Nitrome's latest "weird critter" physics arcade game has arrived in the form of Canopy, a mouse-driven title about a hungry monster with enormous hands who swings through the trees, searching for delicious fruit to squish. (Look, we already said it was weird.) The goal is to get to the, uh, goal at the end of each level by climbing through the trees, avoiding enemies and grabbing fruit for bonuses. The creature's hands follow your mouse; just click on a nearby branch to grab on, and the other hand will release, allowing you to climb and swing through the trees. Just be careful; there are other nasty creatures lurking in the limbs, and three hits and you're done for. It ain't all just monkey-bars gymnastics, however; you'll need to learn how to shake the tree you're in to propel yourself higher or lower (you can even shake the trees to dislodge hanging fruit and enemies for points!), how to handle different climbing materials, and more.
Canopy just might be the all-around strangest game Nitrome has put out in a while, but darned if it won't make you smile. From the energetic, toe-tapping soundtrack to the bouncy gameplay, to the adorable visuals and sound-effects Canopy is feel-good cute candy for the soul. If it doesn't make you melt a little every time our hero lets out a delighted Wookie grrrrroooonk! every time he reaches the end of a level, well, we just don't know what to say. The springy gameplay can be a little difficult to master; if you try to move too quickly, the movement can feel too snappy and unpredictable, and figuring out how to bounce yourself higher by shaking takes practice. Combine that with how tricky some objects can be to grab while you're moving, and the way just being within breathing distance of the ground or an enemy can count as a hit, and some players may find the game too frustrating to handle. If you can get the hang of things, however, and you'll discover just how creative and fun the game can be. The amount of different content in terms of environment and things to climb on is really impressive, and shaking startled bugs out of trees is never not amusing. Canopy is a game that requires a little time and patience to master, but it's a remarkably endearing and enjoyable little bit of creativity that you'll want to try at least once.