Developer: RetroEpic Software
When I see a tile-swapping, I usually skip it over and I have no shame in saying that. Most games in the genre try nothing new and instead rely on tried-and-true methods of tile-swapping without attempting to do anything unique. Thankfully, RetroEpic Software’s A Day in the Woods is the exact opposite of all that, both in terms of the design and the actual gameplay that is just plain old fun.
In the game, your goal is to get Little Red Riding Hood to the safety of her house as the woods surrounding the area are full of dangers like bears and wolves. Each tile in the hexagonal landscape has a special property and you will have learn how they interact with each other in order to pass the more challenging levels. For example, tiles with rocks and trees cannot be moved. Activating certain other tiles will give you advantages such as a lumberjack who will cut down trees and bunnies that will distract the wolves for you.
There are plenty of more things to learn but the game does a very good job at explaining what is happening. Some of them are obvious from the very beginning, like the fact that you need to collect growing flowers before clearing the stage or that Red Riding Hood needs to be at least two tiles away from bears and wolves if you do not want her to be mauled to death. These little features are exactly what make the game so fun to play and they never feel frustrating, even though you will always have a limited number of moves to complete the 60 missions of the game.
The great gameplay is complimented by the absolutely stunning graphics. Most items on the tiles, including the characters, look like something out of a storybook. I am still not sure whether they look more like wooden statues or papier-mâché but I do know one thing: everything looks gorgeous. And if you want to appreciate the art style even more, you can use the free-roaming camera to stare at everything in more detail.