Released a few years ago on Steam, Woodle Tree Adventures was a humble little game that offered a dose of 3D platforming at a generously low price for the genre. It had some flaws and issues that made the jump concerning for some, but people generally liked it enough for a sequel to be made. I didn’t think Woodle Tree 2 turned out all too well, but I was still optimistic to see where the series would go next. To my surprise, the folks at ChubbyPixel decided to aim directly at the Nintendo Switch with a port of the original game. Is this the definitive version of Woodle Tree? Are there going to be new levels, bug fixes, and general improvements?
A tree with a well-groomed leaf mustache has summoned a teeny log with legs named Woodle Tree to bring water to the land. It’s implied by the tree that the world is suffering from thirst, and it’s up to you, as Woodle Tree, to rectify the matter. Though, thinking about it now, I have to wonder just how valid the tree’s claim is; there were levels that had water anyway. So how does he know if there’s demand from anything but himself?
Since my laptop could never run ChubbyPixel’s games smoothly, it felt great to finally get to play Woodle Tree in its intended capabilities. Running at 60 fps throughout and without the need of lowering graphical settings, the Switch is certainly the only way I’d play this game from here on. As far as the visuals themselves go, it’s easy to see they’re far from the most detailed out there. Some can argue the art style is too simple, but I don’t mind it. They’re still colorful and cute to a degree.
What always somewhat irked me about the soundtrack is that it never really felt like it was suitable for a platforming game of this caliber. Some of the melodies feel like they don’t correlate with the mellow, cutesy nature of the title. Probably the closest there is to a fitting track is the snow level’s background music since it does sound like it could work in a winter scene.
Woodle Tree Adventures consists of a series of 3D platforming levels that you access from a small HUB. Enemies are varied, but aren’t everywhere nor are they much of a threat unless you fail to attack them properly. The focus is more on the platforming itself and finding the three water drops to bring to the end of each level. Apples are scattered throughout in a similar manner to Mario coins, and can be used to unlock things like extra levels or upgrades for Woodle’s leaf attack.
While it sounds fine and good, the big problem with this Deluxe edition is that there’s only one notable improvement: The controls. It is awesome to finally control Woodle with full analog movement and without odd hang-ups, but that doesn’t change that the checkpoint system is still buggy. There aren’t any new levels (especially considering the game can be beaten under an hour), and littler problems that are in the game are still not fixed. I also found it strange that there aren’t any options listed in the Options menu other than one for erasing save data.
Still, if you liked the game to begin with or would still be willing to pay five bucks for a small-scale 3D platformer, you’ll find Woodle Tree Adventures to be enjoyable. I just think after three years of the game being released on Steam, there could have been much more done to justify the Deluxe moniker.