Timberland is a simple game where you play as a lumberjack that much either stand on the left or the right of a tree as you slice through a tree trunk. Knocking out pieces of the trunk will lower the top of the tree and if you get hit by a branch, that’s game over. You tap the left or right bumpers or triggers to knock each section of trunk down. It’s about two hits per branch. The game is infinite, but you’re timed. The more strikes you make, the more time you get and the more trunks of tree you knock out, the higher your level goes. The higher your level goes, the more the time erodes away.
It’s a simple dynamic that can get frantic as you hit a zen like state to be on the correct side of each tree, but wow does it get old fast. I’ve played a bit of the game on PC and it had zero longevity. Even with Switch being a potentially mobile system there’s just no diversity or no thought provoking gameplay. You hit left or right until you realize how dull it is.
SLIGHTLY ENHANCED PRESENTATION
Timberland VS is at the top of its game in terms of simple, bare bones gameplay and pixel art production. It looks good and there’s plenty of environments, all of which play the same and there are dozens of characters for you to unlock. The environments make for some great diversity when going round to round after each loss. There’s a typical forest, a palm tree in the desert, a big top circus pole, tire towers with flag poles instead of branches, and even some off brand environment from Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom. I’m uncertain if that last one is because the game is on the Switch or if it’s just generic enough to be allowed.
There are three modes here: Classic, which is similar to the other modes, but lets you knock out trunks alone. Race which forces you into a competition against three other players; computer or human. This mode goes on until one of you reaches the trophy at the top of the trunk or when you’ve run out of time. Getting hit by a limb or post will only stun you, which is perfect for a game designed for local multiplayer. The final mode is the one that I felt like had the most longevity and that’s hero mode, which has you chopping down a burning tree to save a bird’s nest at the top. You’re allowed to select three different difficulties and you’re awarded with bonus experience from a golden egg for saving the birds.
ONLINE WITH NO ONE PLAYING
Classic and race modes allow you to play online multiplayer against one to three other players. My game connects, but it gets stuck in the searching for other players aspect. This happened throughout various times during the day. I have Switch Online, but maybe I’m just too late to the party. The Steam version had plenty of people playing and testing the Steam version now, there are still people challenging me as soon as I jump in.
Even without online multiplayer, it’s hardly a disappointment, because if you want the thrill of multiplayer, just do a race and you’ll play against three computer controlled opponents.
CHARACTERS TO UNLOCK
As you play, you’ll get experience and in time, you’ll level up, which will unlock new characters. Leveling up is different than the levels in classic mode. Each character plays the same and its more of a way to show off your flair to other players online if the online worked.
The majority of these characters feel like parodies from popular media. There’s a hockey mask wearing, axe wielding character. Another character has a slim body dressed in black that has knife fingers. Dark Father uses some sort of light sword while he’s dressed in black armor with a black cape. The list goes on and on. There are a few originals, such as Timber Egg, which is a chick hatched from an egg, Reindeer the reindeer, Timberius the knight and so many more.
There are fifty five characters here and it takes far too much experience to unlock them all. Even getting hundreds of experience at a time only adds a smidgen of experience toward the next level.
A HOLLOW EXPERIENCE
Even at the top of its game, Timberland is still dull and hollow. A frantic press fest for a few minutes at a time. It’s tough to recommend it to anyone other than the fact I bought it for about a gum-ball’s worth of change. The online multiplayer didn’t work for me and it’s just dull. Perhaps its better suited for a pocket sized device like a mobile phone.