LadiesGamers Lumberhill

Lumberhill Review

Game: Lumberhill
Genre: Action, Party
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows & macOS))
Developer|Publisher: 2BIGo, ARP Games | ALL IN! GAMES
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $14.99 | UK £12.29 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: April 15th, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to Plan of Attack PR. 

Off to the Lumberyard 

Lumberhill is a multiplayer party game with a focus on co-op gameplay. Another game that appears to take inspiration from hits like Overcooked, only this time around the developers thought there was clearly a chronic shortage of games featuring lumberjacks. And so Lumberhill was created. Lumberhill is a decent enough co-op title that’s worth picking up if you want to play with friends locally or online. But it’s not the tallest or strongest tree in the forest when compared to the competition. 

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
Get some fresh air

Chop and Heard

Lumberhill uses a familiar template for co-op focused party games. The goal of each level is to complete small objectives within a time limit racking up points and attempting to earn that three-star rating before the round’s overall timer expires. Each level also offers a special objective to add a little spice such as avoiding going into the water. If you’re successful you unlock a special axe to unlock some special animal characters. Upon completion of each level, the game allows you to pose for a picture which I liked but you can’t seem to get your character to emote, just pick up and fling items about.

There are three objectives throughout the course of the game; chopping trees down, herding animals and fishing. You lumber across five different worlds, each of which has several levels although you need to earn a set number of stars to make progress. Along the way, you will also unlock new characters and some PVP (player versus player) multiplayer levels. You have the typical forest zone with sheep and rams but before you know it you’re heading off to more obscure lumberjack locations like Asia where you herd pandas and chop bamboo shoots and cherry trees. Then later you head to a dinosaur area where you herd triceratops’ while avoiding T- rexes. Themes will likely bring a smile to gamers’ faces. There’s a pretty good diversity to areas but the core gameplay remains the same.  

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
Tutorial videos are a little obvious but handy for casual gamers

To chop a tree down you need to grab one of the many axes dotted about the level then swipe or charge a chop until it falls, and then carry the log to the appropriate hut. Logs also serve additional functions; you can use them to repair bridges and on some levels herd giant pandas. As for herding, the general idea is to grab one of the small animals and coax a large group into the designated hut but this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Lastly fishing really just requires you to pull a lever, dropping a net into a pool of water. Wait for the fish to swim over it and pull the lever again to lift the net catching a number of fish. This one probably requires the least challenge.

Objectives are presented to you randomly at the bottom of the screen requiring a set number of logs, animals or fish before you can gain the points to pool towards your final score. While the core objectives are the same the game will throw in additional challenges, like sharks in the water that can eat you, moving platforms and mischievous monkeys. There are also random events like pirate ships blowing up you’re bridges and lighting strikes which cause forest fires that need to be put out with a bucket and water. Despite these additions, the formula of the game gets a bit stale just lacking variety since the core missions remain the same. 

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
Pose for a picture

Swing Like a Lumberjack 

Controls are pretty straightforward to pick up and play. When the game introduces a new mechanic like building bridges it will play a short video. A helpful addition for gamers that are not experienced. These videos can also be accessed at any time in the options menu. Movement and jumping feel just a tad clunky which maybe makes sense for a stocky lumberjack. Chopping trees can be a bit problematic since your swings will also smack fellow players and characters out the way.  So if you wanna avoid some naughty words be sure to communicate with your fellow players. If you go online you can use emotes to get your point across. 

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
Unlock new characters as you progress

Difficulty swings wildly between levels. There were some occasions where my wife and I played a level and we obtained 3 stars in no time, well before the overall timer expired. But, on other occasions, we struggled to get a single star. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem except this is another co-op game that requires you to obtain a specific number of stars to progress and see the later levels. Maybe not a problem for dedicated players but if your party includes more casual gamers then this may lead to some tedious repetition of previous levels. 

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
This is PANDAmonium

Better Together

Lumberhill can be played locally or online with up to four players. Local was most certainly the ideal way to play this game but I did manage to find some random games to join when testing the online. Unfortunately, the experience was a bit laggy but it’s hard to say if that’s because of the game or player internet speeds. Lumberhill makes for a decent co-op title but I found it totally impenetrable playing solo. The level design is clearly meant for more than one player.

On one level I was trying to herd some animals but I was constantly hit by a boar making it near impossible to complete the objective. Even after removing the boar it just respawned straight away anyway. Playing solo just led to frustration for me. I do appreciate the developers offering this as an option but I really don’t recommend picking this up to play alone.

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
Watch out for the T-rex

Low Poly

The graphics are okay. The game goes for the 3D low poly design where the characters have no eyes. The levels are pretty varied with a fair amount of colour. It certainly fits the family-friendly design but there are some issues. For starters, the contrast is pretty high, making it hard to see clearly where items are in the level. The most notable problem though was it was hard to gauge depth in the 3D levels. The camera aims most levels at an angled top-down view.

Often I found myself jumping to platforms I thought I could reach but instead just fell to my death as the platform was actually higher than expected. I also encountered a few glitches, like walking directly into small raised mounds. The funniest glitch-like element I encountered is after you chop a tree down it suddenly grows back popping rapidly out of the ground. If you or possibly an animal are standing in that area you will be propelled into the sky with hilarious results. 

LadiesGamers Lumberhill
Play multiplayer local or online

Conclusion – Quitting Time

I started out quite enjoying Lumberhill but as the game kept progressing the faults became just a little too apparent. The novelty of the same missions wears off pretty quickly. On top of that, the gameplay lacks a lot of polish. The game may be pick up and play but a lot of the mechanics just feel clunky. On top of that, this is another title that has inconsistent difficulty. With a bit of polish, a lot of these issues could be patched out. I still recommend the game if you’re looking to play with some friends locally or online. You may even have a laugh at some of the game’s glitches, just watch out for splinters.

Final Verdict: I Like it

I like it

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