Tree (2018) is a narrative game that tells the story of a boy who plants a small tree. You control the planting, watering and how the tree grows each season. It stands out for how it illustrates the passing of time and the way we interact and form connections with the world around us.
And at first, it looks like a little inconsequential act, but with time, a bond develops between the two that will last a lifetime. It's a game that gently connects you with nature and underlines the shortness of life. It can be interpreted in lots of ways, but running through it is the sentiment of the developer, "spend time with your family whenever you can".
You plant the tree on a hilltop and tend to it as it slowly grows from a sapling into a giant. Through the autumn you make the leaves call and hold out through the cold winter months, then in Spring, you bud the branches into life again. As you do this, the years pass and the boy grows. At the end of the game, you can return to the scenes you created to take a photo and ponder that period of life. It's a touch that takes the game beyond novelty, like Passage
to a space in which to meditate.
The result is a game that invites you to take a step away from the business of life and consider what it is you're living for, making for a unique, thought-provoking and emotional journey.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Tree 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Ben Kendall
and updated 4 months ago.