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One of the unique features of independent games is their ideas, especially the ability to mesh seemingly odd ones togethers. Today we are looking at a game that seems completely silly in concept but somehow works . . . to a certain extent. This game is Woody: Endless Summer, an endless runner about a wakeboarding dog called Woody.
Woody: Endless Summer is developed by The Institute of Technology Development (INDT) in Brazil. Right from the loading screen of the game, it is apparent that we are in for a somewhat silly ride if the idea of a wakeboarding dog wasn’t enough for you. We drink coconut water, shoo seagulls and plant traps and that is only some of the quirky opening lines. When the game starts, we are thrown into a competition with a narrator talking about the good and bad things we have done. It is a catchy and incredibly entertaining to start.
Woody: Endless Summer works in a simple way. Just like endless runners should. It adds an 2D arcade element as well. Our job is to navigate Woody through obstacles by jumping, spinning and diving while collecting as much coins as possible as well as power ups which help immensely. However there is one more twist. Each checkpoint has to be reached within fifteen seconds and the clock is right in front of you as you play. The power ups come in time freeze, double coins, magnet and more. The obstacles can be palm trees islands, wooden or metal crates or wooden rods protruding from the water or even bombs to name a few. The lifesavers to gain speed are the jumping platforms and the spin dives into the water. The emphasis here seems to be the fun but tricky sport that wakeboarding is.
Endless runners do have a downfall. The closest we can compare it to would be Alto’s Adventure that we reviewed earlier this year which was and independent mobile endless runner all about skiing. Endless runners need to keep up the difficulty and challenge if not, it is just a repetitive string of events. What gave Alto’s Adventure an edge was to unlock new characters with unique skills and challenges for each level and increased difficulty. Woody’s Endless Summer seems to only increase difficulty and not add anything new. After a while, the repetition starts to sink in and the motivation dies down a little.
What does give Woody a unique touch, other than the premise, is its art style and music. These two features are both reminiscent of retro game influences. The music is fast-paced and energetic. It is suitable for a game that features a summer activity. The art is vibrant in colors and cartoony but still very charming to look at. It is what keeps us playing for sure. The money design is cute along with the cartoon characters and especially the pink ring to jump through along with the box designs. In the recent days where nostalgia is king, this game holds a charm to it.
Overall, Woody: Endless Summer holds a retro charm. It carries an entertaining and fun atmosphere and premise. However, it falls short in becoming an addictive endless runner to play more than a few rounds in one sitting. However, this is a free mobile game available on both iOS and Google Play and the key to a good mobile game is for the quick rounds and this certainly has a satisfying feeling.
Woody: Endless Summer was released on August 24th on both iOS and Google Play.
Developer: The Institute of Technology Development
Genre: Runner, Puzzle
Platform(s): iOS, Android
Release: August 24, 2016