ESRB Rating: Everyone (Mild Language, Violent References, Alcohol and Tobacco Reference)
Publisher: David Wehle
Release Date: September 14, 2017
Nintendo || Steam
Joseph has been dreaming about a wandering fox, which prompts a late night, deep discussion with his girlfriend, Rachel. Joseph recounts his childhood with his father and how that makes him feel now, while also wondering why he’s constantly dreaming about this fox.
Meanwhile, the fox is out searching for her missing cubs. The ending broke me.
The First Tree is a beautiful game. The environments look amazing, even if they are quite samey making it easy to get turned around. It’s a 3D low-poly style, which I am a fan of. The colors are natural and muted. The lighting is amazing.
The fox and other animals are very simple looking, and the animations aren’t great. Mama fox does have some moments where she looks quite silly.
Sound Effects + Music:
I absolutely love the soundtrack for The First Tree. It’s one of those games I wouldn’t mind leaving running just so I can listen to it. The ambient noises are also great. I’m a sucker for crickets and owls.
The voice acting is also really good. Joseph and Rachel are talking throughout the game, although not constantly. Their voices are calming, yet emotional. Perfect for the conversation they’re having.
Gameplay + Controls:
The First Tree has very simple gameplay and controls You just control Mama Fox through the landscape. She can walk or run, jump, double jump, and dig. Your goal is get her through each area and into the next one. There will be memories to dig up along the way, along with stars to collect. At first I wasn’t sure what the point of the stars were, except as occasional waypoints. But once you reach the end, their purpose becomes clear, and I completely lost it. I was already crying at finding her third cub, but that? Too much.
The epilogue of the game switches to a first person perspective as Joseph, which I hate. I find first person navigation nauseating. I gave it a try, hoping I would quickly find where I was suppose to be going, but I didn’t and just closed the game.
The First Tree is pretty short, so it would be easy to replay in order to grab missed achievements. I only got 4 of the 14, but I also wasn’t taking time to explore every inch of the world. I mostly focused on not getting lost, since there isn’t too much direction. I may go through it again to find all of the secrets.
I really liked The First Tree. While I wasn’t completely invested in Joseph’s story, I was all in with Mama fox.
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