Somehow, I missed Mable and The Wood by Triplevision Games, and only just heard about it in yesterday’s release window announcement trailer, but oh boy am I interested now. I’m a sucker for good hooks in press releases (as you’d expect) and Mable and The Wood has a superb one:
“Mable and The Wood is a metroidvania where you don’t have to kill anyone, and unlike most metroidvanias, you can’t run or jump.”
In Mable and The Wood, you play as Mable (shocking, I know), a young girl who carries a sword that she can’t lift band has to drag slowly along the floor. The major mechanic of the game is your ability to shape-shift. At the start of the game you can only change into a fairy. In doing so, you drop your sword and are able to then flying about the level. You’ll be able to recall the sword to you, and doing so will destroy anything in the path it creates coming back to you.
However, it gets cooler: There’s a number of bosses in the game, and if you take the time to find and defeat them, you will unlock the ability to shape-shift into their form. Some examples are:
• Spider form – fire the sword out on your web and swing through the levels
• Mole form – dig through the ground to get around barriers or sneak past enemies
• Medusa form – turn enemies to stone with an area of effect attack and use them as platforms until the effect wears off
• Stone form – smash through enemies, move heavy objects and enjoy the invulnerability that stone skin brings
But here’s the thing: You don’t have to kill any of these bosses to finish the game. Heck, you don’t have to kill a single monster, NPC or enemy at all in the game to complete it. Developer Andrew Stuart is putting that choice in your hands and hiding some secrets at the same time:
A big part of most metroidvanias is the large number of secrets hidden throughout the game. Usually these secrets are power-ups or new abilities. In Mable & The Wood these secrets allow you to find different, non-violent paths through the world and discover different sides to the story.
Mable & The Wood was successfully Kickstarted back in April 2016 and was originally scheduled for release in February 2017. However, things happen in indie game development, and the release window has been pushed back to Q1 2019.