Treemaker feels like a solid part of a larger game, but fails to stand out on its own
I wonder sometimes where people come up with the inspiration for some of these weird iOS games. Here’s a game about swinging from platform to platform, timing jumps to grab some itemsm and reaching the end. So where in that process does the guy swinging get vines coming out of his body to swing on, leaving a trail of trees behind him where ever he stands?
You play a strange looking creature that spawns trees on whatever he touches. He’s like a hippie King Midas. You’ll swing from platform to platform, using your vine-like appendages and leaving trees behind wherever you stand. You task is to swing and reach the goal in the least number of swings possible, while grabbing orbs along the way. I probably made your character sound disgusting, but it’s all heavily stylized and actually looks quite neat.
What really makes Treemaker worth a play is the physics, which so many games like this seem to get wrong but here hit all the right notes. Swinging from platform to platform feels right each and every time. The weight and flow of your character while they swing is natural and moves as you would expect, which makes it much easier to time when to let go.
This by no means is me telling you the game is easy, because it really isn’t. But it’s hard because it’s intended to be difficult, not because it’s poorly designed. So many times in these swinging type games the characters move in an unrealistic way, or in a way to makes them feel like rocks or a leaf on the wind, so they’re hard to judge because the games moves like you don’t anticipate them to. Not so with Treemaker.
That doesn’t mean the game doesn’t have faults though, because sadly, it does. Outside of the gameplay itself there’s really not much here to enjoy. While the design of the character and animation is fantastic, the worlds are largely uninteresting and almost exactly the same every time. The background is always just the same gradiated color thing, and the platforms always look the same.
In addition, in order to progress to the next set of levels you need to acquire at least 2 stars on all the levels before it, which means that for every level you need to finish having grabbed a certain amount of orbs and still have potential swings left in your bank. While this is ok in some games, since there’s not much variety in Treemaker it makes replaying levels feel more like a chore more than anything else.
But here’s the real issue with Treemaker… with only 18 levels here you’re only going to get, at most, two hours of entertainment out of it. Then you’re finished and there’s nothing left to do but delete it from your phone. With little to no variety between the levels, and hardly any included in the game at all, Treemaker feels more like a really well designed part of a larger game. There’s just not enough to here to support itself on its own.