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Prune review: Helping trees grow

Prune is a puzzle game in which players

Prune is a puzzle game in which players nurture trees. Credit:


PLOT Give trees a chance.

DETAILS For iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, requires iOS 6.0 or later; $3.99

BOTTOM LINE This game really grows on you.

With swipes of the hand, players in the mobile game Prune trim or guide a tree around barren, light-starved atmospheres. The more precise the direction, the more flowers the trees will grow. Described as a "love letter" to nature, the art owes a debt to Japanese ink-wash paintings. As trees grow, they look as if they're being drawn to life amid bold and simple backgrounds. Branches can quickly become rather intricate, which is where the game becomes challenging. As trees grow fast, players have to sculpt faster. Trim one branch to let another one live -- or change the direction of growth -- but trim too much and the tree dies. There are obstacles. A red sphere, for instance, is dangerous. Don't let the tree grow into one or it will quickly become brittle and die.

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