After a rather thorough preparation stage and being in development ever since its inception as a Ludum Dare jam entry, Mable & The Wood has finally arrived on Kickstarter. Its creator, Andrew Stewart, describes the game as a 2D action platformer based on exploration and set “in a land where the overuse of magic is draining the world of its colour”.
That being said, Mable & The Wood’s main draw seems to be the restriction it imposes on players through the narrative of its world, as everything in the game revolves around the overt (and destructive) use of magic. While players control Mable they are also exposed to that inevitability, as each ability they have drains the world from its essence and life – or in more game-y words, make sure you keep an eye on that yellow bar in the top-left edge of the screen.
Under the hood though, Mable & The Wood starts getting a bit more interesting with many metroidvania-esque traits such as character abilities waiting to be unlocked, areas requiring backtracking and unique bosses waiting to get their fateful encounter with the red-haired mimic players control. Although, that last bit might not be the case for everyone, since bosses in this game are actually entirely optional, despite the fact that all of Mable’s abilities are unlocked by defeating said fiends.
Judging by the optional nature of bosses within the game, I have a feeling that Mable & The Wood might be of interest to speedrunners in specific, or people that are into games that give you opportunities for customized playthroughs via self-imposed challenges. It’s certainly a game that’s heavily reliant on its mechanics, so hopefully that will get carried further by a nice variety of enemies and well-varied levels. It’s also good to see Guacamelee among the inspirations for Mable & The Wood’s overall gameplay, as that’s one of the best examples of a platformer that feels fast, responsive, punchy and fun all in the same time.
With that being said, Mable & The Wood won’t be a huge game. The Kickstarter aims at delivering a product that would last 3-6 hours, and that’s represented by the rather low sum of £7,000 that is required for funding the project. It’s all well reasonable though, since Stewart promises that any additional funds will simply go towards making the game better without changing its target released date.
Track the progress of the Mable & The Wood Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.