reviewed by dessgeega
the name alone convinced me to download within a deep forest
. it was all i expected it to be. the game is emblematic of 16-bit game design--not the excess of unnecessary buttons and meaningless trinkets to find, but rather its abilty to create and sustain lush, moody worlds that deceive the player about their size through layers of mystery and detail.
the game is drenched in twilight, the horizons frayed with purple. small pixel creatures lend hints of life and detail to the game’s massive rooms. a downtempo soundtrack ranges from hushed to softly jazzy, and hovers at the fringe of the player’s perception. the game itself is about a ball, with small eyes that sometimes blink and a short mouth that never moves. the ball bounces naturally against the looming walls and ceilings - holding the A button makes the ball bounce further, holding the S makes the ball bounce less. it’s a simple command set, but lends enough nuance to the gameplay to keep navigation engaging and tricky.
like most games of the 16-bit school, progress in the game means finding power-ups which unlock new abilities, then finding places those abilities allow you to reach. but it never becomes lock-and-key--the game works you hard for each new ability, and each ability comes with its own little trick that must be mastered: your new ball bounces higher and faster, but is consequently harder to control. it is always skill and perserverence that determines your progress. expect to replay many sequences until you are capable enough to pass them. replaying is instantaneous and painless--the game keeps just above being frustrating.
in what seems like another homage to the 16-bit school, within a deep forest contains a needless mine cart sequence. it’s over quick--bear with it. it is worth seeing this game through.
Name: Within a Deep Forest
Developer: Nicklas Nygren