Published on September 5th, 2019 | by Jason Eckhardt
Mable & The Wood PC Review
Summary: Mable & The Wood on PC is really enjoyable at times and very frustrating at others. Furthermore, Mable & The Wood caused a full cycle of emotions while playing through the main story.
Enjoyable & Frustrating
Mable & The Wood is the latest Metroidvania style game on Steam. You play a prophesized girl named Mable who is able to shapeshift into various forms to reach the boss at the end of each stage. The quintessential Metroidvania game!
You start at Mable who is unable to jump or attack with her sword because it is too heavy. You are able to shapeshift into various forms for a limited amount of time to use your weapon to attack as well as effectively jump. Mable starts the game with the ability to change into a faerie which allows her to fly for a short period of time. This is effectively how you will be jumping. When Mable transforms she drops her sword but once her transformation ends she is able to recall her sword that will hit everything in a straight line to her from where it was dropped. While running through each map you collect Gems which are your currency to buy potions or upgrades. When you get hit, you lose a very large number of the Gems so you are encouraged to practice your dodging skills.
The concept of the game seems really neat at first and really practical. But, it’s not all faeries flying and throwing swords. The controls are very clunky and feel like this should’ve been a console release. The keyboard and mouse mapping was really ineffective and really more convoluted than it should have been. When I switched to a controller the controls felt more fluid though slightly slower paced.
While this is a Metroidvania game, it still suffers from the usual 2D platform suspects all games of the genre do. Poor meshing, some really bad points where you will get literally stuck in save ending points of no return. Unfortunately this led to a complete restart of the game as there are no save files and only save beacons.
Mable & The Wood offers a really pretty game for its genre with fully animated sprites and various attack animations for each enemy as well as yourself. The background art is pretty but gets overly repetitive as there seem to only be a handful of slides for each zone. The interactables are plenty to add a puzzle element to the game, especially when you start unlocking the rest of Mables forms. The score for this game is really good, like you could run the game in the background and still really enjoy it. While the score itself is really good, the game sounds are also mostly good. When you collect gems you get a satsifying ding however when you collect multiple at a time, you won’t get that same satisfying sound several times.
Overall, I think this game is really enjoyable at times and very frustrating at others. Mable & The Wood caused a full cycle of emotions while playing through the main story. There is plenty of room for advancement to make this a great Metroidvania style game but its just missing out in a few key spots that are more memorable than a lot of the great features this game has. The music is beautiful while the controls are wonky.