Timbertales – Preview

Good: Cute, wholesome concept and story
Bad: Repetitive gameplay
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8.0
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With the ease of access to funds nowadays with services such as Kickstarter, Patreon, and GoFundMe, there’s a wealth of new games virtually flooding the market. Some games distinguish themselves with interesting mechanics, others with impressive visuals, or in the case of today’s game: unexplored and cool ideas for storylines. In Timbertales you fight as an army of woodland creatures protecting the forest from an enemy faction. You assemble an army of one or two factions, between insects and bigger animals. A concept that is interesting in itself, but is also rarely explored as a theme for a game. Is this enough to make an interesting game, or does it take more than a good concept to make a successful game?

Timbertales banner

Timbertales is a turn based hex strategy game, with a forest theme where you fight as a faction of woodland critters or a band of insects locked in a turf war. That is about all for the story you’ll get in this game. The game has very little in terms of story so far, which is to be expected seeing as it has only been out for a short while. While currently really light on story, the game is designed to be a mobile port, which explains a lot. Mobile games are usually made to be quick little experiences, that are there to entertain you for short bursts that usually revolve around light stories and a single gameplay mechanic.

Timbertales 2

For Timbertales however, there is no single gameplay mechanic that stands out. All of its mechanics are time tested good mechanics, however there is nothing that grasps the player. The game plays out, as we noted before, as a turn based, hex strategy game. You start a game by placing a base from where your unit spawns. that’s right, unit. In our testing so far, we have failed to fight any fights that weren’t scripted with more than one unit. As you walk around the map you uncover the tiles and find your enemies. At the end of each map you’ll find the enemy base you will have to destroy to get to the next level.

Along with the single player campaign, you’ll find single player arcade modes and multiplayer ranked and unranked modes. In these modes you can gather an army that you buy with points similarly to a warhammer campaign. If you cannot find another player to fight there is an option to fight an AI. And you should expect to be fighting the AI often, as the game has a small player base, with even less players playing online. When fighting the AI there are several kinds of objectives. Gamemodes can include having to kill all enemies, or destroying their base, and gathering up resources at your base.

Timbertales 3

When playing Timbertales the sound department leaves something to be desired. There is only one piece of background music and the sound effects sound like they come from Runescape. Each of the different animals make the same sound when moving or attacking, making the game sound really repetitive. It would be fun if all the units had slightly different sounds, but this is not the case making the game overall sound bland.

Graphically the game is nothing to write home about either. This is quite to be expected for a mobile port however, but it doesn’t do the game justice on PC. There is not a lot of diversity in enemy or terrain design, nor is there a lot in the way of particles and special effects. Each special attack is animated differently, but their normal attacks are all very similar to their idle animations. All of the maps are located in the forest setting, with the tiles existing of trees for walls, grass and tall grass for ground, and water for obstacles.

Timbertales 4

Conclusion

Kickstarter has given way for a load of small indie titles to come to the market. These titles are usually made by small teams and generally only serve to build a portfolio for young game developers. Games like that are usually made for a small budget with extremely demanding deadlines. This means that these games are usually throwaway titles for those developers. However those little titles are not always useless. They could be made to fill some specific niche where there is not a big market for games, or they are made around one interesting mechanic. Timbertales in its current state, is unfortunately neither, but its theme around forest creatures fills one of those niches. tI’s a cute theme and with its easy mechanics would be a really cool game to get your younger child into playing video games. Just set them up with a tablet running the game and let them play with all the fluffy woodland critters.

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Timbertales - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Brustenhoven
Brustenhoven


Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 24, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

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