[Beyond PlayStation] Family Tree Review
Mr. and Mrs. Fruits are enjoying the day at home when Pedro, the Sugar Skull, shows up and kidnaps all their children. Learn more in our Family Tree review!
Family Tree • Trailer • Switch
“Don’t stay up too late, kids” said Mr Fruits to his babies one evening as he went to bed. But they were so busy glued to their screens they completely ignored him.
All of a sudden the Evil Skull Pedro appeared, and with a mischievous cackle, he sucked all the Fruits family kids into a portal, turned them into actual fruit and then scattered them throughout all the trees in the forest!
Can you get them all back?!
Family Tree is a pinball platform game where you’ll be aiming your shots and bouncing on baddies to traverse many hand-crafted levels.
Twist in the air and traverse devilishly designed obstacles to rescue your children, discover secrets and rack up score before you reach the goal.
• 128 levels of exciting puzzle platform action and 32 extra bonus stages
• Play as Mr or Mrs Fruits
• 1-4 player couch-play race battle mode
• Dollops of secrets
• Loads of unlockables and post-game content
• Addictive one-more-go sugar rush gameplay
Family Tree is a minimalist puzzle platformer in which you need to hurl your fruit parent up a tree to rescue the fruit children. You are playing as either Mr. or Mrs. Fruits. And no, those aren’t some made-up names! As I mentioned before, all of your fruit kids are captured by Pedro, the Sugar Skull. Because of this, you will need to climb up tree trunks as Mr. or Mrs. Fruits and rescue your kids that Pedro has hidden there. As you collect them, they will start to trail behind you. Once you’ve done this, all you need to do is get to the top of the trunk to complete the level. After this, you’ll move on to the next one and do it all over again.
To hurl your fruit parent, you will use the analog stick and point with it. You will get a line showing the direction your fruit will go, including after bouncing off the walls. I played this one bothy in handheld and in docked mode. For handheld, I didn’t love the way the stick was used to aim, as it was much harder to be precise with it. When in docked mode, I decided to use my Nintendo Switch Pro controller, and it felt as if the analog stick had a bit more range, making this process feel more natural. When your fruit is in the air, you can direct it a bit as to try and hit your mark a bit better.
As you climb the tree trunks you will find all sorts of things you need to avoid, including bouncers, boxes, two varieties of cannons – the ones that are blue will fire in one direction when you hit them, and purple ones rotate, allowing you to pick the direction you want to go in. It’s not a hard one, and you’ll probably breeze through most levels pretty quickly. It’s a fun game that is more aimed at young players than adults, which is why I enlisted the help of my six-year-old and my nine-year-old to give this one a go, and they both enjoyed their time with Family Tree.
Along the way, as you move up the tree, you need to collect coins, rescue the fruit kids, do it as fast as possible, and land close to the exit to rack up the points. Depending on how you do, you will get rated with stars at the end of a level. There is a timer as you climb the tree, and if you run out of time, Pedro will start chasing you. If he does catch you, you will be sent back to the level’s start.
There are also some sidescrolling missions that are thrown in between the other sets of levels. Since you’ll be exploring many levels in a vertical setting, these sidescrolling levels do end up feeling different thanks to their horizontal presentation. They’re a nice change of pace, and they even bump up the difficulty a bit! I did also enjoy the endless climb mode, which, as its name suggests, is a mode in which you’re climbing towards the top of the tree… which you’ll never reach. This is a great mode for those of you with more experience in gaming since you’ll be able to play this mode over and over again as you try to beat your top score.
Is Family Tree going to be for everyone? Probably not, since it’s a minimalist puzzle-platformer that is better suited for younger gamers. It’s a cute and entertaining 2D puzzler, available at a budget price of $7.99 on Nintendo Switch, and as was the case for my kids, your kids will probably have a blast playing the more than 100 levels it has to offer.