Oh yeah, EGX Rezzed was last week, wasn’t it?
The UK’s flagship showcasing of several independent titles! So many good titles and that’s what these articles are here for! Now, I already know what you’re going to ask: “Why didn’t you talk about these games sooner?!”. Well, it’s because I left my laptop charger at home. I remembered to bring a back-up lighter and cigs, but not a laptop charger. Anyway, Mable & The Wood, the first game I played at the event.
This is the debut title from Sheffield-based developer Triplevision Games, which has been a dream in the making for four years now. Beginning in 2015 as a Ludum Dare entry, main man Andrew Stewart– Along with help in the sound department by members of Fat Bard Music– Has gone through hell and high water to see this game through to the end. With further help in terms of publishing from Graffiti Games, the dream is finally coming to fruition.
You play as Mable, a young lass who is resurrected by a strange cult to fulfill a prophecy. With that, they tell you to hunt down the great beasts that plague this world, obtain their powers upon defeating them, and usher in a new age for these dying lands. However, with time being frail, it’s entirely possible that the prophecy is misunderstood, or lost in translation, and that is up to you to decide.
Mable’s… gimmick revolves around Mable’s weapon; A giant sword that requires her to grasp it with two hands. It is far too large for her to wield efficiently, which is why she can only drag it across the ground, but you do have the power to shape-shift. At the beginning, you’ll only have one form; a fairy, which you’ll shift into and fly across the forests with.
What about the sword though? If Mable is having trouble with the sword in her human form, then surely being a fairy would bring up more issues? Well, you’d be right. Upon transforming, the sword lodges into the ground, while Mable flies on ahead, but when she turns back into her human form, she is able to have it magnetically return to her hand, destroying anything in its projected path.
Now you could employ a path that balances lethal precision and speed. Prepare your next path as the fairy, then once you reach your designated spot, bring the sword back and watch it fly through the enemies. A flurry of blood, violence, and leaves falling from their trees, leading to immediate satisfaction from the player. However, you can also plan a pacifist route.
The demo showed off this pacifist route as well. The challenge of trying to avoid battles and navigate the landscapes with the least damage done to yourself and hazards was just as much of a challenge as actually coming head to head with the beasts.
From there, Mable & The Wood continued to impress with all types of different qualities. The unfocused pixel art gave a weird warmth to the world, reminiscent of The Deer God, albeit not as washed out or muddy. The music plays like feathers on the ear, and the writing is casual, non-confronting and comedic. It all points to a refined experience; one that’s almost five years in the making, and one that’s close to release.
Mable & The Wood has no set release date, with the closest estimation being mid-2019.
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