Timberman is a game about knocking out chunks of a tree from the left or right to avoid branches. Getting bonked by a branch ends your game, after which you’ll see a game over with your score and your best score. Chopping is done with two buttons and if you’re using a controller, it’s the L or R bumpers. Tapping the triggers results in some slow chopping.
As you’re knocking out trunks, you’re racing against a timer that’s constantly ticking down. Hitting the tree will get you time, but as the infinite tree whittles away, you’ll reach new levels that will deplete your time faster. It turns into a great dichotomy as you get fatigued.
A FRANTIC FUN EXPERIENCE
Comparing Timberman to Timberman VS on the Switch, the chopping here in Timberman feels more thoughtless and enjoyable. There are several branches in a row that are just on one side of the tree, which let the frantic button mashing happen. It adds to the fun and the ease of the gameplay. While with Timberman VS there are several alternating patterns that don’t allow for easy and brainless button mashing of the same button.
There is only this single mode, so you better get into the frantic button pressing to reach an intense, yet zen like state, or there’s not much keeping you in game. The faster you chop, the faster the music which helps enhance the experience. It’s fun getting challenged from random players, but without many bells and whistles the gameplay can get dull in a hurry. There’s not much diversity to the environments either. Seems like a few seasons, but the same tree.
CHARACTERS TO UNLOCK
There are twenty characters in game and most require you to reach a score of X in a single game or chop a grand total of Y times. So just keep chopping and in time you’ll unlock everyone. Well except for Flockey the hockey player requires a score of 300 chops three games in a row. Eskimo forces you to launch the game twenty-one times to unlock.
You’ll see generic characters such as Dwarf, Timberbot, Mage and Reindeer mixed in with popular characters such as Jason (the hockey mask wearing, axe wielding nightmare), President (Obama), Fred Treeger, and Mr. Tree (the gold chain wearing guy with a mo-hawk). The game’s trailer boasts that there are five exclusive characters for Steam consisting of Gaben, Bruce Tree and others.
Each of these characters plays the same. No one is better or worse, it’s just a way to show your personal preference or intimidate your enemies with online multiplayer. It can be a potential fright to play against one of the highest tier characters.
Speaking of characters, I did find a glitch where I could hop into a multiplayer match, start selecting a character and then have the match start. When the game started, each swing of my axe would change my character accordingly as if I were still in the character selection.
WORKING ONLINE MULTIPLAYER
I’ve played this game in the past and it had working online multiplayer and years later, it still works. You can create a lobby for up to eight players, invite friends. Playing the standard single player mode there’s an option to let available online games invite you so you can just jump into a competitive game. Years after the game’s release, it’s tough to get anyone to stick around for four players without bailing.
In online multiplayer you get to see your opponent’s skill and rank on the leaderboard. These are subtle touches that make game feel like it cares. You can jump a few hundred in rank per match.
Beyond online multiplayer, there is local multiplayer for up to four players. It would be interesting to have four sixty dollar X-Box controllers to play a dollar game.
Perhaps the worst thing about either multiplayer mode is once there’s one player left, they’re declared the winner. This is great for the losers to get into a new game, but for the winner, it really stops the fun. I don’t mean the fun of winning, I mean the fun of playing. Oh and there’s a character that requires a score of 333 in online multiplayer to be unlocked.
AN EASY SELL
Despite its obvious simplicity, at a dollar or less, Timberland makes for an enjoyable time waster with catchy music and an easy pick up and play attitude. Despite having less modes and characters than Timberland VS, this feels like a far better experience. Chances are you can pick it up in a cheap bundle and get on the global leader board.