With the massive amount of games that I’ve had over the past few weeks, it’s nice to finally get away from slaying goblins, shooting demons and jumping over death traps so enter Woven, a cutesy-wutesy game about little stuffed animals who are all woven out of knitted fabric! It’s the perfect way to end a week of gore and destruction by just chilling with some lovely little woven critters, it’s pretty much like telling your Grandma to ‘go !#@$ herself’ before snuggling up with 10 adorable kittens, so it’s a bit of a contradiction to my usual gameplay.
Woven is not yet released but is being developed and published by both Alterego Games and Digital Forest, however the game is currently on Kickstarter, which some of you may know as a website which allows you to donate and raise money to help other projects or your own. It’s a handy way to make some cash to build your dream, and something which has been especially useful for new indie developers trying to break into the market. As it currently stands Woven has been greenlit by Steam, therefore it’s pretty much good to go provided the developers can get the money together (which I assume they are doing) so expect it to arrive. Unfortunately though, the expected release date is set as October 2nd 2017, so you may be waiting a little while, which leads me onto my next point of stressing that Woven isn’t officially released yet, so everything in the below review is based on pre-alpha testing, it may not 100% accurate at the time of release.
The game begins by telling you the story of disaster, of broken metal and darkness and of a little tiny bug like creature by the name of Glitch who was thrown away, we’re not sure why, or how, but we know Glitch is all alone, and with nowhere to go. Fortunately for Glitch, he’s found by a cute little knitted elephant by the name of Stuffy (+1 for name). Stuffy has an itch for adventure, and Glitch has nowhere to go, so naturally they set out on a quest! The story is provided to us in lovely rhyme and is very well presented graphically, I’d really expect less from a game in such early stages of development.
Once you begin the game properly, you will be able to see the world of Woven, which quite frankly, whilst a little laggy, is absolutely stunning! I’m somewhat shocked at the level of detail provided with the game, and can say that the developers have done a great job creating a woven universe and a home to Stuffy and Glitch.
After you’ve been given the lay of the land, you’ll be forced to actually do something, by which point you’re introduced to looking around, walking and using the skills of both characters to begin solving puzzles and moving forward on your grand adventure. Moving can be a little frustrating, as you don’t move in the conventional way, but with clicking of the mouse button. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it would be nice to see movement through the WASD keys, which currently only control your direction of travel.
The game is quite clever in that, as you progress you will meet new characters by solving puzzles. When you meet these characters, you will be able to scan them and gain access to their patterns. In doing so, this will allow you to visit one of the customisation machines and change Stuffy with different parts from the patterns that you have collected (and different fabrics), a very clever idea which I’m pretty happy about.
What’s more, once you collect certain animals, you can change different parts to provide stuff with new abilities to help him and Glitch on their quest for adventure! I.e. if you change Stuffy’s head from elephant to rabbit, then you will gain supervision, however be warned, as doing this will also remove any abilities that are currently assigned to that body part.
As I touched on earlier, the graphics are outstanding and the world of Woven is beautifully designed. The characters, backgrounds, animations and interactable objects are all very high quality and I’m impressed by the amount of detail in a game which I, well quite frankly, thought wouldn’t have it. Further more, the amount of detail which has been put into the different fabrics and characters that can be ‘equipped’ is very extensive.
The music is what you’d expect from an adventure based puzzle game, which is somewhat mysterious, soft and subtle but with a sense of excitement in the air. Furthermore the use of rhyming within the story is a welcome addition, and the voice over provided is crystal clear. Whilst the music and sound effects are good, they can be a little bit distorted from time to time, especially with lots of sounds happening in the background, but not enough to diminish anything from the gameplay. Overall the sound is great and suits the tone of the game very nicely.
Overall, for an Pre-Alpha game, it looks great, sounds great and is fun to play. Woven forces players to think logically to be able to solve puzzles, and you finally get some value in collecting different items so that you can upgrade your character more. I really love the idea of being able to interchange parts as and when to be able to solve puzzles, and by doing so, unlocks new puzzles that you can attempt, but nothing compares to the beauty of the game itself.
Whilst the game still has some work to be done, it’s already looking great and I’m impressed with what the developers have done so far to make this game as good as it is. I hope to hear from them soon, and really do hope that they manage to finish pre October 2017, as I’m sure once hype builds up, a lot of people will want their chance to play away.
Quote: “Get cute and cuddly with knitted animals in Woven”