Weaving Tides launched on Kickstarter last year by Follow the Feathers, and it well surpassed its initial goal and even surpassed enough to tackle 5 stretch goals, including hidden treasure spots, giving all NPCs expressions, and a pet the dragon game. Following this game and its campaign has been a wonderful journey, so when the team asked me to review the game for Nintendo Link, I absolutely couldn’t say no. This is a Kickstarter game done right, and it is one of the most enjoyable and unique Zelda-like experiences I have had in quite some time.
But is Weaving Tides worth the ribbons to weave? Well, I think you can already tell, but let’s find out!
The story of Weaving Tides follows Tass, a human boy, that has been adopted by a carpet dragon named Kilim. And no, you read that correctly: a carpet dragon. These mystical creatures are absolutely fascinating, and their roll in this beautiful textile-based world is truly what makes this game feel special.
Tass and Kilim work together to help people in need, and Kilim uses his special ability to stitch holes in the world with his unique tail by diving through the flooring and basically threading the flooring back together. This mechanic plays throughout the entire game, and it is awesome experiencing all the different ways they integrated it into their linear yet Zelda-like game. Early in the game, Tass and Kilim are disturbed by some strange beings that look eerily similar to Kilim, and they are clearly after Tass. It is up to our odd pairing to find out what these threats are and protect the textile world they love. Along the way, the two meet an incredible cast of characters that are gorgeously designed in both their 3D model and their 2D still images, including some more carpet dragons that Tass can also ride (One at a time, of course).
The story does a great job of quickly building a world and developing its main characters in such a way that you immediately feel invested and want to learn more. Tass and Kilim, particularly, are fantastic characters, and their chemistry is woven with the best threads. I especially love when Twill is introduced (The second carpet dragon) and adds a bit of comic relief, because this draws out Tass and Kilim even more and helps us to connect more deeply with them.
Unlike Zelda titles and much more like Bastion, Weaving Tides is quite linear and there is no backtracking. If you miss any secrets in an area, you have missed them for good on the playthrough. This requires you to be more attentive in the areas you are playing, because there are a lot of hidden goodies throughout the game.
Patching up holes in the textile world is so soothing and enjoyable, and although it is not so asinine in its approach as it sounds, it does feels like you are fixing a world with literal tears in it. Using the different carpet dragons to weave through the world up and down or use their special abilities to patch things up is cathartic and brings a sense of relief and accomplishment to you, the player, even though repairing these holes only rewards you with in-game currency to use on items that help improve your abilities. Pins can be bought or found in the game to give you more space to add more abilities to your character and be a stronger force to be reckoned with (Or a more talented sewer).
Enemies and bosses are also taken down by the use of the carpet dragons’ tails, which either serve to wrap them up, hogging-tying them to a degree, which allows you to squeeze them to death or the carpet dragon simply grabs onto something and pulls, allowing it to damage or kill the enemy in question. It is a cool combat system that I did not expect to enjoy so much, and even though it takes a bit of getting used to, it is an integral part of the experience and flows perfectly with the other actions expected of you in the game.
There are puzzles throughout the game that are an absolute blast, and it is so fun figuring out exactly what the game wants you to do. Weaving Tides only gives you enough information on screen to make you scratch your head, but after playing around for a bit, things make a lot of sense and you will be kicking yourself that you didn’t figure it out earlier. I personally love the weaving puzzles where you go in and out of holes, connecting your threads, and creating stunning patterns in the process. The way they light up afterward gives a real since of accomplishment and reward, and this is one of the highlights of the game in my opinion.
Bosses are also quite puzzling, as you need to use your abilities and the environment to your advantage while figuring out how to stop or slowdown the boss in order to damage it. Each of the bosses spread throughout the game have a serious Legend of Zelda-vibe about them, and that is what makes the dungeons and bosses in Weaving Tides feel so deep and enjoyable. Everything is connected in some way, and it is noteworthy how the team gives you a sense of who the boss is within the dungeon before you even meet them.
Secrets are also spread throughout the game and can be found by diving under the world and maneuvering yourself through underground paths that take you to treasures that reward things like money, ribbons, and even pieces of heart. Again, like Zelda, collecting four pieces of heart will reward you with a whole one, and defeating bosses also rewards a full heart container. I know many of you may think that Weaving Tides borrows too much from its influences, but I believe there are certain elements in Zelda and Bastion that are worth mimicking, and Weaving Tides adds these tools to its game masterfully.
Weaving Tides is an absolutely stellar experience from start to finish. The world is fascinating, and the art style in both the 3D environments and in the 2D still images are breathtaking. The game wears its influences proudly on its sleeves without technically copying. This is a title with enough originality that it is easy to excuse what it borrows.
The only issue I ran into was the soundtrack going in and out of enemy music even if I was not battling. It does make for some weird moments here and there, but it does not interfere with the overall.
Weaving Tides is a brilliant title that deserves all the attention and praise coming its way. The carpet dragons and Tass are all full of life and personality, and I cannot wait to see this world open up more in future installments. Make it happen, Follow the Feathers! You guys deserve it and have created one of the most unique and amazing gaming worlds in recent memory.
Stunning world and magnificent characters
Puzzles and boss fights are excellent
Art work is simply gorgeous
Patching the world is truly relaxing
Soundtrack mistakingly plays wrong music at times
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.