Developed By: Infinite State Games
Published By: eastasiasoft
Category: Pinball Platformer
Release Date: 10.10.2019
Family Tree from Infinite State Games is a “pinball platformer” in which you will be shooting Mr. Fruits through cannons and onto platforms higher and higher in the sky in order to collect his fruit children while racking up a high score. A bit like Angry Birds in practice, this title has you arcing shots around obstacles and into whatever increases your score, but do it fast as Evil Skull Pedro has set a time limit for you to complete each level in. Race to the finish for the high score and make sure those little grapes and cherries make it back home safely in this arcade-platforming experience.
You and your wife have a large family filled with lots of little fruit boys and girls of all varieties. You live a peaceful life, but as is common little ones don’t always mind their parents’ rules. After being told to go to bed the fruit folk ignore their protective parents and stay fixed onto their screens. When the Evil Skull Pedro shows up and sees this, he launches the baby fruits into a portal that scatters them across the trees of the forest and makes them regular fruit instead of their child-fruit forms. As dutiful parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fruits set out to gather up the chitlins and return them to their home with as much haste (and high scores as possible while battling it out with the evil ne’er-do-well. Not much to this story as this is an arcade-style gameplay title, so don’t think too much about what is happening here. It’s just the basics; bad guy steals kids, parents rescue kids. Simple and safe.
As you begin this journey you find yourself at the base of a pit with which you will have to shoot yourself upwards in order to collect the fruits and coins while reaching the finish. Each level offers an increasing level of difficulty and skill that comes down to properly arcing each shot where you need your character to land. Scooping up the fruits is simple, and the coins littering the level add a second collectible to search out and are usually put in a bit more off the beaten track locations to give a bit of replay ability. Other than that, you just have the timer, which isn’t a win condition, but just allows for a third completed task for each round. With all three of these conditions you can attempt to improve each level’s high score, but beyond that you will be playing through this simply for it’s strategic platforming and skill-based “shooting” — like a combination of Angry Birds and pinball.
With over one hundred levels and tons of bonus and post-game content you will have a lot to work through, and for the price is a pretty good value proposition for games of this style and genre. Beyond that the game features 1-4 player local co-op where you can play in a race-battle mode. Even with a lot of content the game is one that game be a bit monotonous at time with the only diversity being in the addition of new obstacles as you progress, so this game really lends itself to the Switch’s unique hop in and hop out gameplay.
Featuring bright colors and children’s book style art you have a game that is clearly trying to be very light-hearted despite having kids taken from their beds. The brightness in the levels makes for a colorful experience, but the over-abundance of color can sometimes make identifying the fruits, coins, and obstacles in the level a bit more tough than is intended. Things can get a bit busy, and although it looks nice, it hurts the design at times.
Overall, Family Tree is a fun, little platformer that has some good ideas. It isn’t a mind-boggling genre combination in any way, shape, or form, but is something I was okay with playing through. Tons of content is overshadowed by some monotony, but luckily you are playing on Switch where it is easy to put it down for a bit and come back later. What you see is what you get. This is another strategy, puzzle, platformer that leans on a mobile mechanic to bring something different to the traditional console platformer. Nothing special, but nothing offensive either.
Buy Now – $7.99
FOLLOW INFINITE STATE GAMES
*The Switch Effect was provided a code for this game*