ReviewsReview: Gibbon: Beyond the Trees

Review: Gibbon: Beyond the Trees

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Mankind is decimating the surrounding world. Whether it’s trees, flowers, or animals, nothing stands in the way of progress. We sadly forget the destruction we cause as long as we are safe and happy. However, Gibbon: Beyond the Trees drags us straight back to earth with its emotive story and touching imagery.

Developed and published by Broken Rules, this is a poignant side-scrolling adventure title. It depicts the survival of a family of Gibbons who attempt to escape the clutches of humans. With no spoken dialogue, you must explore the emotion through actions and images, and this will make it resonate with everyone.

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is beautiful and harrowing!

I’m fascinated by the animal kingdom and our impact on it. Therefore, this was the perfect game for me to review. Not only does it take you on a harrowing journey, but it highlights the beauty of these magnificent beasts. You’ll explore 10 chapters of lush jungle, horrendous logging, and cold cities. Furthermore, you’ll be hunted by mindless thugs as you attempt to protect your family. 

Every chapter flows wonderfully as you swing through dense canopies while grabbing vines, branches, and treetops. What’s more, you can use your partner to soar to new heights as you assist each other through this acrobatic journey. On top of this, you’ll learn to backflip, slide, and run to escape your tormentors. Timing is everything, and death and failure are just around the corner. Consequently, you must be agile, think fast, and plan ahead as you race past the beautiful and barren landscape.

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees highlights every Gibbon families plight.
Life was peaceful before man came along.

A game of two modes. 

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees has a short one hour story that is captivating from beginning to end. The relationship between the family is touching, and you’ll be desperate for them to survive. I won’t ruin the plot, but it takes you on an emotional roller-coaster. I cherished the simplicity of the story and the range of emotions you’ll experience. You’ll admire the athleticism of the Gibbons and detest the loggers and hunters. I rarely experience such brilliance in a short title, but this game has it all.

Now, you may worry that a one-hour playthrough isn’t enough. Frankly, I agree! Luckily, though, there is a second option to tackle after the dust has settled. You can enjoy every chapter again in the “Liberation” mode. Here you must swoop through trees while finding the caged animals. Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t as you must locate them and hit their cages to free them. If you miss them, they remain locked up and you must revisit the chapter again. In theory, this wasn’t a bad thing. In reality, it felt a little padded out and was tiresome once you missed for the nth time. A checkpoint system would have alleviated this pain, but the developers failed to incorporate this option. If this was added retrospectively, the game would be vastly improved.

The journey is long and dangerous.
Look before you leap.

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is simple but beautiful. 

Having ultra-realistic and high-fidelity graphics is amazing. However, sometimes it’s not essential. Gibbon: Beyond the Trees proves this with its simple but beautiful approach. The wide variety of landscapes, vivid and natural colour palette, and free-flowing movement are great to look at. You’ll admire the lush jungle while being horrified by the destructive fires and felled trees. What’s more, the cold juxtaposed city landscapes highlight the plight of these endangered creatures even further. The game’s stark imagery does wonders in driving home the reality of the situation without being too preachy.

This is continued with the spine-tingling audio. The calm and emotive music is combined with dramatic heavy moments. Each different element tells the unique parts of the story without the use of text. This was a fantastic choice as you easily became immersed in the ever-changing world. Alongside this, the excellent environmental sounds and cruel everyday human noises add to the beauty and brutality of the gameplay.

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees depicts the dangers every Gibbon must face.
It is a concrete jungle out there.

Easy to play. 

With the choice of keyboard or gamepad, Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is extremely user-friendly. I chose the latter option and found it to be responsive and easy to understand. Swinging, sliding, and completing backflips were done with a simple push of a button. Yes, timing everything to perfection was tough, but that makes the action much more rewarding.

Once you’ve experienced the main story and explored the Liberation mode, there isn’t much else to do. Sadly, this does impact the longevity and the replay value. If the developers can expand the base game with some procedurally generated levels, this would keep you going. Alternatively, some unique challenges would demand you return and this is something that should be explored. 

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is heartwarming. 

You’d have to be a heartless monster to not enjoy this game. Its story is touching, uncomfortably realistic, and a damming representation of mankind. Consequently, I loved its wake up call and its beautiful aesthetic. It pushes its message without being preachy and is a gem of an indie title. I adored it and I recommend you to buy it here! Can you save your family or is the damage already done? 

SUMMARY

Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is a beautiful, touching, and harrowing side-scrolling adventure title. Swing through the trees, protect your family, and avoid the hunters. The movement is fluid, the environments beautiful, and the story is poignant.

It's a must-play game!


+ Beautiful graphics.
+ Atmospheric and touching audio.
+ A harrowing and poignant story.
+ The varied landscapes convey the plot brilliantly.
+ Excellent controls.
+ A must-play indie title.

- Not long enough.
- Liberation mode is frustrating.
- Needs more game modes.

(Rating: PEGI 3 Release date: 18/05/2022 Price: $12.99)


(Reviewed on PC using Steam. Also available on Nintendo Switch and Apple Arcade.)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Gibbon: Beyond the Trees<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Gibbon: Beyond the Trees</em> is a beautiful, touching, and harrowing side-scrolling adventure title. Swing through the trees, protect your family, and avoid the hunters. The movement is fluid, the environments beautiful, and the story is poignant. <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:16px"><b>It's a must-play game! </b></p><br/> + Beautiful graphics. <br/> + Atmospheric and touching audio. <br/> + A harrowing and poignant story. <br/> + The varied landscapes convey the plot brilliantly. <br/> + Excellent controls. <br/> + A must-play indie title. <br/> <br/> - Not long enough. <br/> - Liberation mode is frustrating. <br/> - Needs more game modes. <br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 3 <b>Release date:</b> 18/05/2022 <b>Price:</b> $12.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on PC using Steam. Also available on Nintendo Switch and Apple Arcade.) </p><br/>