- Props to the devs for returning to correct issues with original game.
- Platforming mechanics are smooth
- Character animations
- Graphics style that at first is catchy, but gets old in bland areas
- Very shallow narrative
- Lack of sense of direction
Woodle Tree 2: deluxe is an enhanced edition of the sequel to the 2014 game, Woodle Tree Adventures. Developed by Fabio Ferrar and published by Chubby Pixel. It’s available for purchase now on Nintendo Switch and releases to Steam on 12/17/2019. The release price on Switch is $12.99 with no price listing as of now on Steam.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Woodle Tree franchise, it is, at heart, a simple platformer. It’s not over ladened with complicated trick jumps and overwhelming combat mechanics. It’s a straight-up platformer where your sole mission is to find and collect fairy tears from each level to restore power to your guardian trees. Now you might say wait a minute, didn’t they release the sequel to Woodle Tree already, in like 2016? You would be correct, they did. But fans had several issues with the game, including Camera Controls, wonky animations, lacking content, Bugs, and a lack of direction or any meaning. The newly released Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe Edition is an attempt at updating and revising the game, with some of those issues resolved.
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe Design and styling
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe has a simplistic design meant to be suitable for anyone’s tastes. Simple and bright colors make the game pop, and it does look quite lovely, at first. But then I found myself in areas where there wasn’t as much foliage or action on the screen. It started to all blend together. Since the design is all bright, nontextured surfaces, it felt entirely underwhelming in areas. Just giant sheets of one color with nothing to make them pop or stand out.
Main objective areas are dense and packed with monsters, foliage, and obstacles to avoid. It wasn’t until after I got out into the edges around the central area, I started to notice how much it blended. In a game that is all about open-world adventuring, it was a shame to see so many areas untouched from everything but maybe a few currency pieces to collect.
One thing I did want to mention is that in the original release of Woodle Tree 2, one of the chief complaints was the animations. They have seemed to address most of these concerns. The animations for the characters are vastly improved. The character animations are now smooth, and weird issues of animations not matching actions do not arise anymore.
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe Gameplay
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe is an open-world adventure where your goal is to visit each and collect the three hidden fairy tears. Along with fairy tears, you also collect hidden currencies along the way to purchase upgrades and outfits for your character. What Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe set out to do was create a vast open-world for you to explore without any restricted areas or walled off content. They succeeded in what they set out to accomplish, but unfortunately, the game suffers from this success. Aside from the into, there is almost no guidance. You’ll be left to explore as you see fit. While this can be a good thing, it felt like the game had no direction. You spend much time trying to determine precisely where to go next and tracking down that one thing you missed.
However, the actual platforming mechanics in the game are solid. All the usual suspects are here. Wall jumping, double jumping, triple jumping, swimming, moving platforms, everything you would expect from a fully fleshed out platformer. The only issue we had with the platforming mechanics was with the wall jumping. There is no hard reset on jump timers. That means you can walk up to a wall and spam jump to scale an entire verticle column. While it’s not game-breaking, we were able to use this technique to skip several platforming obstacles and cheapened the experience quite a bit.
Over Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe is a bit of a misfire, in our opinion. Yes, they did fix a ton of the issues users had with the original game. But, the core gameplay just felt lacking and a bit too open-ended to find enjoyable. While the open-world is an excellent concept, there still needs to be some cohesion within each region. Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe mainly felt like significant open areas with minimal areas of attention packed into them. If you stray from “the path,” which is a weird concept for an open-world game, you find the surrounding area is pretty barren and not worth exploring for a few currency pieces.
It seems they overreached by making it an open-world game. It would have suited the game to do the traditional level selection style of most platformers. While we can appreciate a company refreshing a title and revisiting it to make improvements, it feels like overall Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe just falls a bit short.
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