Review – Woodle Tree Adventures
With the 3D platforming genre currently seeing a resurgence in popularity, thanks to phenomenal games like Super Mario Odyssey and A Hat in Time, it was only a matter of time before a few bad seeds showed up alongside the big contenders. Enter Woodle Tree Adventures, one of the blandest platformers I’ve seen in recent years.
The premise is simple: you’re a little sentient chunk of wood, and your objective is to save your land from drought by collecting three tears in each world. Worlds that include large amounts of waterfalls and geysers, which make me wonder if there’s even an actual drought going on in the first place. There are six worlds to explore, three tears to collect in each. Doesn’t seem like a difficult task, right? It shouldn’t have been, but it is, due to the game’s poor presentation and gameplay.
As you can see by the pictures in this article, the game isn’t a looker. Yes, the main character is cute, even if its personality is a bit wooden (pun only partially intended), but I can’t help but think the game looks like what a pre-alpha build of what a normal platformer would look like. Poor lighting, near deprivation of textures, bad shadows, put all of those factors together and you’ll get this, an extremely simplistic visual scheme for a 3D platformer. The overwhelmingly repetitive environments definitely don’t help, either, as you’ll constantly see large green and brown blocks everywhere, to the point of exhaustion. Oh, and there’s little to talk about regarding the soundtrack, as there’s one song in the main menu and a bit of noise here and there during the rest of the game.
The game plays as poorly as it looks, unfortunately. Woodle Tree Adventures features the worst control scheme and responsiveness I’ve seen in a platformer ever since the early days of the genre.
Where to even begin? Controlling your little walking stump is harder than it should be, as there’s a bit of an input lag in every single command. Your character only walks by default, even though you’re using an analog stick. In order to make your character run, you need to keep pressing the Y button, just like in the Nintendo DS version of Super Mario 64, where there wasn’t the option of an analog stick. The collision detection is extremely faulty so you’ll constantly fall off cliffs when jumping from a platform to another because the game won’t compute the proper collision between your feet and the floor.
Finally, and most importantly, the camera. Dear goodness, it’s terrible. How can this be possible? You have little to no control over the camera, as the only thing you can do is zoom in and out. Let me write this again: you have no control over your camera in a 3D platformer. To add insult to injury, the game features sections with small platforms and terrible angles. You can only imagine what happens when you add nonexistent camera controls to the mix. . .
Woodle Tree Adventures might be cheap, and it might feature one single charismatic protagonist, but there’s no way I can recommend this game to anyone. It’s poorly designed, resulting in an unnecessarily hard and frustrating experience, with one of the worst controls I’ve seen in a platformer in decades. If you’re truly desperate, completely craving for a new mediocre platformer, look at Macbat 64 instead. It’s as clunky, but a lot more enjoyable than this title.
Reviewed on Switch.
Also available on: PC.