Mario, Croc, Spyro, the juggernauts of open world, 3D platforming… The true pioneers of a golden age of exploring a world without limits of dimensions… We’ve come a long way since the heady days of Mario 64, and can now experience the true delight of an open-world platformer like Odyssey. However, not all open-world platformers are created equal, so will Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe (don’t forget the “deluxe”) stand tall with the Titans of its peers, or smack its face against another wall and fall into the “forgotten” bin?
If you enjoy fetch quests, and getting lost in worlds, you’re going to love Woodle Tree 2. You play as a plucky little log called Woodle, who was happily spending their time having tea with the local fox? Shiba? Hard to tell, anyway, you’re having a lovely time with your friend, when suddenly a spikey Chewit appears at your door, shouting something about the Sage Protectors and how Woodle must come quickly.
Fine, I was out of tea anyway.
Upon presenting yourself to a large, moustachioed tree you learn that once again the Sages have lost their Water Tears to a mysterious menace, and it’s up to you to retrieve them! Equipped with your trusty leaf, and your abundance of courage you follow your path to glory.
The first area, level, whichever you wish to refer to it, is a simple tutorial level, teaching you the basics of double jump, float, and attack that will be your primary interactions within the world, once you’ve been guided through and locate the precious Water Tears from this area, you are transported to your home village, to see how your actions have helped the cause.
Over the next few hours, you shall explore a total of eight different areas, each with their own unique style and challenges. Sticking with the typical tropes of platforming, you shall face arid deserts, freezing ice world, dark rock caves, and more. Each will feature their own unique enemies, along with versions of them before, which come with their own challenges. These are nothing more than rank and file antagonists, working with the “Mysterious Menace” to thwart your quest, and most can be avoided with relative ease.
Once you have guided Woodle around the world, and have succeeded in your quest to restore the Water Tears to the eight Sage Protectors, we learn that one final challenge must be faced before true harmony is restored to the Woodle Lands. With a hearty “We believe in you!” Woodle is taking below to face his final foe. A brief stint of standard puzzle platforming later, with maybe the occasional trip back upstairs because some little git snuck up on you, you return triumphant and true peace is brought to the land.
It’s a pretty standard platform story, but is a nice change from rescuing princesses…
Overall, the player experience of Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe is an enjoyable one. You quickly become entranced by the assault of colour, and find yourself peaking around every corner to see what’s there. However, it’s not without its faults… The biggest gripe I have is with how the camera is controlled. Most of the time, it’s nicely placed behind Woodle, just where you need it, maybe with a little sway left and right to adjust. Then without warning it’s suddenly in a fixed position, leaving you with a viewpoint that is often not quite right, and frustrating to try and work with. Other times, elements that are mostly just for decoration, will find themselves front and centre, stopping you from seeing the challenge ahead, and this is often whilst on a slippery surface, where you find yourself careening to your doom…
It’s not just Water Tears that Woodle has in his sights, there’s also red and blue berries dotted around the world to collect. Red berries are in abundance compared to blue berries, of which there are 80 per area, and the more you obtain, the more items you can spend them on. Some items are simply cosmetic, a new mask or hat, and mostly bought with the reds. The blues are often used for items which boost your existing abilities or enable you to interact with specific items in the game world.
As I have mentioned before, Woodle Tree 2, Deluxe, is an assault on the ocular senses… It’s bright, bold, brash, and any other synonym beginning with “B”. Looks wise, it’s fairly basic. It’s not ground-breaking in graphical fidelity, but what it lacks in polish, it more than makes up with “cute”. Reminiscent of early Adventure Time, the characters dotted around the world add a little bit extra, and a little bit of life to what is, unfortunately, often barren areas. It feels like some areas were either rushed, or forgotten about, as some areas are lacking in environmental oomph… The woodland areas, or the caves, and even the ice areas have lots of interesting areas, making you want to explore. Whereas others, are lacking in such care and attention. I also suffered with some major graphical bugs, where entire areas of the map were missing, making it impossible for me to access without falling through the map, and a lot of texture clipping of some elements within the world. I’m hoping this was a one-time “glitch”, but it’s hard to tell…
Now, despite some issues, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe. Sure, it was incredibly easy to lose the main path guiding you to the next Water Tear, and making you teleport back to an area you think you need to be, and waste a lot of time trying to back track. It wasn’t entirely wasted time as it allowed me to explore the area, enjoy some of the cute characters, and find some of those elusive blue berries to help better my abilities.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable jaunt, which isn’t going to break the bank, Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe from Chubby Pixel is a great option. If you’re had enough of Mario and Cappy, or Spyro and his fire, or want to introduce a young one to 3D platforming without too much risk, this is a worthy option.
Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe
- Fun introduction to puzzle platformingFun introduction to puzzle platforming
- Collectables and unloackables keep you exploring
- Bright and inviting areas make you want to stay and exploreSome areas are barren and feel forgotten about
- Some areas are barren and feel forgotten about
- Occaisonal graphical bugs ruined my experience
- Frustrating camera positioning at times