The Tree of Life


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Rating: 4.4/5 (156 votes)
| Comments (12) | Views (503)

thetreeoflife.jpgJohnBThe Tree of Life is an inventory-based puzzle game from Target Detected. Throughout the game's set of nearly 30 levels, you'll place arrows, element changers, teleporters, etc. on the pathways, guiding your element to collect all of the stars before heading to the exit. It can be tricky navigating some of the game's more sprawling levels, but you didn't expect restoring life to an ancient tree would be an easy affair, did you?

The Tree of Life's story places three space-traveling elements on a quest to help out the sickly tree of life. These elements play a big role in the actual game, creating doors that can only be opened by changing the character's properties via elemental icons. Each scene begins frozen in time, just waiting for you to add an object or two. Use the mouse to grab and place items from the inventory and either click the "go" button or use the [spacebar] to start and stop the action.

Arrows on the ground dictate where the little element travels, and most levels have a few locked in place before you even begin. Pink arrows are immovable, but green arrows can be changed to point in different directions even while the game is active. Figuring out how to use these on-the-fly arrows in conjunction with elemental doors is what you'll spend most of your time doing in this puzzle game, and it'll take a lot of planning and a lot of trial and error to get the job done!

Analysis: Changing arrows. Doors that can only be passed by certain elements. Inventory items that can be set anywhere on the screen. The Tree of Life uses a number of common themes in the puzzle gaming world, set in a pleasantly innocent world of space-traveling sentient elements. They're apparently not all that intelligent, though, as you have to do most of the work for them, dropping and adjusting inventory items to tweak their behaviors so they collect every star and land safely in the exit.

The main drawback to The Tree of Life is how the puzzles become more complex. There can be a fine line between increasing difficulty by creating genuinely challenging puzzles and by multiplying the size of the puzzles. The Tree of Life follows the latter (which, in fairness, most games do), adding complications through repetition instead of forcing you to think your way out of situations. You pretty much use the same set of skills you picked up in the first ten levels throughout the game, you just change the setting and use them in different ways.

Despite coming across as a bit predictable in design, The Tree of Life is enjoyable, and the puzzles do provide some challenge as the levels progress. Plus, you get that warm fuzzy feeling of restoring life to the tree of life. How often do you get do to that?!

Play The Tree of Life

12 Comments

dsrtrosy July 26, 2011 2:12 PM

I don't understand level 10 (where the door changers are introduced). I'm seriously missing something here.

Reply
dsrtrosy July 26, 2011 2:16 PM

Power of the post...it's about the order in which you play the levels. If you don't go straight from Level 9 to Level 10, you start out as the wrong element.

Reply
dsrtrosy July 26, 2011 2:19 PM

Nope...wrong again. Sigh.

Reply
Anonymous July 26, 2011 2:26 PM

I ran into the same problem. Go into the level where your element is messed up, then click go, followed by clicking edit. This resets your element to the one you're supposed to start the level with.

Reply
Anonymous July 26, 2011 2:49 PM

@dstrosy

First, you make the electric door into water and then make all water doors intofire

Does this help?

Reply

It's got nothing to do with the order... but you need to

Turn all the doors to the same colour

The first 2 things you want to hit are the switches but...

in the correct order

And remember green arrows can be turned during the action

Reply
shadowmax July 26, 2011 6:26 PM

I'm up to lvl 25 and brain-dead. coffee shop is closing. I know I can come back to it later but I'd rather finish it now. Anyone around with a hint? The author's walkthrough is too much.

Reply
Projectburn July 26, 2011 8:06 PM

i beat B3 without using all the arrows given but it won't register as me beating it. it says level complete, but when i go back to the world map, it shows it as not beat and B4 won't open. what's up with this?

Reply
Projectburn July 26, 2011 8:28 PM

so hey... there isn't a B4 stage. for some reason i thought there was. oh well. i beat all the stages. this is a fun game. pretty easy, but still hard enough at points where i felt good about winning. thank you for this!!

Reply
Keep.One.Step.Ahead July 26, 2011 9:30 PM

I was really hoping for a browser-based version of Terrence Malick's rhapsodic film of the same name. This is nice too.

Reply
shadowmax July 26, 2011 10:10 PM

so i was wrong. progress is not saved. oh well.

Reply
24653187 July 27, 2011 10:40 AM

shadowmax:

straight line. thinking of that should help

Reply

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