Woven (PC) Preview

By Adam Riley 08.09.2016

Review for Woven on PC

Even before trying, everyone loved Kirby's Epic Yarn and Yoshi's Woolly World just for the way they looked, with the woollen/string visual effect being so adorable it was almost impossible to hate. Now, along comes Woven, from Alterego Games and Digital Forest, another fabric-based affair, but one with a bit of a twist on the old point-and-click theme. Mixing 3D world exploration and traditional adventure controls, does this Kickstarter-reliant project deserve the same adulation as other cotton-based releases?

Beautifully serene music, gorgeous woollen visuals, and a peaceful, storybook voiceover greet gamers as soon as the Woven demo loads. It is the perfect setting and aesthetic to set the tone for the rest of the adventure to come. Then it is time to initially get confused, since it looks like a standard third-person platform outing, except using the WASD keyboard arrangement actually moves the camera around, whilst the mouse needs to be pointed in the right direction, and clicked to get the lead character - Stuffy the Stuffed Elephant - to actually move forwards. Confusing, but not for long thanks to the tutorial right at the beginning.

The camera, interestingly enough, is Stuffy's sidekick, Glitch, a metallic robot that hovers around, helping out in general during play, although not merely directing the viewpoint, also acting as a form of a moving context sensitive button. The sort of best friend everyone needs!

Despite controlling Stuffy, Glitch seems like the main character at times, scanning various objects, initiating Stuffy's pushing, jumping, stomping (and so on) moves, as well as even lighting the way when night falls. The key element of Woven is to explore the seamlessly knitted world, encountering other stuffed animals and scanning them to access new abilities for Stuffy to not merely absorb, Kirby style, but transform himself into them physically in order to make use of new powers first-hand (or first-foot, in some cases, perhaps?).

Screenshot for Woven on PC

This sampler offers up the chance to mix and match the original strength of the base elephant arms and legs for moving objects out of the way and stomping the ground to reveal collectibles, with that of a bunny rabbit - a friend saved early on in the game. Swapping the legs, for instance, grants a jumping ability and the chance to run faster. Adopting the rabbit's arms leads to being able to pick up smaller items, whilst keeping one arm elephant-like and the other as that of a rabbit means both pushing and collecting can be done at the same time. The potential for intriguing puzzles using this setup is endless.

Even at this early stage, it is apparent that the team is aware of how frustrating it can be slowly trekking around with certain body parts attached, only to find the incorrect combination has been used at the special transformation machines, and, thus, plenty of machines are carefully placed around the delightfully crafted world to alleviate such concerns.

There is the chance to alter the fabric of Stuffy, as well, with this coming into play when a snake refuses to grant access to a new area because Stuffy is not dressed appropriately. In this demo it was possible to bypass this, but the option to play around with fabric types, not just body parts, opens up all sorts of exciting extra opportunities.

Screenshot for Woven on PC

Final Thoughts

As far as early demos go, Woven is the perfect example of how other developers should entice gamers to become interested in their upcoming products. It looks, sounds and feels amazing, even in such an early state, with a really glowing atmosphere throughout, and the scope for puzzles due to the intriguing body part swapping technique is highly engaging. It will be extremely interesting to see how that is put to good use in the final release. Be sure to keep an eye on Kickstarter to see how this great project progresses, and with any luck it will hit its target and get released next year.

Developer

Alterego Games

Publisher

Digital Forest

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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