I was interested in Woven when I first saw the trailer featuring a cutesy stuffed elephant traipsing around a patchwork world of colour. It looked like it could have been yet another throwback to the earlier days of gaming, where swear words were rare and adventures were plentiful. It wasn’t to be, unfortunately, and the frustration brought about by some odd design choices turned the air blue with my constant cussing.
The problem with Woven is that it’s neither here nor there. Is it a game for kids? Is it a game for adults? Is it a game for everyone? These are the questions that came to mind as I tried to take Stuffy the elephant and his robot firefly friend through the game’s barren lands.
The story is that a metallic robot called Glitch has awoken in a strange land with no memory of how he got there or what his purpose is. He comes across Stuffy the elephant who is limping around with a busted leg. The two become friends and that’s all I know. I don’t know how the story ends because I didn’t finish. On one hand, I wanted to finish the story and find out what’s what, but on the other hand, the game is so poor it’s just not worth the agony in getting to the end. That’s a shame because the premise is good and the narrator (who mostly speaks in rhyme) is charming enough, but the general gameplay is just painful.
For one, Stuffy can’t jump. He’s really limited in what he can do. He can’t run. He can’t even walk up the slightest incline. As an adventure game character, he’s useless. Glitch, the robotic firefly, can help Stuffy by changing out body parts at the machines that are littered around the game’s world. Here, you can swap body parts to give Stuffy different abilities. Don’t get excited, mind you, as those abilities are simply button presses and canned animations. To get the parts, you need to first complete a musical mini-game that riffs off of Guitar Hero. And no, the mini-games aren’t much fun either. In fact, I’m willing to bet that if you sat a child in front of it for a week they wouldn’t be able to do it. I just about managed a few of them before putting the controller down and going for a walk. Who is this game for?!
Exploration is encouraged but hindered by Stuffy’s slow movement and the lack of any kind of map. Trying to figure out what to do and where to go was a lesson in frustration for me, and so I can’t imagine a child ever sitting through the entire experience. I didn’t. I lasted about 90 minutes before I erased the game from my console. Now if I could just erase it from my mind, all will be well again.
Woven PS4 Review
- Overall - Really Bad - 3/103/10
Woven has a few nice ideas, particularly around customisation and storytelling, but it's ultimately let down by being a very frustrating game to play.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS4 Pro.