I love Wicker Basket: The Game
I had the pleasure of playing an early beta build of Weaving Tides last year, and I knew within moments it’d be something special. This isometric game with a story about the meaning of family is filled to the brim with endearing characters, a unique backdrop, pleasant music, and a really neat hook. Developer Follow the Feathers has hit the mark on their freshman outing.
You are Tass, a young orphan boy who was adopted as a child by a Weaver, which is basically a flying manta ray. Tass has always wanted to know who his biological parents are, and his adoptive parent Kilim reluctantly agrees to schauffer their journey. Along the way, they’ll encounter a community of seers and other weavers with distinct personalities who have relationships with them. The world of Weaving Tides is outright whimsical. Most of the ground is built of a wicker basket mesh; flora and fauna are lush. It’s just a really well developed environment that lends itself well to the game.
The big draw to me was always the weaving. That wicker basket turf will regularly have swatches removed or missing. Your weaver can bob up and down as they glide through it, and the ribbon tied to their tail will close the gap as you criss cross. It’s really a chill, meditative experience if you’re like me and take pleasure in fixing things or closing gaps. Each time you close an empty patch, a currency is spit out that can be used to purchase upgrades in the form of equippable patches, and these boost stats and abilities or yield optional tail patterns.
Surprisingly, while the weaving is zen, it is only a small piece of what makes the gameplay great. I was surprised by how well the combat works, too. Your Weaver comes with a dash, a special weaving move, and the tail you use to fill patches. Often, a quick dash to stun the enemy and dipping up and over them is enough to defeat them. In addition, I was surprised by just how varied the enemy types were. They start as pretty basic fodder but then develop into more tricky ones that have to be timed out properly. Some you’ll need to drag one out of a fox hole, while others will need to be dodged and an appendage pulled out, but once you learn the patterns you’ll be as smooth as butter in dispatching them. Looking for boss battles? You got ‘em! Similar to basic enemies, the boss fights are distinct, and while challenging can be overcome once their patterns are learned.
I feel like a TV infomercial pitchman because wait, there’s more! Puzzles bookend different segments of the world. They start as simply as using your ribbon to dip in and out of rings to match a pattern but evolve into deeper challenges and tweaks that complicate things, like sheep that’ll gobble up your threads. It’s been a while since I’ve been stumped, but I had to walk away and come back a handful of times to give my brain a break and get a fresh perspective.
I can’t sing Weaving Tides’ praises high enough. The world is vibrant and colorful, and the characters have distinct personalities and relationships that feel genuine. Dipping up and down to close those weave gaps is one of the most meditative experiences I’ve had this year, and it’s only one small piece of the gameplay pie that’s chock full of delicious combat filling. Weaving Tides is a treat, one to share with friends and make room for seconds.