Yes, I have finally taken my time to site down and play through Big Evil Corporation’s 16-bit puzzle platformer “Tanglewood” (don’t miss out on our “Tanglewood” interview with Matt Phillips!”). Well, I have also spent the last couple of days recording a video for “Tanglewood” (I uploaded the video via our Youtube page yesterday).

tanglewood the settings menu

This is what the settings menu looks like in “Tanglewood” (I’ll have you know that it’s a very simple menu, just like the once in the good old Mega Drive days).

So I’m going to do my very best to make a fair and balanced review of “Tanglewood” =) And with that said, the first thing that I noticed when I booted up “Tanglewood” is that the game sure lives up to its said 16-bit nature. You see, as soon as the game kicks-off, it really feels like you are back in the 80s or 90s again.

tanglewood the alien monster

From my point of view, “Tanglewood” is like a mix of “Sonic the Hedgehog”, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, “The Lion King” and “Another world”. However, I also felt some “Aliens” (mainly “Alien 3”) and “Heart of darkness” vibes while playing the game.

I’m not even exaggerating either, because you really feel like you’re playing a newly made Mega Drive game in the year 2018. Furthermore, even the music and sound effects are very 16-bit:ish. The same could also be said about Tanglewood’s controls, which are as simple as they get (you only use three action buttons + the up, down, left and right buttons).

tanglewood fireflies

Besides solving puzzles and just getting through levels, you also get a chance to collect fireflies (there are eight fireflies per stage).

I would also like to point out that the settings and option menu are very simple and basic as well in “Tanglewood”. So you are pretty much good to go in just a couple of minutes (if even that), and once the game’s introduction movie is over, you are free to explore the world of “Tanglewood” as you please (you play as a fox-like creature named “Nymn”).

tanglewood fuzzls

Every now and then, you run into some strange round and fuzzy creates called “fuzzls”, and they give you temporary powers if you help them get back to their nests.

However, be sure to be a quick learner though, or else you will end up dead in no time…Because there are plenty of deadly traps and creatures to be found in “Tanglewood”. I actually ended up dead a couple of times just because I couldn’t keep my curiosity at bay. Long story short, you can only get hit ONE time in “Tanglewood”, because on hit = Instant death.

tanglewood deadly creatures

I wasn’t even joking in my gameplay video of “Tanglewood” when I said that there are deadly creatures to be found all over the place in the game (such as the squirrel in this picture, for example).

So I made the mistake to think that it was a good idea to befriend some local forest squirrels. Well, it turned out that the squirrels are actually blood hungry monster in disguise (as seen in the picture above). In other words, it’s a good idea to always assume that everything, and everyone is out there to kill you (at least that’s the case in the first chapter of the game).

tanglewood the angry beast

Do you remember that monster who chased you in “Another World”? Well, “Tanglewood” has a monster like that of its own.

As for the gameplay aspects of “Tanglewood”, the game is very smooth and straight forward. So it’s the kind of game that very easy to get into, but it takes skills and practice to master. Even so, I still feel like the balance is just right in “Tanglewood” (the difficulty + the platform + puzzle elements and learning curve), because I never ended up feeling frustrated enough to just quite the game all together.

tanglewood the time stopper

You actually get the power to stop and start time in the game. However, you will only be able to do so for a brief moment of time.

I mean, sure. “Tanglewood” isn’t by any means a flawless game (my biggest beef with the game is with no doubt the fact that you sometimes don’t know what you should do, or where you should go. I would also like to have some attack actions and the ability to drop straight down from platforms and whatnot). Nevertheless, all in all, “Tanglewood” is still a truly fun and creative 16-bit puzzle platformer.

So if you like old 16-bit games such as “Sonic the Hedgehog”, “The Lion King” and “Another World”. Then you should most definitely give “Tanglewood” a try for either PC or Mega Drive.

Pros:
+ Awesome 16-bit graphics
+ It’s very easy to get into the game
+ The combo between platforming and puzzle solving is just right
+ Nice soundtrack
+ There are plenty of levels, things to do and challenges to take on

Cons:
– I wish that there would have been more music in the game (a lot of areas are totally mute on the music front)
– Sometimes you have no idea what you should do, or where you should go
– Small bugs and glitches (it’s mainly sound and graphical issues)
– There is no equippable weapons or attacks to be found in the game (you can use big rocks as weapons though)

Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound and music: 3.5/5
Controls: 4/5
Replay value: 3/5
Story: 4/5

tgg grade 4 out of 5

Verdict: 4/5
It’s been a very long time since I played a 16-bit puzzle/platformer that’s been this charming and impressing as Big Evil Corporation’s “Tanglewood” is. As a matter of fact, I would have to go back to the 16-bit golden era of the 90s to find games such as “Sonic”, “The Lion King” and “Another World” to even have any titles to compare “Tanglewood” to. Simply put, “Tanglewood” is a must play for fans of 16-bit puzzle/platformers.

Title: Tanglewood
Developer: Big Evil Corporation
Format: PC
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2018-08-14
Difficulty: Normal
Spent time: +4 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI/ESRB age rating: +6
Price: 14,99 Euros

***Disclosure***
The review code was provided by Big Evil Corporation.

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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