Thirty years ago, I sat in a dark theater with a bucket of popcorn, a bag of Reese’s Pieces and a soda that was bigger than my head. I giggled at the bug-eyed alien on the screen, screamed with fright at the invasion of the Federal agents, and cried when E.T. left Elliot behind to go back to his home world. Like others from my generation, “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” was one of the most important movies of our lives. Three decades later, the adventure lives on with Chillingo’s newest simulation game, E.T. The Green Planet.
Players are whisked away to E.T.’s home world of The Green Planet where they help the friendly alien to plant, grow and nurture exotic plants. Based on simulation gameplay, you will be tending to Monshoo, breeding Beeperbeans, and harvesting Mud Fountains until E.T.’s world is full of life.
To start, players must clear away debris, lay down soil, plant seeds, and build Nutrient Beds. The Nutrient Beds produce nutrients that players use to “buy” more items for the garden.
Once you’ve added plenty of plants to the Nutrient Beds, they will begin producing enough nutrients to sustain you on your growing journey. At some point, you’ll need to add an Antum Tandana to your garden. This will produce energy. Energy is used to breed new hybrid plants.
Players also use Healing Touches to speed up some processes and buy exotic plants. Healing Touches don’t appear very often, so use them sparingly.
Later, you’ll unlock space travel items, like a Robot Gourd and the Xrus-One spaceship. These items help E.T. collect artifacts that are from Earth and eventually build a communicator so that he can talk to his old friends on the Big Blue Marble.
You can also visit other gardens to plant Parrot Plants and ripen Mud Fountains for your neighbors. These friendly activities generate a lot of experience points and nutrient rewards for you, so visit often. Players can’t ripen their own Mud Fountain, so be sure to do so whenever you visit another garden. These plants give Healing Touches, so they are very useful.
This is a freemium game. Players can buy nutrients, energy and Healing Touches through in-app purchases to help them in their garden. Like most freemium games, things start costing a lot fairly quickly. For example, to tend to a “Lota” plant only costs 50 nutrients. However, to care for a particular type of hybrid costs 9,600 nutrients.
With patience, you can grow plants that produce large quantities of nutrients. However, you’ll only be able to play for a few minutes at a time and then come back to the game hours later.
If you don’t mind spending the money, you’ll get farther faster. If you want to hold onto your pennies, the game can get frustrating for the impatient.
What I liked: When you can’t perform a task for some reason, you’ll hear E.T. quietly say, “No.” Its pretty cute.
What I didn’t like: Sometimes, the game doesn’t respond well to touch. I had to tap plants multiple times in order to select them.
To buy or not to buy: The game is free and worth the download if you like simulation freemium games. No, it is not old-school Atari 2600 gaming, but it is fun, nonetheless.
- Name: E.T. The Green Planet
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Games
- Developer: Chillingo
- Price: Free