21/11/2019

๐Ÿ˜ Woven | REVIEW | PS4 | "Quite the Quilter’s Dream" ๐Ÿ˜ @WoventheGame #IndieGames #GameDev

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Woven is a wonderfully creative and vibrant, knitted, open-world game is that is ‘quite the quilter’s dream’ you could say.
It consists of textile-infused scenery full of patterns galore. You play a soft, stuffed elephant to boot. Just watching the trailer, it won my attention; I was definitely intrigued at what this Dutch developer (Alterego Games) had to offer. 

In this adventure puzzle game, you play a rather cute, innocent and yet clumsy stuffed elephant called Stuffy, who is limping across our screen when we first meet him (Awwww).
What has this animal done?
Where are all the other animals?
Instantly we feel for Stuffy the elephant, poor thing. The narrator explains that the animals used to live in peace and now metal insects rule the land.  If I could be teleported into the game to spend a crafty afternoon with this lonely animal and venture off to find some sewing machines whilst running across the woolly hills, then I would do just that, in a heartbeat. 
The start-up menu reads as being very cutesy, although when we cut to the beginning of the game, instantly you get a feel of a not-so-cute world, with less jaunty music and more of an industrial tone which I found quite intriguing and made me want to get stuck in even more, due to the tonal juxtaposition.

During the first part of the gameplay, you meet a metal bug called Glitch who has no recollection of the past; he plays as your companion and helps you along your woven journey. As you weave across the hills he lights up caves and gives you little hints to help you on your way. The controls are handled by the thumb-sticks and triggers, with each thumb-stick allowing you to select one of the two characters.
Stumbling across sewing machines, you repair yourself and change your appearance to adapt to various environments. You gain things such as stronger limbs the ability to change into other animals that have different traits, for instance, the cat’s delicate fingers can use buttons, whilst the deer’s legs can jump great heights.
Each puzzle that you come across in the game will require Stuffy to find the nearest sewing machine to alter himself so as to get the right part for the puzzle. There are larger machines that contain patterns to unlock each animal and these play out as a mini-game whereby you manoeuvre ‘knitting arms’ over a pattern.
The game is told also through rhyming narrative, the narrator’s voice is quite calming and soothing, reminiscent of the kind of delivery you would find in a British children’s programme as if he is discovering the world along with you.

Now and again, when Stuffy is idle on the screen the narrator says how pleasant the scenery is and that the hills are so lovely, soft and woollen. This keeps up the sense that you are making your way through a child’s tale. As an aside, you find flowers that you are able to interact with, to help them bloom, which enables you to unlock patterns that you can then use on the scattered sewing machines to change Stuffy’s appearance even further.
The first part of the game - when meeting Stuffy and Glitch - talks about the importance of friendship and teamwork, we start to see other animals and discover Glitch’s yearning to get to the moon over the mountains, which becomes his main concern, although he doesn’t want to leave poor Stuffy alone.
Visually, the game is colourful, vibrant and has a surprisingly smooth frame rate, although, whilst clearly aimed at children, does have some quirks of design that detract from that focus.
There is no in-game map (which would have proven very handy) or quest log and so, although the game is simplistic in design, it can lead to aimless wandering. This isn’t helped by the extremely linear paths that have you coming up against invisible walls and the like (cue ‘annoyed Faye!’) that can take you out of the flow of the game. It also means that if you are away from the game for a few days, when you dive back in, you can’t remember what your next objective is, quite the ‘knitting’ needle in the haystack!

Summary
I would say that this game is definitely worth a shot! It’s a really good game if you have time on your hands, along with a little patience (especially if you have children and are on hand to help them out). 

The breezy music along with the colourful open world is beautifully narrated and is a sure thing to play if you’re looking for some calm.

I love the jaunty music and the fact that you can improve your Stuffy, find new patterns and plod along a big open world of textile goodness.

Just pop on the kettle with a warm slice of Victoria Sponge and bam! Relaxation kick-off.

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