RetroEpic Studios dropped me a line earlier to tell me that they’d released a new “sliding puzzle type game”. This filled me with dread because my brain isn’t wired to complete those things. I actually had to look up solutions on Youtube when Alice: Madness Returns decided it’d be a good idea for me to have a go at one of those infernal switcharoos. Thankfully, A Day In The Woods isn’t that kind of sliding block puzzle at all. Instead of making pictures, you’re making routes for Red Riding Hood to follow through the woods, so it's about navigation of a single piece rather than rearrangement of a group. As an extra treat, the art design, which makes the whole thing look a bit like a fancy wooden gameboard, is beautiful. There’s a trailer yonder and you'll find a link to the demo, for both Windows and OSX, on this page.
I’ve played through the demo and can definitely see myself going further. The complexity increases at a rate suitable for my tired, easily confused brain and it’s all very aesthetically pleasing. I'm also amused by the responses of the people in the houses Red visits along the way, which add further character to a game already brimming with it. Let's just say there are a lot of people in the woods and some of them are not pleased to be mistaken for a granny.
If puzzles aren’t your thing though, there may be something in this missive for you yet! I very sensibly had a look at RetroEpic’s back catalogue and spent many a minute playing Para-Uber. Research into the company’s history, you understand. Free, online and with a similarly pleasing level of graphical detail as A Day In The Woods, it’s a game about shooting peoples’ parachutes and watching them plummet to a presumably deserved fate. It's simple, yes, but it's satisfying and slick. I would gladly be playing right now if I didn't have words to write.