Woven (PC) Review
Beautiful and colorful designs
Unique and relaxing concept
Lack of challenges
Making a children’s book is easy. Making a good children’s book is hard. With memorable characters, a vast and interesting world, and a light sense of humor, Woven is off to a good start.
Woven is the story of Stuffy, a living stuffed animal type creature who is too carefree for their own good and Glitch, a robot firefly with amnesia that doubles as both a flashlight and battery. These two unlikely characters form a friendship as they explore the wonder that is Stuffy’s world and investigate the mystery that is Glitch’s existence. Woven, through simple storytelling, offers a beautiful world to explore and discover.
Woven is a simple adventure game. Its only source of conflict is the fact neither character wants to advance without the other. This conflict is resolved by using the unique abilities of each character. For Glitch, this is interacting with various unusual machinery, and for Stuffy it’s changing their shape and patterns to fit a given situation. While this combination can and should result in elaborate puzzle-solving, what we get instead are simple obstacles and pattern riddles. There are bonus collectibles to be found in the form of different color patterns and new body shapes; however they are easily found with light exploration. This lack of challenge and conflict can create a feeling of dull monotony for those use to more difficult undertakings.
Visuals are both charming and clever. Developers went all out in designing the world of Woven, using various fabric textures and unique designs in the landscape. This feature makes it a joy to explore and is likely the primary source of enjoyment for most players. The machinery that Glitch uses, however, feels incomplete with less detail given to their respective surfaces and designs. This may have been intentional, though, as a way to highlight the fact that these items are, in fact, foreign to Stuffy’s world. The narration is also well done, with the voice actor emoting a genuine sense of fondness for the characters. Unfortunately that feeling never really changes, and its lack of variation contributes heavily to the overall monotony.
Woven plays like a children’s storybook. Its simple mechanics, and overall tone suggests a much younger audience than most. However, this storybook is gorgeous to look at and can still provide an entertaining and relaxing experience. Woven is easily worth exploring if you are looking for something to help you unwind or have younger gamers in the house.