Woven (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

In a world made of wool and stiches lives a tattered plush animal named Stuffy.  He’s all alone and doesn’t know how he got there, as he’s not too bright.  But one day he meets a robotic firefly named Glitch.  Glitch has also lost its memory and the two decide to venture together to find out why Stuffy is all tattered and why there are other machines and robotic bugs in the fabric world. Woven is a 3-D puzzle platformer with point and click adventure elements, and it’s available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

As Stuffy, you mostly just walk around and that’s it.  When you reach something that Glitch or Stuffy can interact with, Glitch will project a thought bubble with what you can do.  Hold down the L trigger button to bring up a list of commands for Glitch.  The robot firefly can interact with machines, light up dark areas, and scan things.  Machines that Glitch can interact with include little pods which will bring back some of its memories, pattern machines, and knitting machines.  When you activate a pattern machine, you’ll play a small rhythm mini game and get a new animal for Stuffy to change into.  You can change Stuffy’s form at knitting machines.  Around the world you can find patches and animals with special patterns that you can scan and use those patterns at knitting machines as well.

Once you get Stuffy all fixed up at your first knitting machine, you can customize him with various animal parts and patterns.  But it’s not just for simply aesthetic reasons.  You’ll need certain parts and patterns to solve puzzles and progress.  Strong elephant legs can stomp the ground and shoo some fearsome creatures away, while mountain goat legs allow you to jump.  You can push blocks out of the way with stronger arms as well, but more delicate actions, like pushing buttons, may require different arms as well.  Sometimes even patterns are useful for progressing to other areas and camouflage.  You’ll pull up and activate Stuffy’s current skills with the R trigger button.  It’s fun controlling a monstrosity that you’ve created, like a animal with a pig’s head, anteater’s body, elephant limbs, and a plaid pattern.

The fabric graphics are great, but not quite as good as say, Yoshi’s Woolly World.  But that’s the least of the game’s problems.  Goals and objectives are oftentimes unclear and vague, and the British narrator who speaks mostly in rhymes isn’t very helpful.  This game really could’ve used a map.  Granted, exploring the world is half the fun, but backtracking to find the last knitting machine or other points of interest isn’t.  Maybe a map that shows you where you’ve already been with spots where knitting machines and hints to where you should go next.  Also, to do any moves, you must pull up a menu.  This works fine for Glitch, but it would’ve been nice just to press a button to make Stuffy jump or whatnot.  By doing that, it would make the game less passive, and less like a walking simulator and more like an actual video game.  It’s a shame because otherwise this game is very charming.  If you want a more laid back adventure and don’t mind digging through an online guide at every vague puzzle, you might like Woven.

Kid Factor:

Woven is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  I’m surprised it got that rating because I didn’t notice any violence at all, other than a robot mantis smacking around an unseen victim at the beginning of the game.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Kid gamers may get bored at the slower pace and unclear goals, though.

One Response to “Woven (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)”

  1. These games with fabric based graphics, like Yoshi’s Wooly World and Epic Yarn, are so interesting to look at.

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