Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe Review


A download code for Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe was provided by Chubby Pixel for review.

Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe is the second Woodle Tree game to come to the Nintendo Switch. I haven’t played the first game in the series, so I’ll be unable to make comparisons. Actually, it’s been quite awhile (nearly two years) since I’ve played a 3D platformer with Super Mario Odyssey holding hat honour. Now, anybody that has watched the trailer for this game knows they shouldn’t expect a game of Odyssey quality. That being said, Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe is a cute, charming platformer that was more fun than I expected. It’s not without its flaws, though its joys do outweigh its cons. With that introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe.

Surprisingly Fun 3D platforming

I didn’t know much about Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe before playing the game. Well, I watched a few small clips on Twitter, and the game’s trailer, so I had an idea of how the game would play. What I didn’t expect was just how much fun the main character would be to control. You play as Woodle, an adorable, animated tree that can run, jump, and attack enemies with a leaf. When Woodle isn’t using the leaf to bash enemies, it can be used to float through the air.


Your main objective is to scour the world and recover three Water Tears from each of the game’s eight levels. You will have to use all of Woodle’s abilities to obtain these Water Tears. Most are at the end of tricky platforming trials. During these trials you’ll be double jumping, and using the float power to reach and/or land comfortably on small platforms. Other Water Tears are locked behind a bubble that only goes away after defeating the enemies in the immediate area. The majority of the game’s Water Tears can be found by following the main path, however, a few are well hidden and require a little exploration to be found.

A Pleasant Open World Structure

Open world games are incredibly popular, so it’s easy to see why any developer would want to include that structure in their world design. I had low expectations for the open world structure of Woodle Tree, but soon discovered that the game does a pretty good job of implementing the concept. You are forced to complete the tutorial and the first level, but after doing so, you are free to complete the game as you see fit; I actually completed levels 7 and 8 before finding level 2. As far as I could tell, you are free to collect Water Tears in any order you wish, as well. The world is fairly large, so backtracking on foot would get tiresome. Luckily, there are checkpoints scattered throughout the world that serve as a means of fast travel.

Enemies are Disappointing

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Woodle Tree 2 are its enemies. Their designs are not only uninspired, but they don’t actually do a whole lot either. Only one of the game’s enemies actually seems to attack you, while the others just follow a set path, or chase after you in the hopes you run into them. You can only get hit twice before you die, however, your "health" regenerates fast, so enemies only serve as a minor annoyance. A couple smacks with your leaf will do the trick every time. My last disappointment here is that there aren’t any real boss battles in the game.

A Ton of Content

While the enemies may disappoint, the amount of content in the game certainly does not. Aside from the game’s Water Tears, there are red berries and blueberries to be collected. Red berries are found in abundance around the map, however, there are a set number of blueberries to be collected in each level. Red berries are mostly used to buy new equipment such as masks, hats, and new leaves for Woodle. You’ll be spending most of your blueberries to get new abilities for Woodle with my personal favourite being the ability to use your leaf as a means to surf across the ground. There are also rare collectibles sprinkled around the map. These collectibles can be displayed in Woodle’s home found in the main plaza. If collecting isn’t your thing, the game also offers co-op multiplayer with up to four friends. I didn’t get to test this with another player, however, it does alter the camera so everybody can be seen, and anybody that steps outside the boundary will be automatically warped back to Woodle.




Colourful Graphics Lack Refinement

This game is incredibly colourful, and I adore Woodle’s design, however, the game will catch some criticism for its graphics. Everything does share a fairly generic design, however, the use of colour is great, and there is a consistent feel throughout. There are some issues with draw distance, which can also be seen in AAA Switch games, but it’s much more apparent here. On the plus side, the game’s camera is quite good and can be adjusted should you need a different angle for platforming. The lack of refinement also rears its head in the occasional bugs and frame drops, however, the developer is releasing a patch that will hopefully fix some of these issues. Despite some technical issues, I have a mixed opinion concerning the game’s graphics, so I’ll be taking a neutral stance here.

A Fitting and Relaxing Soundtrack

The last element I’d like to touch on is the game’s soundtrack. While this likely won’t be remembered as a classic video game soundtrack, I did enjoy it quite a bit. This was mostly because of its relaxing nature, but it is also a great fit for the type of game. The soundtrack really does a good job of bringing out the joyful aspects of Woodle’s world.

Conclusion

Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe surprised me quite a bit. The game does have noticeable flaws, some of which are promised to be fixed upon a patch, but the main character is fun to control and the platforming is actually decent. It isn’t the next Super Mario Odyssey, so I won’t pretend that it is, but there is some fun to be found here; approximately 8 hours of fun because that's how long it took me to finish the game. This game will likely appeal more to kids, and the co-op mode would be perfect for families that want to play together. If you want to play a cute platformer, then maybe this is your next purchase.

Final Score: +3

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