Review – Woven

We’ve seen a surge in games featuring arts and crafts visuals over the past few years. This is partially because of Sony’s LittleBigPlanet, but mostly due to Nintendo’s decision to release a ton of Yoshi and Kirby games with this art style. Between Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Wooly World, Link’s Awakening, and Yoshi’s Crafted World, it was only a matter of time until an indie developer decided to give a shot. Woven is this kind of game.


My pig is sponsored by Burberry.

At first glance, Woven might look like a nod to 3D platformers of the past, as its visual style is a mixture of Rare’s iconic “animals with googly eyes” charm coupled with wool, yarn, and other materials your grandma loves. I discovered this wasn’t the case right from the moment when I noticed I was playing as a torn-down elephant with a limp who couldn’t jump. Woven is more of a puzzle-adventure hybrid than anything else.

The gameplay revolves around controlling Stuffy, a wooly creature that starts off as a little elephant, but can be turned into other kinds of animals. It also has a firefly companion. The main loop revolves around looking for machines that can grant you new transformations that let you get past new obstacles. Sometimes you’ll need rabbit legs that can grant you the power of jumping, other times you’ll need the strength of what I can only assume is a tapir in order to push “boulders” and logs. It’s a simple loop of finding an obstacle, looking for a solution, and getting past that obstacle with your newly acquired ability. There is also a small Guitar Hero-esque puzzle that you must play whenever you find a new blueprint. Don’t you worry, it’s pretty easy to complete them.


What the hell is this supposed to be? A tapir? An anteater?

Woven is very rough around the edges, as the gameplay loop is too simple and repetitive. There is absolutely no way you can fail in here, so all you need to do is figure out what to do and move on, or not even that, as your firefly buddy will basically hold your hand throughout the entire time. This is best suited for small kids, as not only this game is stupidly easy, but they’ll be the only ones who will appreciate the two best things about Woven: the visuals and the sound design.

It’s easy to notice that Woven is gorgeous and charming to the point you get dominated by cute aggression. Stuffy is so cute you just want to punch it. The sound design is also a highlight. Although the soundtrack isn’t exactly that memorable (it’s just there), the entire game is narrated in poetry. Someone spent a LOT of time writing an entire Iliad‘s worth of verses and rhymes that sound just too adorable to be true, as they make the entire game sound like a tale written by Dr. Seuss. Once again, the little ones are the ones who’ll appreciate this the most, without a doubt.


Someone put a lot of effort into the game’s poem-style narration, and for that I thank you, mysterious hero.

Woven is a game that’s… just there. It’s well-crafted, it’s adorable, it’s got a ridiculous amount of charm, and it can please you for an hour or two, but after it’s over, that’s it. It’s a game best suited for smaller audiences, as some kind of introduction to the world of puzzlers and adventures. It’s very easy, it holds your hand throughout the entire playthrough, but it slowly rewards you with skins and rhymes that will most certainly appeal to the younger crowd.


Graphics: 8.5

Simply put: Woven is adorable. It perfectly mixes the Rare style of big-eyed anthropomorphic animals with an arts & craft style, reminiscent of the most recent Yoshi games.

Gameplay: 5.5

While the gameplay is functional, the game as a whole is devoid of challenge, variety, and most importantly, there are tons of collision detection issues that really irritated me.

Sound: 7.5

The serene soundtrack is cute, but definitely not memorable. You’re here for the poetry, as the entire game is narrated like in a Dr. Seuss book.

Fun Factor: 6.5

Woven‘s gameplay loop makes the experience a bit too repetitive, but the fact you’re constantly rewarded with new patterns, rhymes, and cute visuals makes it a game worth enjoying in short bursts.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Woven is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of Woven was provided by the publisher.