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:
Mostly Positive (288 reviews) - 70% of the 288 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 6, 2013

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“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
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • OS: Windows
    • Processor: Modern Intel Core series or AMD Athlon processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people (83%) 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 17
This game does a decent job, on an extremely basic level, at showing how plants function. The goal is to grow the plant to its complete size and harvest all of the seeds before the growing season is over.

Overall, the plants are very similar in that they have predefined growth points. Sometimes you get the option to grow a flower instead of a node, but not often. The only thing that really differs between the plants other than the looks, seed production, and some other basic things is that each one generates and requires varying amount of resources to create more roots, notes, leaves, flowers, and fruit.

What is not very obvious at first is that this is less about learning about the plants and more of a resource-harvesting clicker game. In order to gain any of the resources to keep growing your plants, you have to click on each part that glows. If you don't click as soon as the glow appears, the amount you can gather goes down and will eventually be lost. As your plant gets larger, the clicking turns into a frenzy. Meanwhile, you're also trying to grow more by clicking on the growth points.

Once you have a flower, not only do you have to tell the flower to create pollen, but you have to manually drag a bee to the flower. This wastes valuable time that can be used to click for more resources. Before the garden is fully upgraded, you also have to worry about clicking on pests, pulling off blighted leaves, and warming up frost-bitten leaves.

Even with all of the clicking requirements, I was able to obtain all of the achievements and fully grow the prickly pear within 2 hours. I haven't played it in Strategy mode, but the growth model is the same. I can't really see any replay value. There is plenty of room for improvement, such as more types of plants, freeform growth instead of pre-defined points, sandbox mode (no season timer, etc), and more realism.

I'm recommending it because it was a pleasant little game that is a bit different from the few in its class. Due to the lack of replay and the really short playtime, my recommendation is only if it's on sale. I bought this as part of a weeklong deal at 75% off ($1.24). My general rule for no-replay casual games is $1/hr. The sale puts it in that realm.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
It's not what I was expecting, but it's not bad either !
It only took almost an hour to beat-- the rest of the time is waiting for the free trading card drops.
Easy to get achievements too~
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120 of 133 people (90%) 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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60 of 72 people (83%) 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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