Timbertales – Review
Follow Genre: Turn based strategy
Developer: Rainware Softworks
Publisher: Rainware Softworks
Platform: iOS, Android, PC
Tested on: PC

Timbertales – Review

Site Score
5.3
Good: Cute premise of adorable animals
Bad: Rough game polish
User Score
6.3
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.3/10 (4 votes cast)

Releasing Last June, we already took a look at Timbertales when it was in early access right here. In that preview, we talked about how, with the growth of funding opportunities, we’re also likely to see a number of one-time projects, duds, and other kinds of problematic releases. Because it is less inpactful for people to realize a project, it is more likely to leave a project behind when it doesn’t seem to be working out as intended. Timbertales got funded and made its way through to the end, meaning that the question now remains: What is Timbertales, and is it any good?

Story

Playing as the Sylvan, a group of friendly forest creatures, Timbertales is about your fight against the enemy faction, the Vermin. Wherever you go, you’ll find that they’re always trying to take over and destroy the forest, and plotting evil things. The most of the storytelling this game does is through environment, and there is some dialogue between the critters and at the start of the missions. The storyline is an archetypal hero story of loss, growth and then returning to take revenge and take back what was yours. When looking at the campaign options, you’ll see the usual tutorial mode, the prologue, and then the Sylvan campaign. To us this would signal that there should also be a Vermin campaign, but that one is unfortunately absent from the menu.

Graphics

Being set in a north american forest, Timbertales has quite a lot of graphic diversity. The game features the different animals of course, as well as the forest tiles, which seem to be stuck in autumn, as some trees are starting to shed their leaves and turn brown. Tiles come with a variety of features too, such as flower patches, plain grass, mushrooms, or water features. The creatures however seem to be stuck in an endless animation that is not even animated, but seems to be the same artwork, just slightly morphing over time to indicate life, and moving across the map is just as hilarious, some flying units look kind of normal, though others make a weird rolling animation, which seems a little off. This especially starts to become noticable when you see the idle animation is already a morph more than an actual animation, and then you’ll realise there isn’t really any animation in this title.

Sound

Surprisingly, the main soundtrack underscoring your time with this game is quite good! With a good variety in melody and tone, you’ll certainly feel the intensity of the encounters. Other sound effects you’ll hear are enjoyable, if somewhat generic forest background samples, and the attack actions come with quite the standard “woosh” sound. None of the creatures have their own distinguishable sounds either, so they don’t stand apart from each other besides visually.

Gameplay

Based on a Hex grid, Timbertales is a turn based strategy game. Before you start a mission you get to draft your own force, based on mechanics from tabletop strategy games. Your army will consist out of a bunch of friendly forest creatures such as badgers, wolves, porcupines and other animals. Each of these creatures have some special qualities to them, the wolf has high damage, the porcupine can shoot its quills at range, and the badger is the baseline average unit you can get. The enemy team consist of all the creepy crawlies you’ll find in the forest, such as ants, wasps, foxes and more.

The promised depth however seems to be quite lackluster. Each creature has a unique ability sure, but they all feel like abilities that creatures should have without the flair of a special attack. The balance of the game also seems a little off, with games you always want to feel more powerful, but for Timbertales that doesn’t seem to be the case. All the enemy creatures seem to be tweaked at higher stats than your creatures, which does help with the fantasy aspect, but often it just seems unfair to the player who is trying their hardest to save the forest to no avail. and though no disaster if the balance is only a little off, it is compounded by the story throwing more and more enemies at the player making it feel unfair.

Conclusion

Timbertales had good promise with an adorable creatures versus creatures premise that we don’t see often, it seems like it should be a kid friendly game to get your children into gaming. With the difficulty of the game it may be a good lesson in losing for children more than anything however, as well as that this game doesn’t win any beauty prizes. As mentioned before, Timbertales seems to be kickstarted and released by a solo developer to grow their portfolio. For a solo project it is already quite impressive that the game got released, especially as we read up on the studio it came from, to find that it is their first game. Because despite the overall negative review of the game, it is always infinitely more impressive to have your title released than it is to have it crash and burn.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.3/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Timbertales - Review, 6.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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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