Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Take Care of the Trees

I have been known to review the occasional artsy game on here. Opinion on their worth seems to be split: some people find 'em to be interesting and thought-provoking, and others seem to think art as a game is a waste of time. There is merit in both arguments, though I lend more to the former. I enjoy art games...

... so long as they are somewhat game-like. Take Care of the Trees... not so much on the gaming.


You are a man. You live in the wilderness with your brother. One day, the brother goes into town to fetch a new axe, leaving you behind to watch the house. That's boring, however, and you decide to go looking for your bro... only to find... well, bad things.

Very bad things.

I can't say a hell of a lot more, because another sentence would probably ruin the rest of the story. And that's all this 'game' really has going for it: a short, weird, not-totally-logical story. And while it's true that art doesn't always HAVE to be logical, it might help in this case.

So what's the game part? I dunno. You move around and interact with things. You can cut down trees, if you like, and despite what the name of the game implies nothing bad happens if you slice them all to pieces. Shrug?


Arrow keys. They are responsive. Moving on...


As is pretty dang common with browser games, Take Care of the Trees resembles an SNES-era game, specifically an RPG. That said, it's slightly below that level, as none of the characters really have animations that bring them to life. There's no expressiveness, and thus little of interest in the visuals.


The one element that stood out in this game is the sound. It's quite good. There's only one REAL song, but it's fantasy-country-catchy. There's also a smattering of voice work involved, and though it's largely inconsequential the extra work does benefit Take Care of the Trees.

Challenge Rating

If you lose at Take Care of the Trees, your browser crashed. That's the only way to explain failure here. This is fairly typical of artistic games, as they're often not meant to be challenging in the traditional sense.

Problem is, Take Care of the Trees doesn't include something to take the place of challenge. There's no depth. No potential for extra endings, no major interactions, no hidden plot explanations, no... nothing, really. The logical flow of the story is quite lacking. There's potential here, but what currently exists just doesn't work.


This isn't really a game. It's a semi-interactive movie with an unexplained plot. I'd say pass and play something else, but Take Care of the Trees only takes about five minutes to play, so... why not?


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