If Treemaker lands on the appstore and no-one is around to hear it, does it still get any downloads? Well hopefully I can help you answer that question with a breakdown of what exactly Treemaker is and what to expect.
Treemaker takes form as a physics based platform game, your aim is to bring to life other trees scattered across the level, achieving at least a 2 star rating per stage to unlock further challenges. The game throws you directly into the action with a short and somewhat incomplete tutorial, no backstory or even a barebones introduction so in all essence I could just as well be playing with a golden unicorn in a universe made of chocolate, sweet sweet chocolate.
You are a Tree, as far as I can tell anyways, and your main method of control is by tapping on the various floating platforms to shoot and attach vines on them. Now the physics kick in, once attached you’ll then be pulled into a swinging motion across the screen, you can control your momentum by swiping your finger back and forth to gesture a swinging motion. Now that you’ve built up a satisfactory level of momentum you tap again to release yourself and fly between platforms, or to your death. The character movement can best be compared to awkward Spiderman web-slinging on a 2D plain. More often than not you’ll swing across too quickly, losing control and falling offscreen, or end up frantically tapping at every possible branch point to try and regain your bearings. Some could argue that this is part of the skill involved, that the physics are accurate so it should be expected, but in my opinion the physics and lift feel over exaggerated.
The game’s visual design on first look is satisfyingly different when compared to most other apps but later becomes painfully repetitive, seeing pretty much the same background design over and over whilst gameplay remains the same too makes you feel like you not progressing at all even though you’re in fact completing stages. As you successfully complete more challenges you open up additional threats and interactions within the levels such as moveable blocks, giant springs and red colored platforms that cause you to burst into flames upon contact. You will also notice a line of feathers in the top left corner that display how many times you can sprout a new vine for swinging, once you’ve depleted your available chances you get unlimited attempts at the cost of only earning a maximum of 1 star for that level.
The music is very lucid, reminiscent of the kind of tone you’d expect to hear during a dream sequence, very calming, but the sound effects aren’t much more than a ‘shwoop’ for when you shoot out a sprout, very minimal.
Every now and then you will have a golden moment of gaming excellence where you’ll swing perfectly between various platforms and in those moments the game does look quite impressive. Unfortunately that’s not often enough to warrant any considerable recognition. Plus if you were able to play the game perfectly, you’d have all 18 levels complete in a matter of minutes.
I’ve tried to play this game with speed in mind, ending mostly in failure, and I’ve taken the slow methodical approach that mostly consisted of waiting for my momentum to diminish so I could carefully drop down to a platform or swing elsewhere without looking like a fat shadow wired on red bull. I’ve even tried to play a middle ground between the two styles but found that just infuriates me twice as quickly.
For a game that on first glance appears to offer unique gameplay contained within an artist design you would really expect more. After a few levels in you start to notice it’s deep rooted issues such as repetitive levels, dull music and it’s requirement for you to gain at least 2 starts per challenge to unlock the next 6. Treemaker’s unique approach to a game structure we’ve seen so many times before on the iPhone gets an A for effort, but it falls short on execution, visuals and sound.
Seller: Mikrotie Ltd