choose what parts to grow. There are some nasty bugs who you got to shoo off and there also is blight.

Now for the real deal. This game isn't that good actually. The player has little power over what the plant will grow up to be like. There isn't much strategy, you just get enough resources and then grow a part and then repeat. And gathering resources is based on your clicking speed. This all makes the game feel a bit boring. Maybe you can get an hour out of it (I may or may not have idled most of the time I've played it) and after that you'll find out it's boring. Would be a lot more awesome if you determine what the plant will be like.

Lil' Sucky Gameplay to go with the review.
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86 of 97 people (89%) 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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