It’s weird to think that gardening simulators are actually fairly common on mobile devices these days. It makes a weird sort of sense when you think about it: caring for virtual plants is cheaper and easier, takes up a lot less physical space, and can usually be done wherever and whenever. Plus you can go on vacation and not worry about watering anything. Viridi is one such simulator, with a narrowed focus on succulents.
Getting started is just a matter of selecting a pot and a starting assortment of plants. After that you’ll be presented with your chosen bowl of dirt and a few seedlings that are poking through to the surface. And then you wait. And wait. And wait some more. There’s a lot of waiting, is what I’m trying to say.
Pretty much all of Viridi is waiting. The plants grow in real time, according to the description, and I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate but it sure seems like it. For me it took over a week before things started to look like the preview I was shown during setup. I did have to check in on them from time to time in order to make sure they were properly watered and to pluck the occasional weed, but yeah, lots of waiting.
Additional plants can be bought from the Nursery using real money if you want to customize your arrangement a bit further, and you can also purchase extra space so that you can grow more than one pot at a time. Again, if you want. It’s not necessary, though. In fact, if you’re patient you’ll get one free seedling from the Nursery every week. And let’s be honest, if you’re willing to wait a week or more to watch virtual plants grow you’re probably patient enough to wait for freebies.
What’s weird is that I keep finding myself coming back to Virdi every day. There’s a sort of tranquility to popping in for a minute in order to make sure everything’s doing well. It’s also rather nice how the app “freezes” plant sizes while you’re away, then speeds everything up once you visit your pot again, so that you can see all the growth that took place over however many hours or days in just a second or two. It’s kind of silly, and incredibly unrealistic, but it also provides an odd sense of accomplishment to see how much everything has grown.
Unfortunately there’s not much else to Viridi. You can plant new seedlings, move existing plants around, transfer plants to “the garden” (i.e. remove them to make room for new ones), pull out weeds, and give thirsty plants a quick spray of water. Aside from that, it’s just waiting. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. It’s like watching plants grow or something.
It’s a bit of a stretch (okay, a lot of a stretch) to call Viridi “fun” or even “entertaining.” There’s a whole lot of downtime, and even when you are interacting with the app there isn’t much to do. However, while it’s not necessarily compelling there is a quiet sense of satisfaction to be had with it. Seeing these plants mature, even with very little involvement, still feels like something of an accomplishment.