Version 1.2 Out Now!Strategy mode is now available on the plant selection screenThis 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 (279 reviews) - 69% of the 279 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 6, 2013

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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
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2015
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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1xk_0iqfEw
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
Really cute but no replay value in the main mode. Obviously catered towards a younger audience. Buy on sale, it's not worth the full price.
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101 of 113 people (89%) found this review helpful
3 people 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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59 of 70 people (84%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
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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36 of 42 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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