“Within a Deep Forest” laughs in the face of platformers that take themselves too seriously, while offering an adventure that’s both frustrating and gratifying at the same time. Actually, the frustration comes when you know that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be–except you can’t manipulate your character to bounce correctly.
Yes. You bounce. Why? Because you maneuver various ball types around (one at a time, of course) rather extensive levels to prevent Dr. Cliche from setting off his bomb that will inevitably destroy the world. By freezing it. Which I suppose is better than having the world blow up into pieces of oblivion and disperse into the universe. But who would know?
The actually controls are manageable. Unlike many of the other games I’ve reviewed, all gameplay is controlled by all of six keys: the four arrow keys and the A and S keys. That’s it. But don’t let the simplistic gameplay make you complacent.
The game boasts an array of different ball types to get you through the levels. Some levels require a certain ball type; the glass ball, for example, shatters easily but won’t be affected by laser beams. Some balls go fast, bounce high, but are barely controllable.
And this game will screw with you. Your mind, at least. Imagine the most infuriating experiences you’ve had with good games. Levels that you’re absolutely sure you’re doing the right thing. And then you find that you’ve been approaching it in exactly the wrong way. That’s what Within a Deep Forest is like during many of the levels. Or you know what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re doing it correctly, but the ball won’t do what you want it to.
However, you won’t want to abandon the game because the levels are wonderfully large and the pixel graphics are beautiful. Some of the in-game jokes are funny. They’re mostly graphical and involve various different strange animals eating your character. Even the music is interesting to listen to, if a little creepy at times.
In all, Within a Deep forest is a great experience that will probably have you bashing your head against the keyboard during certain levels. Other than that, it’s wonderfully immersive and every aspect has been done to a high standard.
The .exe file download is 17.8 MB. There is also a .zip file you can download.