In Kickstarter funded 2D platformer Mable & The Wood you play as Mable, a young girl with crimson, windswept hair. Seriously any place you go in this game it’s always crazy windy, so her hair is always blowing. She has the ability to change into multiple forms, the first being a fairy and she can wield a powerful sword even at her small size. So she is clearly the one who is destined to save the world. Though these people that live here don’t realize that by using her power she is also destroying the world at the same time. We had a look at Mable & The Wood back in 2016 when it was on Kickstarter, but we recently had the opportunity to sit down and actually play it.
When you first start playing Mable & The Wood you notice that Mable always drags her sword on the ground behind her because it is so big and heavy. At first it makes it feel like you aren’t going to get anywhere fast but there are some tricks you can do to get Mable to move a lot faster.
Since Mable & The Wood is on Steam you are able to use any controller with a USB connection, with a wired Xbox 360 controller working well in my playtime. Mable & The Wood’s controls are super easy, basically just controller thumb sticks and the A button. Though it definitely takes a bit of getting used to using so few buttons. There is no jump button but you can use the A/transform button to take the place of that. When you hit A, Mable will set down her sword and transform into a fairy that can fly. This is only until the meter runs out then when that happens you will drop. Your meter will be refilled as soon as you touch the ground, which is nice so you don’t have to look for items. If you want to switch back into a human again you just his A and the sword will fly back to you. This also lets you attack enemies on the screen with your sword since you are too small to lift it. When you turn into a fairy it draws a dotted line back to the sword. If there is an enemy who is in the path of the dotted line the line will turn red and when you call the sword back it will slice through the enemy. This tactic can also be used in other handy ways like hitting levers to open gates or smashing doors.
Like the controls, the graphics in Mable & The Wood look pretty simple but they are vibrant. This is a 2D platformer with pixel graphics, but there are also animations constantly happening on the screen. Like lines showing wind gusts, leaves falling, and little orbs of light that looks like fireflies or fire that is burning in the shrine. Later on when you get out of the forest into different areas like on the mountain there’s a bunch of snow and ice. Though to get out of the forest you can’t just walk out, you will have to face a beast which is a large spider that is constantly jumping at you. This boss will definitely test your jumping and sword calling skills!
Bigfoot Lives in the Ground.
Luckily before you get to this fight you will have the chance to visit a store run by an old lady. If you have the diamonds you can buy potions to regain health, get unlimited magic and a mystery potions whose effects are unknown but if you have 71 gems to spare you can find out. The cheapest item is 25 gems so make sure to collect as many gems as you can and don’t get hit by enemies, spikes or thorns because if you die your gems will disappear. If you happen to have over 25 gems it seems that an icy sculpture will be made that looks like you at the spot where you died so if you break it you can get your money back, but you need to have quite a lot for that to happen. Gems are placed throughout the level or you can get them from defeating the numerous monsters that dwell in the level. In just the forest for enemies there are birds, some of which look like owls, creatures that dig up from the ground that look like big foot or sasquatches that once defeated will usually reward you with hearts or sometimes gems which will help you prepare for your first boss fight. If you look at the Kickstarter page these guys are called Slothmoles but they sure do look a lot like Bigfoot!
Make Good Use of the Forms That You Unlock!
Once you finally defeat the Spider Queen you will get the power to transform into a spider. To switch forms you use the right thumbstick and chose the power that you want to us. Being the spider has a lot of advantages. You can shoot a web straight through bad guys, or you can shoot you web at the ceiling or rocks. When you hit A you will crawl up the web. This is really useful to go across pits of thorns or lava where you wouldn’t normally have enough magic power with the fairy to get over it.
The Shrines Will Be Your Savior.
Mable & The Wood is definitely challenging, not just a walk in the park! Once you get yet the hang of the controls it helps tremendously. For advice, it would be handy to know that before you drop into the well at the beginning of the game, you need a lot of keys to get through the door at the bottom. So don’t drop in there or you will get stuck! Good news is if you do happen to get stuck you can always pause and select start from last shrine so you can go back. The shrines act as save points and luckily there are a lot spread throughout the level!
If you are a big fan of classic platforming games, pixel graphics, and a bit of challenge you definitely have to keep Mable & The Wood on your radar of games to pick up. So head on over to the Triple Vision Games page and download the demo!