- Summary: A beautiful, 3rd-person exploration game centered around two parallel stories: a fox trying to find her missing family, and a son reconnecting with his estranged father in Alaska. Uncover artifacts from the son's life as he becomes intertwined in the fox’s journey towards The First Tree.
Positive: 0 out of 2
Mixed: 2 out of 2
Negative: 0 out of 2
Dec 7, 2018The First Tree only lasts about 2 hours and is essentially a walking sim through a handful of gorgeous settings with bits of narrative threaded throughout. That being said, the ending truly is something special, and if you choose to get this game in the future, I’d recommend enduring through the rough narration and reaching the finale. The finale is worth it.
Feb 4, 2020Incredible game so relaxing and beautiful, music it's atracting and inmersive.
Simple gameplay but it depends how much do you want to exploreIncredible game so relaxing and beautiful, music it's atracting and inmersive.
Simple gameplay but it depends how much do you want to explore and narrative gives you a good feeling.… Expand
Nov 30, 2018What a derivative, beautiful piece of ****. I love it and hate it all at once.
At $10, this game is a steal. Yes. Yes and no. No, and yes.What a derivative, beautiful piece of ****. I love it and hate it all at once.
At $10, this game is a steal. Yes. Yes and no. No, and yes. See? That's the feeling I had the whole time playing the game.
The music is really nice. Wow... oh wait... wtf?
The scene is so beautif... huh? Neverm-- Oh wait! Wow that's pretty. Very clever.
The story is so heartwarming and uniq... oh nevermind, another sappy, badly written piece of cr-- oh that's so lovely. Very nice momen... what the hell is this derivative plot tw...
And just like that, I went through the whole game.
You'll have to give it a chance, that's all I can say. And no, I'm not saying this like some people out there out of some pity bullsh*t that... "Oh, just one guy developed this to deal with depression so you should buy it to support him." Nope. That's $10 you could spend somewhere else if you wanted so I won't say that to you. What I will say is that this game has a lot of unexpected moments of beauty, and that, quite possibly, because as a creator with depression myself, I know what the highs and lows can be like, this developer has tremendous potential which, every now and then, was thwarted by his depression.
There are moments of beauty in this game, to say the least, which I wish could've been in Breath of the Wild... whether it's some of the scenes we're talking about, or the music.
Anyway, that's all.… Expand
Feb 9, 2020Are the controls perfect? No. Is there much to do in this game? No. Do these things matter in what this game is trying to achieve? AbsolutelyAre the controls perfect? No. Is there much to do in this game? No. Do these things matter in what this game is trying to achieve? Absolutely not. The atmosphere is pretty, the music soothes the soul, and the theme, while bittersweet, is spiritual in its message. I enjoyed the game very much, and the last few parts of it are a real treat.… Expand
Jul 21, 2019Frustrating to have to run such long distances... run, run, run... I know it's deliberate, to set the mood and control the pacing of the game.Frustrating to have to run such long distances... run, run, run... I know it's deliberate, to set the mood and control the pacing of the game. And, right, it's quite beautiful, when you're running around. Some of the gestures/actions were kind of annoying, like gathering butterflies, and although I eventually got past the obsidian, it was never quite clear what the correct action was that enabled that.
It's a relatively quick play, and it's beautiful and sweet and thoughtful. I'm glad I got it and played through, but I was swearing a lot.… Expand
Apr 6, 2019There is just one thing I'd like to get out of the way before I get started:
Please, don't be fooled or offended by my score of 5/10, I'mThere is just one thing I'd like to get out of the way before I get started:
Please, don't be fooled or offended by my score of 5/10, I'm glad that I bought The First Tree (twice), and I recommend you do too. I think David Wehle is very talented, I hope he makes more games, and I want to keep seeing emotionally driven games like this made by creators like this, so I will support them as often as I can.
I found out about The First Tree around a year and a half ago, when I saw Wehle had posted about his first game he was in the middle of creating on Reddit, which he had taught himself how to code over the course of two years in order to make. I was intrigued by that story and I love supporting new creators, so I bought it on Steam. At that point, it was still in the middle of development, meaning it was still very buggy and unfinished, so I stopped playing after about twenty minutes, and never really got back to it. A few months ago, that same creator posted again on Reddit, announcing his game had made it to the Switch, and I was happy for him, so I put it on my wishlist, and finally bought it a second time, just yesterday, when it was on sale, and I've finally gotten to experience the finished product, and, as I said earlier, I'm glad I did, and I recommend it, even though there's plenty of issues.
I'm a fan of walking simulators, and I've played all kinds of them. I thought The Beginners Guide was absolutely brilliant, I thought the characters in Night in the Woods were amazingly conceived, amazingly written, and I loved how three dimensional every one of them were, and the dialogue was incredible, I loved how much personality you could glean from the people you never even directly see, just by going through their things in Gone Home, I thought the Stanley Parable was an amazing addition to the pantheon of existential art, etc. I've only played around six or seven walking simulators, but I've enjoyed a few of them immensely, and I want to keep seeing them develop as a form, and I want to support creators working on them.
So, where does the First Tree fit into my impressions of walking simulators as a genre? Well, it's certainly not the best I've ever played, but it's not the worst, either.
I'll get my negative thoughts out of the way first, starting with my main issue, which is the fact that this game just doesn't feel good to control, at all. I get that this is a first time project from a single guy who taught himself how to code in two years, but I don't like to simply give games a pass just because they're made by smaller, inexperienced teams. Running around the terrain, jumping onto things, collecting things, it all "feels" unnatural in this game, which is especially problem because the majority of this game is spent running across long stretches of terrain for literal minutes at a time to collect some light orbs, while doing mild platforming, and for what little platforming there is, it's an absolute dreck. Controlling this fox is far more frustrating than it should be, whether you're jumping on things, collecting things, or even just running across grass, and nothing about the way it handles feels good or satisfying.
Additionally, way too much of this game is spent running across empty terrain, or simply pushing forward forever just to get to the next thing that's clearly in front of you, or wandering around trying to figure out what you're supposed to do next. And none of these things are bad on their own necessarily. You spend most of your time in Beginners Guide pushing forward, but along the way, you're given fascinating narration to listen to, and most of Gone Home is wandering aimlessly, but the house is so packed with personality and things to look at that it never feels tedious, empty, or boring, but in the First Tree, the narrations are not long enough to get you from one location to the next before you're forced to run the rest of the way through empty terrain with nothing engaging to listen to. On top of the times where you won't know where you're supposed to go, there are also times where you'll have figured out exactly what you're supposed to do, but it will take literal minutes to actually do it, because of how long the stretches of terrain are.
There are a lot of other smaller things I could criticize, but I don't want to diminish just how talented and creative I believe David Wehle to be, judging by this piece of work alone. The artwork is beautiful, and the story, while it does need quite a bit of work, is also moving and beautiful, and it contains a wonderful finale that I feel was definitely worth it, it's just a shame that experiencing that story only accounts for approximately 30-45mins of a 100min game that is spent mostly on tedious platforming and running around. That being said, I still ask anybody who appreciates this kind of game to support, it if they can spare ten dollars (or less, if they spot it on sale).… Expand
Dec 1, 2019It's really bad. I appreciate the effort, but storytelling was boring, mechanics cheap and crappy. You have to travel big distances inIt's really bad. I appreciate the effort, but storytelling was boring, mechanics cheap and crappy. You have to travel big distances in environments that are so ugly that my first thought was that something is broken. I honestly remember this game as one the worst experiences on Nintendo switch.… Expand
Sep 18, 2020I rely on metacritic reviews before buying a game. This one helped me to decide.
Buy this game for the ending scene. See how everythingI rely on metacritic reviews before buying a game. This one helped me to decide.
Buy this game for the ending scene. See how everything connects! Other players shape your ending and you shape theirs! Your level of exploration determines how much you shape their ending!
Superb music, with some tracks needing to be a bit longer to avoid repetition. There's an oboe melody that is so reminiscent of Tomb Raider (PS1) it brought back that nostalgic feeling of exploration.
I have no problem with the controls but could have used a controls reminder screen in a couple of places. The run/walk function could have been placed somewhere else but there is a problem with the movement of the fox: completely rigid, like it was stuffed. A few more frames of animation, perhaps turning its head when you move the camera...anything extra would have helped here. Jumping isn't well animated either. There's a waggle in walking mode, but I cannot (unless I'm forced to later on) walk for long in this game. Even the run is slower than I would like.
The open world feel of Breath of the Wild is present in this game - but with loading screens between areas (so, more like Ocarina of Time?) I would happily keep exploring were it not for the invisible walls about 7/8 of the way up a rocky hill. This immediately suppresses the open world feel and the desire to explore! Where there is no indication where the next pick-up is or where to explore next or where you have explored on a HUD map, this is where the area becomes a chance to memorise landmarks.
The fox starts with double jump ability - something I discovered half way through the game. The dig function happens for about 1 second, before hidden items are dug up. Plenty of these items could have used a better look - maybe to show detail in the photos or the blueprints? Each time I had to zoom in and even then, I wasn't sure what I was looking at. Weren't these clearer in the trailer?!
There are three areas with so little illumination it's hard to see where to go and if you are actually moving or just stuck on a wall. These could all use a little brightening up. The frustration at a tree root in the evening sun will be with me long after I finish this review. The rocks and the house are the other two places.
The music track with lyrics was a highlight of the game - it started to sound so much like Sigur Ros I thought it might actually be them! That is wasn't isn't a disappointment, because the effect was enough to heighten the entire scene.… Expand