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Uproot Review – Flower Fantasy Falls Fairly Flat

Uproot game screenshot, Cliffside
Uproot Review – Flower Fantasy Falls Fairly Flat
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Platforms: Android, Windows PC, Steam

Game Name: Uproot

Publisher: Strongshell Software

Developer: Strongshell Software

Genre: Adventure

Release Date: November 4th, 2022

Uproot by Strongshell Software

Uproot starts off in a village inhabited by sentient mandrakes. The main character is a mandrake boy who wants to explore the dangerous world outside the village, so he does favors for his fellow villagers to gain a pass to leave. Once he does, he finds out about the nefarious Rat King who stole a purple flower that had grown onto his head.

Uproot game screenshot, Intro

Inventory Puzzles in Search of a Story

The narrative here is fairly straightforward. There isn’t much depth to it all. It all felt very basic – a string to pull to get from puzzle to puzzle. That’s a shame because the idea of controlling a mandrake in a weird fantasy world felt like it could have been more imaginative.

The gameplay consists of collecting items to interact with other NPCs or solve puzzles. It’s all familiar territory for the genre, but it’s clear that the puzzles are the main draw here. They aren’t very difficult or too complex. They rely on correct sequences most of the time.

I will say that each of them feels different from the others: using a machine to grow seeds in the correct order, for example, or using a different machine to create uniquely-shaped cast-iron molds. There are plenty of unique scenarios here to keep the three or so hours of Uproot interesting.

If you do manage to get stuck on a puzzle, the game also has an extremely helpful hint system that will straight-up tell you its solution. This is always a welcome feature for those who are stuck.

Uproot game screenshot, Flower Gif

Flowers Fall Flat

In a lot of ways, the game feels very-by-the numbers. Even the plot felt underwhelming. Early on, the boy’s mother mentions how his father disappeared one day when he ventured out. To my knowledge, there is no satisfying conclusion to that narrative thread. And the main villain is introduced without much development. It all seems a bit rushed. NPCs also lack unique charm.

The lack of charm extends to the game’s voice acting. It sounds like all the characters are voiced by AI. This isn’t inherently a problem, but everyone’s lines feel too robotic because of it. Some words are pronounced oddly, and syllables are strangely drawn out or cut short. It did take me out of the game a bit, but it was not a total deal-breaker. If the narrative was more of a focal point, this would have been a bigger problem for me.

Uproot game screenshot, Shop

The game utilizes a semi-paper cut-out look to everything. It gives off a children’s storybook vibe. There are some nicely detailed textures here and there. You can see the liquid in the potions at the wizard’s house as well as other tiny details here and there. Not all locations are detailed, but those that are were always a welcome sight.

I would say that the game’s strength lies in its puzzles. Everything else seems to take a back seat. It is a shame because although the puzzles themselves were engaging enough to keep me entertained, there wasn’t much else to latch onto. That being said, Uproot still offers a nice little point-and-click adventure with approachable puzzles to solve. If you dig the vibe and want a more casual adventure game, give this one a try.

Uproot is available via Steam and the Google Play Store.

Check out the official trailer for Uproot below:

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