Version Reviewed: 0.9.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
The story of Little Red Riding Hood tends to focus on the whole wolf posing as the grandmother thing but few people tend to think about Red’s actual trip to that fateful cottage, through those fateful woods, with all those fateful trees, a fateful basket of fateful sundries in tow.
Where was I?
Right, so, A Day in the Woods is a very pretty-looking puzzler in which you need to get Red to Grandma’s house. You control a little woodland sprite of some kind and have to guide Red by swapping adjacent hexagonal tiles until she ends up at the door of that level’s cottage. Problem is, she keeps ending up at the wrong address.
It’s very much a tile-swapping game with rules that get a little more fleshed-out as you progress. At first you just have to move her to the front door. Then you need to detour and collect all the flowers on your way. After that you’re introduced to berries, which aren’t essential to complete a level but are needed if you want to earn three stars (you’ll also need to finish at or beneath the maximum turn limit). Bears eventually show up to further complicate things, then fire gets thrown into the mix to mess with you even more because bears are afraid of fire and won’t go near it. And so on.
This all creates a board that can be full of obstacles to avoid or shift around, but it never really feels all that taxing. Later levels might take a few tries to complete, let alone earn three stars, but it never quite felt as challenging as I was hoping it would be. I just sort of went through the motions from level to level. And despite looking so pretty, it can be incredibly difficult to distinguish what’s a rock and what’s a bear on the iPhone’s smaller screen - adding frustration on top of everything else when a run that seems to be going well comes to a screeching halt because you suddenly can’t move Red next to that rock because it’s actually a carnivorous forest creature.
A Day in the Woods is by no means a bad game, but players looking for more of a challenge might end up feeling a bit disappointed. It fits the role of a more relaxed “go at your own pace” sort of puzzle game pretty well, though.