Woodle Tree 2
Developer: Chubby Pixel
Publisher: Chubby Pixel
Genre: Adventure, Platformer
Platform: Xbox One,
Age Rating: E (Everyone) / PEGI 3
Release Date: April 17th, 2020
Price: $12.99 / € 12.99/ £11.69
A code was provided for review purposes.
Woodle Tree is a kid-friendly adventure platformer series developed by Chubby Pixel. The original entry has seen its release on an array of platforms over the years, now followed by Woodle Tree 2. As one would expect, the new release is very similar to its predecessor with some changes and adjustments, along with a new story again focused on Woodle saving the Wood Lands from the encompassing evil black-matter.
As mentioned before, this game is an adventure platformer with a tiny bit of role-playing game sprinkled in. One could say there is clearly some inspiration from games like the Legend of Zelda and old-school Mario titles, along with some hints of Adventure Time and Banjo Kazooie. Taking place in one larger world, there are a handful of sections to this world in a dungeon-style fashion, each with their own unique terrain, enemies, and challenges.
The goal is to collect the three lost water drops from each area of the world in order to bring life back to Wood Lands. It is certainly overwhelming that this all takes place in one large world with no strong sense of direction after the tutorial. The game easily could have benefited from some invisible walls to help guide the player within each section’s parameters.
Additionally, the player can snatch up the red and blue berries scattered throughout to use as currency. You can then purchase cosmetic items or upgrades to Woodle and his equipment. It’s fairly straightforward and easy to understand, and the game does a good job of teaching the player how to properly approach the adventure as a whole (such as controls, objectives, and so forth).
There were a few positive elements from Woodle Tree that stuck through to the second entry. The level designs are complex and colourful, yet endearing and soft. The charming characters found throughout the game are always a pleasure to encounter. Even the enemies can be easy on the eyes visually. The game is just challenging enough without being too difficult (from an adult player’s point of view) and without being too punishing. Lastly, the soundtrack is a perfect match for the atmosphere of the game, it fits just right.
Along with the positive elements come the negative ones. Some lingering issues didn’t seem to get ironed out in the transition from game one to two. The camera angles in the first entry were absolutely atrocious, and while they were cleaned up just a tiny bit, they can still be terribly inconvenient, especially in really tight spots. The controls are not one-hundred percent on point, with an overall lack of responsiveness that is necessary for a platformer. There are some bugs and glitches scattered throughout (and no, that doesn’t mean the bumblebees), ranging from getting stuck in the map to certain checkpoints not triggering properly. Oh, and the hitboxes can be awkwardly off too, which often leads to unintended damage taken. They are all small to moderate issues with the game, but piled together will make this release frustrating. Especially for those players in the game’s target demographic.
On its own, Woodle Tree 2 is a game best labelled as, fine. It has its shining moments but is held back by a bunch of issues that could and should be fixed. It’s the type of game that will be fun one minute and a turn-off the next, with a fair amount of dull monotony in between. Sure, get it for the kids, but this one won’t leaf (ba dun shh) much of an impression in the long run.