We took some time to stream a playthrough of the demo of Woven, a game that is right up my street since it involves cute characters and lots of yarn. In Woven, you play Stuffy, a plushie elephant with a mechanical bee-like companion called Glitch. Together, you navigate a large world, searching for collectables and the truth about your own selves.
We played through the demo once mainly for the story, then took some time to go through it again and do some more exploring. There were an impressive number of collectables to search for and while we didn’t find them all, we did have fun trying. Meanwhile, the Woven team dropped by to answer a few of our questions in the chat. Check out the highlights!
Here are some of the things that stood out for us.
A wonderful woolly world
It took us by surprise to see the game in action. While screenshots are one thing, actually seeing the detail in motion is something else. Button mushrooms, fabric hills and trees made of yarn are only a few examples of some of the beautifully crafted things that you can examine as you guide Stuffy around the landscape. Mushrooms in a dark forest glow under Glitch’s light, tiny flowers made of yarn waver in a light summer breeze and dry desert hills made of cracked leather are bathed in brilliant sunshine. It’s simply beautiful to look at and walk around, and there are specific points where you can stop to take a breath and consider the landscape laid out in front of you.
Frankenstein’s cuddly elephant
Using Glitch, you can scan other creatures for blueprints that you can use to stitch new parts for Stuffy. Glitch plugs itself into machines that are dotted around the landscape, providing the data for the machine to knit Stuffy into any required shape. Need to hop over some rocks? Swap your heavy elephant feet for some light bunny legs. Different blueprints give you different powers that come in handy in different situations and there is some light puzzle solving involved around using the right blueprint and fabric at the right time. But if you like you can simply mess around stitching together your own weird creature and have fun playing around with the different patterns available and just making creepy animal hybrids. You can even customise Stuffy’s look using fabric swatches that you’ve collected, and change the pattern of individual body parts or patches that are sewn onto him.
A large world full of collectables
What impressed us was that the world, although finite, was a large area to explore and in the demo alone there were 27 collectables. A common problem with large, procedurally generated areas can be repetition, but Woven’s worlds are carefully stitched together with lots of hidden areas to explore, bringing back memories of classics like Banjo-Kazooie and Spyro. Sure, you’ll come to an end eventually, but exploring and walking around is a pleasure, and the more time you spend doing so, the more you’ll discover. With the added bonus of collectables hidden all over the place there’s a strong incentive to do some wandering.
A yarn that hints at the darkness
Although it’s all very fluffy and cute on the surface, the end of the demo and the inclusion of a terrifying spider hints at a story with darker elements to come. We were lulled into a false sense of security with the dreamy music, the exploration and all of the fabric, but with Glitch and Stuffy fleeing a dark place and trying to learn more about their selves and their origins, we have the makings of something interesting.
Woven is now on Kickstarter and appropriately, one of the stretch goals is a Stuffy plush toy. If you want to find out more about Woven, sign up to their newsletter or check them out on Twitter and Facebook.