Dendrophile’s Dream: The Old Tree

By Adam Smith on February 28th, 2012 at 10:29 am.

Is this what it's like inside trees? It looks awesome.

Like a beautifully illustrated children’s storybook, The Old Tree is an interactive adventure following the first steps, or lurches, of an odd creature that hatches in the base of the titular timber. Think Samorost but with insect bellboys and an excellent mammal cameo. Interaction is simple, with the player enabling the tentacled apple-bulb to progress by clicking on parts of the environment to create a path. It’s oddly sinister too, although nothing horrific happens so don’t worry too much. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like grubs and insects. It’ll only take about twenty minutes to play through and strange scenes like the one pictured above make that time well spent, I reckon.

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12 Comments »

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    Tom De Roeck says:

    Anyone still saying games cannot be art: go jump in a lake.

    • Shuck says:

      The people saying that were either playing the games that had no interest in being art (which is most games, sadly), or weren’t playing games at all *cough*Ebert*cough*. Either way they weren’t worth listening to.

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    Vartarok says:

    Interaction is incredibly uninspired and dull. Specially since you realize three quarters of it involves switching interruptors.

    Artistically speaking is nice, but the dark-strange-nightmare-before-christmas design has been done before a lot of times.

    Worth playing, though.

    • fenriz says:

      that’s true but the effort at making these little puzzles is still greater than those indie platformers(visually gorgeous) about shooting, grabbing new keys and pushing blocks to fit in their shapes.

    • Vandalbarg says:

      You could say this about literally every game bar maybe three or four.

  3. Ross Angus says:

    I liked it. But think it should be called “the head crab chronicles”.

  4. Kyrall says:

    I admit I played it without sound, but I was unimpressed.
    The puzzles were few and not that interesting once I figured them out, and the sections between were just slow – I forgot I was playing it at one point, I got distracted while waiting.

    Either I totally ruined it by not having sound, or it just didn’t click with me.

    • tremulant says:

      Well, it broke shortly after the kitchen for me, so i can’t comment on the overall game, but what i’ve experienced thus far was fairly unengaging and dull, maybe making comparisons to samorost was a mistake, as this doesn’t seem to have any of the charm or polish. Still, i’ll try again and hope that it doesn’t randomly die this time.

  5. El Mariachi says:

    There is what appears to be an Amanita mushroom towards the end, presumably as an homage.

  6. spinefarm says:

    A lot of spoiled kids I see here :) Maybe you should try make a 10% good as this one before complaining :)
    The game is awesome..the art is awesome…and not forget it is a casual game…

    • Kyrall says:

      Not so much a spoiled kid, but spoiled adult? Perhaps. Spoiled by the awesome games that are around. Only this isn’t one of them.
      I hope to make games someday, but just because I couldn’t make something like this doesn’t make it good! And being unable to make games doesn’t invalidate my criticism.
      I’d say the problem is all the people saying “hey, this game is so awesome, everyone should play it”. Then it’s somewhat disappointing to find this pretty but dull game.