Woven is a indie title by Dutch development team Alterego, and published by StickyLock. The game is about a stitched character called Stuffy who lives in a woven world (hence the game’s name), who soon runs into a mechanical firefly called Glitch, who has lost its memories.
The story, narrated in rhyme, revolves around Stuffy and Glitch exploring the world, unlocking Glitches’ memories (which are hidden around the world), and trying to find what happened to Sutffy’s kind.
The game has five distinct “worlds” to discover, each with various collectables to find and collect. The game’s main mechanic revolved around Stuffy’s ability to change body parts by using blueprints (more on this later).
Initially, Suffy is a elephant, but as blueprints are discovered, Stuffy can change into a giraffe, rabbit, cat, goat, donkey and more. Some of the blueprints are discovered naturally, while playing through the store, but others are well hidden across the world, and make take some extra exploring to discover.
The blueprints are locked away in musical contraptions, easily spotted from a distance. In order to unlock the blueprint, you must correctly play the music in the contraption by moving the needles to the correct spots as the track plays. It’s not very complicated, and only takes a minute or two to complete the task.
The other major collectable in the game are patterns and colours. These are swatches of colours or designs that can be used to change Stuffy’s look. Each of Stuffy’s body part has three areas that can be coloured separately (or all the same if you like). There are lots of these patterns hidden across each of the environments, almost a 150 in total to collect.
In order for Suffy to change body parts and colours, you will find weaving devices scattered throughout the worlds. Changing body parts is essential in parts of the story, as different parts give Stuffy different abilities. When you start, Stuffy will be able to make a noise, and stomp. But as you unlock new blueprints, Stuff will able to use abilities like jump, fly and sing.
Finally, the two other collectibles in the game are Memories (five to be found in each world), and Caves (three to be found in each world). Memories are triggered using Glitch, and feature a short glimpse into Glitch’s past through narration. Caves are hidden caverns, which can be illuminated using Glitch to reveal colourful cave paintings, which depict what happened to Suffy’s kind.
The controls are a little clunky to be honest. You can use the left analogue stick to move Stuffy around, and the right analogue stick to move the camera. None of the face buttons or direction pad are used in the game, however. The L2 trigger is used to bring up abilities specific to Glitch, and chosen using the analogue stick, while the R2 trigger is used to choose between Stuffy’s abilities, and chosen using the right analogue stick.
In terms of movement, it can be difficult to traverse the environment at times. You can sometimes get stuck behind invisible borders or between trees / bushes where there appears to be a gap, but isn’t actually a playable area. The environment can be especially difficult to traverse when there is a incline or decline in elevation – in certain points of the game, you must go up or down a hill in a specific way or you’ll hit a invisible wall.
The biggest frustration with the game is the lack of a Chapter select option. The game has no way for you to return to a world once you’ve gone passed it, which makes trying to obtain 100% completion difficult. If you miss a collectible in a world (especially past a point of no return), you’ll have to start the entire game again.
For trophy hunters, Woven has 26 trophies to unlock, including the coveted Platinum trophy. All the trophies in the game are collectable related, which means missing even one collectible in the game will require another play-through. Aside from finding all the collectibles, Woven doesn’t have any replay value, unless you want to experience the story again.
The game can be completed in as little as 5 hours if you are just focused on the main story. However, it will take considerably longer if you trying to get the Platinum trophy and 100% collectibles. In reviewing the game, it took us two playthroughs to find all the collectibles, with the second playthrough taking around 15 hours of thorough searching.
If you get stuck in searching for a collectible, be sure to pay close attention to Stuffy. He has a keen eye for well-hidden collectibles, and his head will turn if he spots something. Don’t forget to scan every animal and critter you come across too.
Overall, Woven was a enjoyable game to play despite some of it’s frustrations. We hope that a level-select feature will be added to the game in a future patch. Developer Alterego has acknowledged (via the game’s Discord) that “level select” is the most requested feature, but there is no word on whether it will be added to the game.
We only encountered one bug during play (the Blueprints trophy for the Cliffs level and the Beach level are swapped, so you will unlock the Blueprint Salvager: The Beach trophy while on the Cliffs level). It’s a known bug by the developers so may be fixed in the future. The game didn’t crash on us at any point, so it’s very stable.
We give the game a solid 6 out of 10, mainly due to some of the frustrations listed above, like clunky controls and lack of level select. The game is suitable for young players (the PEGI age rating is 7+), who may enjoy Suffy’s ability to change costumes and colours.
Woven is available from the PlayStation Store for £15.99.