A Day in the Woods
A Day in the Woods is a sliding puzzle adventure from Retro Epic that stars none other than Little Red Riding Hood. It's a simple game built around simple, classic puzzle ideas, but it's lengthy and challenging enough to provide an afternoon of brilliant entertainment. Also, one look at the game and you'll absolutely fall in love with the visual style!
Little Miss Hood is trying to get to grandmother's house, but it seems granny has built her cabin in an area filled with thick movable hexagons. In order to deliver those delicious baked goods, you'll need to move these tiles around, swapping them one at a time and moving Little Red Riding Hood in the same manner. After enough head scratching and a few trials and errors, you'll reach the door of the cabin, only to hear the fairy tale equivalent of "our princess is in another castle". Oh well, on to another level!
A Day in the Woods is more than basic tile swapping. You can collect flowers and berries for grandma along your way, grabbing them by landing in an empty space next to their tiles. Immovable hexagons are also a problem, as are wolves who will threaten to eat you and bears that frighten Miss Hood away. Fortunately, you've got some friends, too, including a lumberjack that can cut down trees and some bunnies who will distract wolves.
And here's the real reason you took a second look at this game: graphics. A Day in the Woods looks amazing. The images are like wooden statues lifted from the pages of a storybook. Not only that, but you have free control of the camera while you play, so you can look around the screen to get a better view of, well, all the better views to see! You can even unlock costume changes for the sprite that guides you through the game, though the alterations are purely cosmetic in nature.
Analysis: A Day in the Woods will remind you of a number of classic puzzle games: simple, easy to play, and focused on smart, challenging puzzles. Theseus and the Minotaur or many of the games in Simon Tatham's Puzzle Collection are a few examples. The basic tile sliding mechanic has been done many times, but few games bother to do it with such a visual flair.
In all, A Day in the Woods features 60 levels, which is a good number for a very good price. You'll probably want more by the end, but such is the nature of puzzle games. The experience gets more complex and a bit deeper when the friends/enemies start appearing, but the basic idea stays the same throughout, and A Day in the Woods never attempts to distract you from its core gameplay with mini-games or other diversions.
If you need a game that looks stunning from every angle and provides a well-built, streamlined challenge, look no further than A Day in the Woods. It's distilled puzzle goodness without any filler!