Viridi Review
7.9our score

There are things in my life that probably don’t get me invited to parties - it’s fair to say my love of gardening is one of them. It’s a passion I can’t make the most of though, with no garden and a travel pattern ill-suited for friends who need regular watering. So my energy goes into succulents, who politely don’t hold either of those things against me. My most beloved companion in fact is a Christmas cactus, who waits weeks to see me without complaint. Its continued survival is a background hum of comfort to me.

Viridi, the newly released plant care app, seems to understand where I’m coming from. This pocket sized, potted offering of joy provides us with the chance to watch a handful of succulents grow in real time.

No, stop, don’t leave yet…

Look, I get it, watching plants grow might not be your idea of a wild time. It’s easy to brush off as a cute but meaningless experience, but Viridi fits into your day in a surprisingly rewarding manner. Sure, it doesn’t ask a lot of you - pick a pot, pluck out errant grass, offer the occasional spritz of water – but it provides a moment of calm not unlike a meditation session or a mindfulness exercise.

Creating a garden takes patience: picking your seedlings from the store options (one is free each week, but the rest can be purchased for pennies), rearranging them as they grow to utilise your space. Not much happens overnight, but sticking with it awakened an oddly caring instinct in me. I’m compelled to check on my precious pot regularly. I was thrilled to discover that if you move in close enough to your plant, after a moment you’ll coo a gentle lullaby to it. I named every single one of them, even the snail that patrols the rim of the pot. The act of lovingly tending to their needs was an exchange; in payment I got a regular dose of calm, tender pride whenever I needed it.

Capture

That’s not to say there aren’t moments of irritation. If you leave the app open as a companion then the music becomes too much pretty fast. Plants can die, if you leave them without water long enough (or over-water them in a bout of misled kindness). If you’re hoping to populate your pot purely with free seedlings, you’ll be waiting an awfully long time. None of that took away from my need to nurture something into life, though. Viridi made me the overseer of a digital oasis, and then asked very little of me in return. I can’t promise it will be a rollercoaster of adventure and emotion, but I do recommend taking advantage of Viridi’s tranquillity when you can.

If you need me, I’ll be singing softly to my Sempervivum.

Pros:

  • Stylish pastel art
  • Simple mechanics and low maintenance for high reward
  • Plant based inner peace
Cons:

  • Sound quickly became intrusive
  • A pot full of dead plants and sadness if you go away for too long

 

You can read more about Viridi on Ice Water Games’ website. The app is available through Steam, with plans to release the app on Android and iOS soon.

System Requirements

Windows Minimum:
OS: Windows XP
Processor: 2.0 GHZ
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Must support shader model 2.0
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Drive: 200 MB available space

Mac OS X Minimum:
OS: 10.6+
Processor: 2.0 GHZ
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: Must support shader model 2.0
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 200 MB available space

the author

Thryn is a multimedia designer who loves unique artwork, strong narrative and teamwork. Also huge quantities of fancy tea. Find her on twitter @Thairyn