Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Tree World probably shouldn't be as addictive for an adult as it is. I say this through bleary eyes thanks to getting drawn into it a little too much last night. I'm not so convinced that this urge to log in will be quite so great in the future but for now it does give me a bizarre wish to keep checking in on my tree animals at regular junctures throughout the day.
Mixing simplistic Tiny Tower style gameplay mechanics with the "Gotta Catch Em All" mentality of Pokemon, Tree World is a potent mix that's aimed at young players but will also hook in adults.
The idea is simple enough. Grow a tree that can home numerous forest based critters. Each of these critters produces tree food which can be used to grow the tree further and add branches. Put more critters on the branches and things go in a circular fashion with the tree, eventually, becoming massive and a bustling hive of activity.
Doing so is pretty simple. The game introduces all the elements while providing the player with some useful starting equipment. Each branch must have moss, fruit or flowers planted on it to keep the relevant critters happy and thus provide plenty of tree food. These creatures can also level up and become more useful to the player.
To an extent, that's all there is to it. At regular intervals, new critters can be introduced with a random factor deciding what. Each of the critters is cute and appealing, although some (such as a penguin type) look a little out of place sitting on a tree branch, but it all adds to the charm.
The bigger the tree goes, the more oppportunities open up and it's satisfying to see the tree improve steadily. An almanac function keeps track of all the creatures collected, with 60 different critters in all to entice players in. This almanac can be boosted through trading critters with neighbours which can be browsed either through Facebook, username or by simply looking through who else is playing the game.
Progress is down to waiting it out. Fortunately, the timing mechanics behind Tree World are quite forgiving so there's usually something to do, such as harvest certain critters while waiting for others to catch up. This can all be sped up through in-app purchases of tree food and crystals (used to level up critters and find new ones), but for the patient gamer, there's always the option to wait things out.
Tree World is exceptionally simple but it's entertaining and oddly satisfying. It's the kind of game that will only ever require five minute sessions to check in on but there'll be a sense of achievement in that time. There does need to be some more depth in the future to keep players keen once the initial excitement wears off, though.