Treehouse Riddle review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Fruitbat Factory
Developer: Marudice
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

It?s a good thing that Nintendo announced that Professor Layton is coming back later this year. If I had to endure many more puzzle games like Treehouse Riddle, that are inspired by the venerable professor but nowhere near as good, I think I?d be ready to give up on the genre.

Admittedly, that?s a little unfair. For one thing, there?s plenty of room for games to exist between ?top of the genre? and ?so bad it shouldn?t be a thing?, and Treehouse Riddle fits in that vast space. Similarly, Treehouse Riddle has a passing similarity to Layton only in the sense it?s about an old man and a young girl solving puzzles. It doesn?t necessarily need to have a complicated plot that?s moved forward by timely puzzles, ? la Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask or Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, so it shouldn?t be docked too many points for focusing largely on puzzles.

Of course, that assumes that Treehouse Riddle has puzzles on par with ? or even at least close to ? Professor Layton, and that?s clearly not the case. The puzzles here seem to be either so ridiculously easy that you can solve them in a few seconds, or so obscure that you?ll need to read through all the instructions and hints just to get a sense of what the game expects you to do.

It should also be noted that the further into the game you get, the more Treehouse Riddle moves from Layton-esque puzzles to straight-up math problems. As someone whose math skills have always been iffy, I can?t say I loved those ones ? but at the same time, I get why those would appeal to some people, so I won?t dismiss them (or the game) just because they?re there.

I would dismiss Treehouse Riddle, however, because it?s just not that interesting a game. It too often feels like you?re just doing puzzles for the sake of doing puzzles, and, as other games have shown, there?s ways of making that a lot more interesting than it?s done here.

Fruitbat Factory provided us with a Treehouse Riddle Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C