Growing Up – Review
Follow Genre: Life simulator
Developer: Vile Monarch
Publisher: Vile Monarch
Platform: PC, Mac
Tested on: PC

Growing Up – Review

Site Score
Good: In-depth skill management, Great replay vallue
Bad: Game ends just as you turn 18
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The journey from birth to adulthood is a rather chaotic one; since this is the time of your life where most people are busy developing their skills and turning into the person they will be for most of their adulthood. During the teenage years, kids figure out who they want to be, and in Vile Monarch’s life-simulator Growing Up it is also your task as the player to decide. As a complex game with a lot of interacting elements, Growing Up takes us on a journey to experience what it’s like to, well… grow up.


As is often the case for life simulators, a large majority of the story is up to you. All your choices will matter and change your character’s life, and this includes who they befriend, what they do every day, what hobbies they enjoy, etc. The majority of the story is sprinkled into the gameplay in the form of short graphic novel cutscenes with relevant choices. There is also a longer cutscene at the end that summarizes what happened to your character as an adult.


Growing Up had the help of some big-time industry names to make it look good. This certainly paid off, as the character designs are wonderful. It’s especially great that characters you meet as a child will grow up alongside you, changing their appearance and fashion sense with age. The backgrounds look great too, and there’s a good variety of them, with the locations you unlock being dependent on multiple factors, so you’ll be discovering new places even after multiple playthroughs. While they’re pretty short, a special shout-out also needs to go to the little animations that play while your character is learning skills, since they’re absolutely adorable.


The game has a nice soundtrack with a lot of lowkey, relaxing music. This is mainly because they don’t want the soundtrack to get on your nerves after a while of playing, as the game itself is also paced very slowly. It’s the kind of music you could easily listen to for hours while completing a repetitive task. Some of the songs actually have lyrics and sound like they come straight from an indie-folk album, which was a pleasant surprise. The game does not have any voice acting.


Growing Up is a life simulator that follows your character from birth to adulthood, gradually adding gameplay elements and ramping up the difficulty as you play. This makes sense since life also tends to get more complex as you grow older. The game is divided into turns, making it easy to play as you will be going through the same actions each time before ending the turn and becoming a little older. Your most important goal is to learn skills, something you do by spending knowledge points to start learning them and then practicing them by putting them in your schedule. Once you master them, you get a significant bonus to your stats and unlock more skills to learn.

These stats themselves also determine what skills you have available to learn. Think of things like empathy, creativity, intelligence, etc. Learning skills and choosing hobbies will raise certain stats, but some also raise passively with time, and then there’s the brain map mini-game. This simple clicking game allows you to spend points on stats to raise, by clicking icons on a map, but since most of the map is concealed this adds an element of randomness as well. You might be trying to enhance a specific stat but end up with something different. Life is unpredictable like that.

Managing your time is another big factor in the game. As mentioned above, you will need to practice your skills if you want to get better at them. There’s only a limited amount of time in your day, however, so the game makes you decide what skills to practice and what skills to neglect. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so be sure to also get some entertainment. While it might not raise your skills, it will do wonders for your mental health. On the other hand, your parents will expect certain things from you as their child and if you ignore them and play around all day, they’ll quickly become disappointed. This means Growing Up challenges you to balance all these things at the same time. If you make your parents proud, you can get favors out of them, in the form of items, clothes, or even trips.

At the end of each major chapter of your school career, you have to complete an exam. This Bejeweled-like minigame becomes easier depending on how many skills you learned in the preceding segment, and helps determine your ending. In between all of these more gameplay-heavy segments are short graphic novel scenes where you meet people and more of the plot unfolds. Since a lot of elements in this game are randomly determined, the game stays fresh even after playing it multiple times.


Growing Up is a really fun and surprisingly in-depth game that lets you experience all the ups and downs of childhood. The blend of RNG elements and gameplay feels just right and the minigames are fun. While this game is a near-perfect experience, it’s only a bummer the game stops right as you get out of high school and are about to see all that hard work pay off. Then again, wondering what your character might be up to might also be one of the game’s charms.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Growing Up - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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