The First Tree is an indie title created by David Wehle that focuses on the story of a fox in search of her lost cubs. The game is the very definition of indie since David himself created the game as a one man effort.
The First Tree’s story revolves around a fox that awakens in her den only to see that her cubs are missing. In the background, a man and his wife are conversing about a dream and this is how the story is conveyed to the player. The fox’s search for her cubs is a part of a parallel story that takes place in which a son tries to reconnect with his estranged father. As you play through the game, you’ll uncover artifacts that explore this relationship and you’ll be able to see some of what’s being discussed in the conversation between the man and his wife in the world itself.
The First Tree’s gameplay is incredibly simplistic. Players will take control of the fox and run around looking for points of interest and areas to uncover hidden secrets. Players will run, jump and glide using butterflies to explore the game’s world as they collect droplets of light. While this is fun, the gameplay can become a tad slow paced due to the fact that the world is quite frankly, massive. Traversing the levels in search of clues that progress the story can become tedious since there isn’t a lot of direction but thankfully, the game is short enough that this won’t be an issue.
If you’ve played Firewatch, The First Tree is very reminiscent of that title since it involves finding clues in a gorgeous environment while two other characters have a conversation. The voice acting is believable, and the music used in the game is great at conveying its tone while creating an atmosphere of wonder and intrigue.
At only 2 hours long, The First Tree does enough to provide players with an experience that they’ll be able to enjoy despite its simplistic nature. The story is enjoyable and exploring the world and taking screenshots of everything along the way is a part of what makes this game great. The conclusion to the story is also worthwhile so even if the “Walking simulator” parts of the title start to annoy you, it’s worth pushing on through to the end.
Given the incredibly low price point, The First Tree is a game that’s worth checking out. At only 2 hours long it might be worth picking it up on Steam instead. Especially since it’s cheaper on PC than on Nintendo Switch, though you will lose the ability to play it on the go if you do this.
Graphically The First Tree looks visually pleasing in every way. The game is gorgeous and you’ll be in awe at how great the environments look with its beautiful painting style aesthetic. Overall, this is a game that is definitely worth playing and thankfully, the price being so low means that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy this short visual feast.