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iPhone  header logo

Baum - Branching out, but could do with a prune


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Wood you?

Product: Baum | Format: iPhone | Genre: Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Baum iPhone, thumbnail 1
Baum has some nice ideas. Its central concept, about moving a droplet of water around a tree, blends together platforming, puzzling, and line drawing in some interesting ways.

It looks lovely too, reminiscent of the deep green hues of Botanicula. And it's simple control system should mean anyone can pick it up and have a go.

But that's where the first of the problems comes in. It's sometimes a little too fiddly, and a little too cumbersome, for its own good.

Baum has its moments, but it also has a good deal of frustrations too.

You're controlling a blob of water then?

Yes you are. And you control it by slowly drawing lines on the screen for it to follow. Being water it'll stick to various surfaces and roll down them, following the pull of gravity.

The aim of the game is to pass your droplet through a variety of different buds to get them to flower. Then deposit it in a final, massive bud at the end of the level.

There are time constraints if you want to get the best scores, and you don't need to bloom the other buds if you're having trouble. Get to the end and you'll unlock the next level.

The problems arise when you start having to do more complex moves. The line-drawing can often feel ineffective, and you'll tumble into spikes or plummet down holes without ever really knowing why it's happened.

And that can be pretty annoying, especially if you fail just before a checkpoint and have to roll through a hefty chunk of the level to try and get back to the point you failed last time.

Hmmm, that does sound pretty annoying

It is, and it's a shame, because there's a whole load of good things going on here as well. When it's working well, it works brilliantly, and sloshing through the levels is an awful lot of fun.

But the stumbling blocks are just a little too big. There'll be times when you're enjoying yourself, only to get booted back because of a slip or a tumble that you didn't really have any control over.

Baum is still worth checking out, don't get me wrong, but this is a guarded recommendation.

There's a lot here to enjoy, and some brilliant ideas, but you'll have to slog through some poor design decisions to get there.
 
Baum - Branching out, but could do with a prune
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 27 January 2016
There's a decent game here, with some brilliant ideas, but it often ends up obfuscated behind fiddly controls
 
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