Metroidvania Mable & the Wood looks like a darker Celeste

But with a bit more shapeshifting.

Games that restrict player’s movements tend to get a little frustrating. Can’t move as fast as you want, can’t jump as high as you want or can’t reach the heights you want? It can get pretty annoying, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to problem solve in original ways.

The genre that loves to pose this problem is of course Metroidvanias. Frequently sporting maps that allowing you to explore freely, but are restricted unless you have certain abilities, Metroidvanias are the perfect exercise in backtracking, returning to areas again and again once you’ve levelled up.

In Mable & the Wood, Mable faces even more issues than the normal protagonist. The sword she carries is too heavy for her, and because of this, she can’t jump and platform as the environment requires. But Mable has a neat way around this issue: once she’s killed a creature, she can then shapeshift into their form. In the above video, the developers take us through the different ways Mable can shapeshift and therefore scale her environment in intricate ways. This shapeshifting comes into play in combat also, as the sword only becomes usable as a weapon when our protagonist flies through the air or slinks underground.

The narrative promises to pose a rather Undertale-esque conundrum; do you kill those that would try and harm you? Or do you find a way to spare them? While the graphics and determined protagonist remind us of award winning Celeste, this narrative provides an exciting new angle to usually straight-forward Metrodivanias.

We’re excited to hear more about the title, which is due to be released this summer on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Go to Mable & The Wood’s Steam page now for more information.