Platformers have always been the staple of any indie gamer’s diet, and the sheer wealth of independently-developed platform games is staggering and ever-growing. However, in a market dominated by sidescrollers, the 3D platform genre has become a rare beast indeed. Personally, I miss the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation era, in which 3D platformers were prominent. So you can understand my happiness when I saw footage of Woodle Tree, a very beautiful-looking 3D platformer from indie studio Chubby Pixel that looks as if it’s been plucked straight from that era.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOrRZv83bLc]
The reason that 2D platformers continue to dominate the indie scene is twofold. For starters, a 2D game presents far less of a technological undertaking than a 3D game, and is therefore a more realistic prospect for developers with small teams and budgets. Secondly, the resurgence of 2D platform games, as popularized by high-profile indies such as Super Meat Boy, has proven very successful among nostalgic gamers. It is this that makes Chubby Pixel‘s creation all the more impressive and different, especially considering their small team and relatively short development time.
As for the game itself, it is just as much fun as it appears. The platforming mechanics are solid and enjoyable, and the feeling of traversal around the game world is refreshingly peaceful. Woodle Tree is a great game to play if you want to relax, and the soundtrack and art style help add to this serene tone. Even if you’re not a fan of the genre, Chubby Pixel‘s debut is still very much worth considering, even if only to witness the beautiful game world. Imagine a cross between Noby Noby Boy and Adventure Time, and you’re getting somewhere close.
Woodle Tree is available to buy right now from Desura and IndieCity for Windows and Mac. Everything I’ve waxed lyrical about above, coupled with the obscenely low price-point makes it a very compelling prospect. Keep an eye out for my full review soon.