Quick Thoughts On: Treeker: The Lost Glasses

There is a mundane irony in how Treeker: The Lost Glasses manages to be so unfocused while being designed around an object whose function is to create clarity.

I can’t decide if Treeker’s messy collection of badly implemented concepts is the result of the developer lacking a proper vision for their game, or simply thinking it was far more clever than it actually is. As best I can tell its biggest aim was to transport you into its highly saturated low-poly world, but it abandons exploration and environmental storytelling almost immediately in order to draw your attention toward a basic puzzle or tedious platforming section. The way Treeker is designed – with little pockets of interactivity stretched out across a wide landscape – causes it to feel very small and disconnected from itself. There’s no continuity to its environments, no history or life of any kind to be found among the odd floating structures and technology that’s only ever there when it’s needed for some mechanic.

I spent almost all my time with Treeker jumping around random platforms to unlock the portal needed to take me to the next set of suspended blocks, occasionally being fed a line regarding time, the universe, and how I could somehow cross boundaries with my new pair of spectacles. Any attempt at exposition however was drenched in so much self-obsessed philosophical nonsense that it was hard for me to care about why anything was ostensibly happening as my eyes had already glazed over before Treeker could finish a sentence.

There’s just way too much and too little going on here and Treeker has no better idea how to make sense of it than I do, resulting in it all getting tossed into a blender and spat back out into blobby slabs of content held together by their shared insubstantial meaning. Once the end begins to come around (at about an hour or so for me) Treeker was practically begging me not to leave, forcing me through abhorrently designed platforming levels for no purpose but to kill me a couple dozen more times before I could finally brute force my way through and be rid of the game. With that in mind I couldn’t help but laugh when I returned to the main menu to be told more content was on the way, a final effort from a game that was already trying too hard.

"Quick Thoughts" is a subset of my normal reviews for smaller games which might not fit into a full review but I still have something to say about.
Treeker: The Lost Glasses was developed by Bluebox Soft and is available on PC via Steam and itch.io.

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