Apples in the Tree
Haha! How do you like them apples?! All right, that's done. You knew it was coming when you saw the name of the game, but now you don't have to sit there going, "Oh man, I bet he's going to end this by asking us how we like them apples." Expectations fulfilled AND subverted. Now, we can move on to this review of Apples in the Tree by MasterMerol. It's a game about... well, that's kind of up to you.
Apples in the Tree is primarily an exploration game with a little bit of point-and-click thrown in. You take control of a long-legged lady in patchwork clothes, using [WASD] (or the [arrow] keys) to move around, [spacebar] to run and the mouse to interact with things. Your goal is to get to the eponymous apples in the tree not once, but four times. Along the way you can help the strange folks who inhabit your land or not. Aside from the title and the controls, you're given very little guidance. You're thrown into the game's world and you take the paths you want.
Analysis: Apples in the Tree has a lot going for it. It has a very distinct style that seems inspired by Tim Burton and Jhonen Vasquez. However, while the influences show, the character and world design are unique and well-crafted so everything feels fresh. It's a lot of fun to see the sights of the small world around you and that's what will keep you going even though the controls are very sluggish. Thankfully, you won't need a lot of precision in your movements.
Aside from the look, Apples in the Tree scores points with the openness of the game. The lack of direction is more refreshing than disorienting or confusing and it adds to the nice amount of replay value the game already has. With three different endings and the environment changing every time you come back from the tree, there's a lot to experiment with and explore. It's doubtful you'll see everything Apples in the Tree has to offer on your first go-round.
It does need to be said that there's a few instances of profanity, so this one isn't for the kids. Everyone else should give the game a few plays. What might seem at first like something that will only appeal to people who wear 'Nightmare Before Christmas' hoodies soon turns into a game that looks great and has a lot of depth.