Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+ is an updated version of Woodle Tree 2. You play as a protector log effectively. Some black monsters have come in and stolen the water for all the great guardians, which has caused all but one of them to effectively petrify. It’s up to you to go out and find the three water drops for each tree to bring the guardians back to life.
The theft of these water drops happens every so often, and will continue to happen every so often, as stated by their history. I’m not going to sit and harp on how stupid these things are for not like building towers, domes, shrines, really anything type of building that has walls and a ceiling, around these water drops to prevent them from being stolen, but it’s pretty fucking stupid. That being said, it’s a children’s game so whatever, I can deal with this, kids’ aren’t going to think about this shit… probably. That’s really all the story there is though, you need to go out and claim all the water drops again to revive the guardian tress, also you need to wake up twelve guardian flowers, and some other miscellaneous things for the townsfolk.
Notice I’ve been avoiding saying people; you’re a log who will become a guardian tree like all the previous great protectors before you that did THIS EXACT SAME FUCKING THING. It’s happened like seven or so times and they still haven’t thought to maybe make a building without any doors around these fucking water drops. Some of the townsfolk are acorns, some are chopped logs, some trees, a dandelion (I only found the one), and some other critters. It’s very child friendly concept, and when I say that I mean very, very young child. Everything is bright and colorful; it’s all in basic geometric shapes, mostly squares and rectangles. The only weird part of this for me is that logs still live inside trees… not the guardian trees but other big fat trees. Why are some trees sentient but others aren’t? That’s just weird to me and it makes me, as an adult, slightly uncomfortable. Kind of like the concept of Goofy and Pluto, it’s just awkward as hell, and I don’t like it.
This game has some very basic combat, the black things will come up and touch you like goombas, and you’d be damaged which is shown by your leaf weapon getting smaller, if you hang back a bit it’ll poof right up to full size again. There are other, enemies I guess we’ll call them; that the game refers to as natural creatures. Some of these seem to be wild animals like rams, while others are seemingly citizens of the world like mushrooms. You can tell who is and isn’t an enemy on a couple things, if they’re black, they’re bad guys (so much for being woke, I guess), and if they have purple on them, they’re natural enemies. You have a three hit combo you can do with your leaf, and you can also just hold the attack button down and it’ll let you fling out a ball of air for a ranged attack, that’s it, it’s pretty basic.
Most of this game doesn’t deal with combat though, it deals with fucking platforming, and that’s not an exciting fucking. The game has moments where it’s really fun to platform just seeing how high up you can get and figuring out how to get higher, cause I mean… why not? Other times though… just… no, in every way, just no. Remember when I said this was an upgraded version of the original? Well supposedly it made the camera much better, which is frightening. There are times where the game requires you to jump from platforms that move in and out of the world, but they do it together instead of one at a time or alternating, requiring you have to move fast. The problem is that they aren’t always on the same plane. This means that, to make some jumps you really should change the angle the camera is showing things, but you can’t do that, and jump at the speed the game wants you to. This means you’re going to miss a jump and start from scratch over and fucking over again. There’s also wall jumping, the problem is they don’t change the game to 2D in sections where you have to do it a lot. This means you’re likely to pull the analogue forward or backward a little too much and end up jumping in front or behind a wall instead of onto it to continue the wall jumping, and then bam, back to fucking square one AGAIN. Shit like that does not amuse me, it isn’t fun. I don’t care if you’re five or fifty, that is annoying as hell.
The environments are both interesting and boring at the same time. The world is split up into parts effectively; you have a deserty area, snowy area, foresty area, etc. Each section of the map has a unique look to it, and it’s all very open to look around in, however, outside of the main areas in each section, there is nothingness, it’s a boring bland thing without any life. You have to find blueberries of which there’s something like nine hundred or something of that nature, I honestly forget the number, eighty of them are in each main area, then there’s a ton that are out in the wasteland that is everywhere that isn’t a main area. As stated, those areas are open but filled with a lot of fucking nothing. It’s just not really all that fun, there’s no enemies really, there’s red berries to collect to buy things, and sometimes you’ll find some blue ones for your collection. Oh, and most of those flowers you need to find? Yeah, they’re in the bumfuck nowhere areas too, and this is a fairly sizable map. If it had more stuff in it, it’d be much more interesting.
The first part of the game requires you to very stringently traverse the path the game tells you to follow, by having wood planks with arrows showing the way. The problem with this is that those things are all over the bloody place, including areas that you’re not actually supposed to be going to. So you understand the gist of where you’re supposed to go. But, if you’re like me, and you’re curious, you can go a lot of places and find lots of these arrows, but the game just redirects you saying nope, you need to go the right way, not this way. The problem is the first area is really big, and it was so big, that I honestly had trouble finding my way back to where I was supposed to go after a while of looking around. The environments aren’t just wide, there’s a LOT of verticality to the game which makes the maps even larger than they seem. That being said, the verticality is honestly pretty fun, as mentioned I liked seeing how high I could climb crap in the game, and the answer is, to the top. However, that first mission became an annoyance cause I just wanted to look around, and sometimes it would cut me off and turn me around forcefully, which I guess is a good thing so you can be told how to play the game, but even then, following that path there were routes to other places you weren’t supposed to go. Once you get out of the plaza, which is the place you start at, it doesn’t really tell you where to go, but you can still only go in one direction, which was annoying.
Overall, there were some highs [EDITOR’S NOTE: Highs? Verticality? BOO!] with the game, I love the verticality of the game, the simple combat is great for kids, everything is bright and colorful, and there’s a lot of weird looking living things in the world. Cartoons have shown me that a princess can be made of gum and kids love it, so acorns that are alive should be loved too, I guess. Lastly, the dev CARES about the game, there is a Woodle Tree 2, this is Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+ because the dev fixed issues with the original, and this is a large game, a lot of work. That’s something to be spoken of, regardless of how I feel about this specific game. It’s nice to see a dev that cares and fixes and adds a lot to the game. However, there were a lot more lows, and they were far more annoying than the highs were fun. From giant areas filled with nothing, to the extreme timing needed for some platforming, to a poor camera with this being the IMPROVED camera (I shudder to think how bad the old one was), to the pain in the ass way it handled falling, which is going to happen a lot. Just the game got annoying because of the tedium and the handling of the camera. I think some of the platforming issues could be solved by making some sections just straight up 2D, which is especially true in areas where you HAVE to wall jump. That all being said, this is still for kids, and thinking back on it, Mario had some serious bullshit levels, but we kept smashing our heads into those walls, so maybe kids wouldn’t mind the things that really turned me off to this, I… don’t know. I don’t understand kids anymore.
Point of Sale: Steam
A review copy of the game was provided by the developer.
darkmikasonfire does not award Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+ the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.