[Beyond PlayStation] Woven Review
Woven is a charming and clever 3D adventure in a very interesting world you should explore on Nintendo Switch. Find out why in our Woven review!
Alterego Games initially took Woven to Kickstarter all the way back in 2016, and even though hundreds of people backed the project, it ended up falling short of its €85,000 main goal. The team at Alterego Games didn’t give up on the project and continue to work on it here and there in subsequent years, up until Dutch studio StickyLock stepped in to work as the publisher for the game. The project got the boost it needed to be put in the fast track, and here we are in November 2019 with Woven out on Nintendo Switch.
Woven tells the story of Stuffy, a well-meaning but particularly clumsy stuffed animal who we find wandering around an area all on its own. He seems to be damaged and worn out, having trouble walking at a steady pace. Luckily he will soon find Glitch, a metal firefly who has somehow lost its memory, but who will prove to be very useful for this new adventure. For example, right at the start of the game, Stuffy will be scared of going into a dark cave, and the narrator even lets you know this will be the case before you even go near that particular cave. But once you have Glitch, he’ll be able to use one of these abilities to light up the cave so that Stuffy can cross to the other side.
As for the controls for Woven, you can move around with the left analog stick, using the right one to swing the camera so that you can take a look at your surrounding area. If you want to interact with things, you’ll have to do so by pressing the ZR button to bring up Stuffy’s ability wheel to select one of his current actions, which will depend on the body parts that Stuffy currently possesses. You can also press the ZL button to bring up the ability wheel for Glitch, which will include interacting with the machines you will run into during your adventure.
For example, once you find a knitting machine, you can use Glitch to activate it. When Stuffy goes below a knitter, players can use the different animal patterns they have collected during their time with woven to give Stuffy different heads and body parts, applying fabrics from the ones you have scanned with Glitch to change how Stuffy looks and feels. This is very important since different body parts will provide Stuffy with different skills that will need to be put to good use during this fun 3D adventure. Along with allowing you to customize the way stuffy looks, some of the fabric options will also help you solve a puzzle or two here and there.
Without spoiling things too much, I’ll talk a bit about the first two obstacles you run into in the game. Early on during the initial tutorial area, Stuffy and Glitch will run into a block that is, well, blocking their way. Luckily there’s a new pattern that can be obtained from a nearby contraption, so off they go to the knitter afterward to apply the new pattern to Stuffy. By changing his arms, Stuffy will now be able to push the block out of the way, opening the path towards the next obstacle. Since you’re already equipped with the more powerful arms, you can also knock down a tree to carry on with your journey.
Along the way, there are going to dozens of animal patterns and fabrics to collect in the game. Be sure to use Stuffy’s abilities to gain access to new fabrics so that you can change not only the way he looks but also the fabrics and patterns for each part of this beloved stuffed animal. The fabrics are split into plain, knitted, leather, pattern, and other, so be sure to check into each knitter you find to see what new fabrics and patterns you’ve obtained from your efforts to give Stuffy the abilities needed to continue, as well as the look that best suits your taste.
Woven is a game that I liked backed when I saw what it was trying to do with its Kickstarter campaign, and I’m genuinely happy to see that the team at Alterego Games never gave up, and eventually found a good partner in Sticky Lock to be able to bring this fun and charming game to the Nintendo Switch. The team has managed to make good on their promise of delivering a story-driven 3D adventure, taking the initial designs and gameplay elements they had in mind for the game and evolving its look and gameplay to give us a release that stands out as a must-have on Nintendo Switch.
This Woven review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Sticky Lock.