Arboria Review

Arboria
Developed by: Dreamplant
Published by: All in! Games
2020

The Tribe of Yotunz faces extinction since The Father Tree, the source of life, is sick.”

Let me start off by saying I love anything that takes heavy inspiration from nature. Those who do tend to create some amazing characters, and equally amazing environments. Add some magic? You have something truly special. This is what “Arboria” does. The creatures appear to be created from stone, wood, and an unearthly glow, that stem from the sources of power and life in their realm. There’s a fairy-type creature that accompanies you on your travels, and she resembles a being made from warped, old wood, and leaves: a creature truly of nature, and it’s awesome.

Can you tell I love nature?

You are chosen to help restore The Father Tree. Your first character goes a bit mad, and disappears. You then take control of another mature creature made from The Father Tree, to not only find the character gone mad, but to pick up where you initially failed. Sadly, it’s a bit easy to die in this game (or, it’s just easy for me to die in this game), but you take control of a new character each time, which works as a pseudo save system. This game is “rogue-lite” so there isn’t a built-in save system, and you just have to get as far as you can each time.

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I… didn’t get far, I kept dying. But that’s me.

The main enemies (at least for as far as I’ve gotten each time with each character) are bug-like creatures. A combination of wasps and large mosquitoes, from what I saw in-game. It was nice to take out frustration on a creature who resembles the two insects that make Summer-time Hell for me. Although… they kept killing me so… they win again.

Enough of me saying how much I died, let’s get on with performance, and art style. The art is truly unique, where the characters aren’t made to look streamlined, fancy, or “good-looking” in any way. They are creatures of an underground, naturalistic society that also includes nature based magic. They wouldn’t look like you and I. The details are astounding. Truly something to behold. You can see every detail on their faces, and subtle face movements in the cut scenes. The cut scenes? Definitely high quality as they make my laptop fan run for it’s life, but it’s a stunning display! Thankfully the fan dies down soon after, so I can keep playing.

There seems to be a lack of noise or music in some spots where you would think there should be some. Like when your character is dropped back into the world… he lands on the ground in silence. No sound of him hitting the ground. It puts me off each time, thinking there’s a mistake in the audio, but I guess it could just be how the game was made. Maybe these creatures are so light, they don’t make a sound after they fall.

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All-in-all, it’s quite a nice, niche game, and it’ll make you determined to get a little farther each time, exploring the procedurally made dungeons, fighting off the evil creatures, and upgrading your weapons, all to save The Father Tree, and your tribe.

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