Title: Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe
Developer: Fabio Ferrara
Genre: Platformer, Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 25/07/19
Price: £11.69 – Rapid Reviews were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe came out for Steam a few years ago and builds upon the original Woodle Tree Adventures from the ground up; everything about this sequel is a lot more polished and gives you a hell of a lot more freedom than the original.
This time around the kingdom is being overrun by sinister black slime that is threatening the inhabitants that live there and the surrounding nature. You play as a very familiar, but not the same, woodland hero as you try and recover the 8 sages and bring peace back to the land. If you haven’t played the original, and there’s a high chance you may not have, then the gameplay and general mechanics are pretty similar to the first. But with one welcome addition. You can now run!
When you start your adventure, you’ll be taken through a short tutorial section, which is mandatory. However, once you’ve completed that part you’re pretty much free to roam anywhere you like; tackling the games huge expanse any which way you see fit. There are a lot more collectables in the sequel as well, and red apples become more like your traditional gold coins in the Mario series helping you to purchase upgrades to your arsenal and cosmetic additions. There are a specific amount of blue fruits to collect across the overworld area and each of the in-game worlds, and you can keep track of this via the pause menu. Finding them all will take a while if you like grabbing a 100% completion rate.
The platforming elements are a lot more fluid than the first game, and you can tell the developer may have had a slightly larger budget for this one as the graphics have been improved. No more jagged edges, smoother character control and a couple of new abilities. One of those being able to glide using your leaf and carry water to help the thirsty foliage.
The game is genuinely a big leap on from the original. That being said, it’s not without its flaws. You’ll notice that when looking across the distance, the environment becomes somewhat plain, and there are definite frame rate issues when loading between different areas. Everything appears in front of you and then vanishes at the same rate. While getting through every single area, collecting all the blue fruits, unlocking all of the masks and upgrade abilities and restoring all of the sages will take you many hours to finish there is still something that feels a little uninspired to me. The landscape isn’t particularly groundbreaking, and it was much better playing in shorter bursts. But towards the back half of the game, it did feel more like a chore reaching the end.
There’s plenty of reason to jump back into Woodle Tree 2 should you wish to get that 100% completion rate as I said previously. So there’s a lot of replayability, and it’s unlikely you’ll find every blue fruit the first time around. I was usually around 10-12 short each time! What’s great is that you can choose to do each section in any order. So you can do World 1, then move straight to World 7 if you so wish. The music is something that you won’t pay much attention to, and sometimes it tends to stop for no reason and then start again, which makes it feel a little clunky.
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe is a nice little platforming adventure, it improves upon the original in almost every way, but that is not without its flaws. There are frame rate issues, and the environment is somewhat lacklustre offering nothing inventive or new to fans of the genre. The addition of local multiplayer in the main adventure is a welcome one and does give the game somewhat more appeal. You’ll be collecting all the game has to offer for a good 7-8 hours or so if you’re up for it. It’s a middle of the road platformer which just misses the boat for being an essential title for me but by no means an awful one.