Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+ is a simple 3D platformer where you play as Woodle, a little wood guy who needs to save the Wood Lands from an evil force. The Wood Lands was a nice place until the black blob creatures attacked! They stole the watery tears of life which caused the elder trees to turn to stone! It is up to our hero, Woodle, to collect all the tears and save the lands from destruction.
Woodle Tree 2 takes 3D platforming to a less traveled frontier, a completely open world. As a result, the world was filled to the brim with collectibles. Both red and blue berries can be found in the world. Red berries can be used to buy costumes for Woodle while blue are used for purchasing new abilities and upgrades. Be prepared to collect your heart out as the more expensive rewards cost hundreds of berries. The focus of the game is really on the platforming and collecting aspects, so do not expect much story content beyond a basic hero quest to defeat evil things.
Making your way around the world of Woodle Tree 2 is pretty fun. From the start, you have access to a double jump and a glide with your trusty leaf. You have a standard attack combo that is a little wonky. While multiple attacks in a row are fine on some enemies, there is a big gap in your attacks on others so it does not feel smooth. Your health has two stages. Get hit once and your leaf shrinks in size, you can’t glide, and you deal less damage. Get hit again and you die and respawn at the nearest checkpoint. This system is rather forgiving as your health is restored by waiting around 10 seconds without taking damage. You can also fast travel to previously found checkpoints using the map.
How many collectibles are there? Thousands. There are about a thousand of the more important and more scattered about blue berries. The red berries respawn and you would need a few thousand to unlock all the costumes, but they are everywhere around the main level paths so you can rack up a few hundred in one area. The costumes are okay looking. It is pretty clear that they are models just plopped over the main character with some clipping issues. The powers and upgrades seem fine, but only the leaf skating looked like something I would strive to unlock since it looked fun in the trailers.
While traversal is fun, it is disappointing that the world feels so empty. It is strange as the world is definitely filled with things, but these things lack an exciting quality to them which makes exploration lackluster. There are funny looking characters all around, but you cannot interact or talk to most of these characters as they either stand there or walk around aimlessly. The characters that can talk have dialogue boxes that pop up when you get close. Sadly, they only give you tutorial directions or say things like “Can I join you on your adventure?” while they proceed to stand there. They feel like lifeless beings that exist to give the illusion of a populated world.
This is where I started to notice the major problems with the level design. There are enemies everywhere for no real purpose. Sure, you can kill them for a few red berries, but berries are already so plentiful. Imagine a Mario game where encounter a flat floor with a road that has 20 Goombas walking around on it. No power up to test on them and you already have so many coins. Now imagine that, but a similar layout is used between every single platforming section in the game. After a while you would stop destroying the enemies since you really have no reason to deal with them at all…unless you are a murderous monster that lavishes in the thrill of the hunt. I found myself not enjoying the clunky combat and, as a result, I just walked past most of the enemies unless a puzzle required me to destroy some.
The paths between worlds are rather empty. There are some collectibles sitting out of reach, but some of the map off the beaten path is rather blank other than blocky hills and trees. I mention “the path” a lot since the game has an intended path they recommend you stick to. This golden brick road leads you to each themed area and guides you to each collectible tear within those areas.
Puzzles involve your standard switches to activate doors, shortcuts, and lifts. Platform spacing seems rather odd. Normally this is not something you would notice in a platformer becuase you can usually comfortably jump to the next platform with a single jump. Woodle Tree 2 has so many extra platforms for stairs and other pathways that I do not understand. The double jump lets me jump past so many of these extra platforms while still grabbing the collectibles. In fact, the open world structure allows you to skip around most of the areas since you can hop up most walls and skip entire sections of the level.
This structure will make or break the game for most players. Some will love the chill freedom of collecting and making their own way through the level by zigzagging around or skipping around to just get the required tears. Others might find the world too open for its own good and desire a more structured, balanced experience where the fun is not only the thrill of collecting. I fall in the latter group, but maybe I am not part of the intended audience? When I really enjoy playing a game I try to collect everything I can within reason. However, I do not usually start up a new game with the intention to collect everything there is from the get go. To me the movement mechanics felt great, but the world structure did not complement the movement which hindered my experience.
Woodle Tree 2 is bright and colorful. Other than the level design issues I mentioned, the game has this vibe to it that makes you feel happy and energized when you look at it. Everything is made of simple, rounded shapes that give it this cute appeal. NPCs have a decent range of designs, some on the more wacky side and others being as simple as a talking leaf. Enemies were a bit repetitious with the same enemies appearing in multiple areas, but I think this feeling could have been toned down with some thematic area reskins and more thoughtful enemy placement. The areas felt similar due to the blocky layouts, but the different color pallets made them more distinctive visually. They also had some mechanical differences, such as sand slowing you down and ice physics, common area gimmicks that do the job.
I enjoyed the main character’s little noises as I platformed around, but I wish more of the other characters made noises. Even just a little dialogue noise to make the few speaking characters sound like they were talking. The music was fine platforming fare, but nothing that sticks around in your mind after you stop playing. I noticed that the music got quieter the further I went from the main path, which discouraged some of the exploration aspect. It also took a while for the music to loop which resulted in times where I was playing in silence other than Woodle’s hopping noises.
Woodle Tree 2: Deluxe+ is a collection distraction game. If you love to collect things or just need something to pass the time, then this is an alright option. However, if you want a 3D platformer with tight level structure, satisfying combat, and more complex puzzles, then you may want to pass on this one. To me, this game felt like a beta version of a platformer project, certainly not a deluxe version.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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- Movement is smooth and fun.
- Lots of nooks and crannies to explore.
- A main path is present to prevent players from getting lost.
- Plenty of powers and cosmetics to spend collectibles on.
- An empty feeling open world.
- The area design feels too open and lacks structure.
- Too many enemies in the environment.
- Lackluster music and gaps of silence.
- NPCs are bare bones with little purpose.
- Basic hero quest story.