Family Tree (Switch)

A family of fruits lives peacefully in an orchard, but late one night Pedro the Day of the Dead-looking skull swoops down and fruit-naps all the babies!  Now it’s up to the Daddy (?) Fruit to get them all back in this action platform game that mixes pinball and Breakout elements.  Family Tree is available to download exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Each level is a vertical shaft inside the trunk of a tree.  You start off at the bottom and must reach a goal above to finish a level.  By pressing the L and R buttons, your fruit hero will hop left or right.  Aim with the left control stick and press the A button to launch yourself upward.  Scattered about the trees are fruits and coins.  Collect them all to increase your score.  But it’s harder than it sounds as bumpers, roving enemies, and other obstacles will hinder your progress.  Don’t dawdle too long or Pedro will come and try to knock some of your collected items away, but you can collect more fruit to keep him at bay.  At least I think that’s how it works.  The game doesn’t explain that part very well.

Each world is ten levels and is represented by a season (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter).  After each season of levels you’ll have to win a race against Pedro to move forward to the next season.  These race levels are like side scrolling platform challenges where you must control your jumps with the L and R buttons so you don’t fall off the stage, all the while keeping ahead of Pedro.  Because of the unconventional controls, these parts of the game are a bit annoying and I could’ve done without them.  After you finish all four seasons, you’ll start again with Spring Year 2 (and so on) with more complicated levels.  There is also a small multiplayer mode as well where up to four fruits can race to the top of a level all while avoiding rising water (kind of reminds me of Rainbow Islands).  Aside from the annoying Pedro race bits, this is a fun and colorful simple little action game.

Kid Factor:

You can launch yourself into obstacles like chirping birds and get hit by Pedro, but you or the enemies just disappear when hit, and that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may have trouble with the controls and difficult platform sections, but otherwise it’s a fun little romp for the whole bunch.  Family Tree is rated E for Everyone.

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