Under Leaves – Review
Follow Genre: Casual, Puzzle
Developer: Circus Atos
Publisher: Circus Atos
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC
Tested On: Nintendo Switch

Under Leaves – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Fantastic Art and Music, Relaxing
Bad: Fairly Easy, Short, Little Replayabliity
User Score
8.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Under Leaves is an interesting title. It’s a hidden object puzzle game revolving around different animals and ecosystems. While the game itself is fairly short, everything from the setting, hand-drawn art style, and music are more than enough to carry the title.

Story

While the game itself doesn’t have much of a story, it tends to describe as much as possible through the setting. From the start of the game, a map of the seven continents is shown, with each one having different animals and ecosystems. From there, depending on the stage, players are tasked to find different items and food based on the animals’ requests. As the game doesn’t fully tell players what to expect from each stage, for the most part, it’s not too difficult to figure out.

Graphics 

Under Leaves art design takes the form of fantastic water-colored hand-drawn visuals. The game can best be described as something taken directly out of a children’s coloring book. From the nine different locations players will traverse, each ecosystem is vibrantly colored and detailed. Ranging from tropical jungles, swamps, frozen tundras, and even oceanic levels, you’ll have a diverse set of backdrops. Each area is perfectly colored and is a pleasant sight for the eyes.

In addition, each area has specific color palettes to further differentiate the ecosystems, as well as the animals. For example, the arctic areas are solely based on a light color palette such as light blue, grey, and white. Since this game is based around finding things in plain sight, the game does a great job of using small amounts of colors in each stage. By doing this, the game is not making things too obvious, while still making the game somewhat challenging. 

Sound 

For the most part, the sound design in Under Leaves is subtle, which is to be expected. The music is calm, relaxing, and compliments the simplistic design and gameplay. Depending on the area, players will hear a variety of different sounds based on the ecosystems. Leaves rustling in the wind, the subtle sound of waves, the slightly muted tone of the underwater depths; the game nails each aspect perfectly. The sounds of different animals muffled in the backgrounds, depending on the ecosystem, are well done too.

It’s safe to say that Under Leaves basically nails the goal of making relaxing music one of the forefronts of the game entirely. Since the game has no dialogue at all, making the music and sound one of the primary things players will focus on while finding the hidden objects is a soothing experience. 

Gameplay

As stated earlier, Under Leaves is a hidden object puzzle game focused around different animals and their respective ecosystems. The main goal of the game is to fulfill different requests for the animals that the player will meet. The items are mostly food-related, such as finding fish for arctic polar bears, and lizards for jungle snakes. The game is fairly simplistic but has a large amount of charm. 

Under Leaves has nine different locations in total and twenty-nine different animals to take requests from, with each area being a different type of biome with different items to find. For fans of the genre looking for any type of challenge or longevity, this game has little of either.

Most of the time, players will have a goal of finding a certain number of the same items. Since the items are the same depending on each level, it’s actually quite easy to pick out the right things. Since there’s no penalty for making a wrong choice, players can easily pick random places to choose from, without actually putting in an effor.

If players are in a tight spot and need some assistance, the game has a pretty smart solution. Players always have the option to ask for a hint, and in order to get it, they will have to solve a separate puzzle in order to proceed. As the hints themselves aren’t really difficult either, it won’t take too long to get immersed entirely, making the back and forth brain-teasers seamless.

After levels are completed, players are welcomed to different animations of the animals and backgrounds, offering some sort of reward. As these add no significant impact on gameplay, the game welcomes the player to take screenshots afterward. Needless to say, the illustrations were already fantastic, and the bonuses after completion are well worth the snapshots.

Conclusion

Under Leaves is a delightful hidden object puzzler. The game doesn’t offer too much when it comes to replayability and difficulty, but the art design and music handle the title’s direction flawlessly making it a very artsy experience. While the game is short and sweet, it’s a pleasant time-waster and is still a nice change from other games in the genre. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Under Leaves - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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