REVIEW: Lumberhill is Chaotic Tree Chopping Fun
A common sentiment I hear is that “any game can be fun with friends.” While this does have some merit, the game still has to have all of the right pieces to be fun. I can confidently say that Lumberhill has all of these pieces. Gameplay, level design, challenge; anything you need to make a good co-op game, Lumberhill has it.
Lumberhill puts you and up to 3 friends in the role of a lumberjack where you will complete as many tasks as quickly as possible to get a high score. For the most part, the tasks in Lumberhill are pretty straightforward, falling into two main categories: wood and animals. Wood tasks are completed by chopping trees and delivering them to the sawmill, while animal tasks are completed by herding groups of animals into the barn.
Each task has a certain amount of time to be completed, but never so little that it feels unfair. In fact, every time you make progress on a task, the timer increases, making it easier to complete in time. That being said, Lumberhill certainly isn’t easy, just easier than other similar games. A big reason for this is because teamwork isn’t as required as you would expect. It still is needed for sure, but most tasks can be completed on-time solo, but more efficiently when working together.
Lumberhill consists of 5 worlds, with each world providing its own unique set of challenges. It starts off simple in the forest with trees and sheep, getting crazier as the game progresses. While individual levels are never quite as unique as the levels in Overcooked, each world provides enough originality to make their sections memorable. I would even say there is some benefit to this more theme-based approach. Each mechanic is present enough so that you can get the hang of the different requirements, but not so long that they overstay their welcome.
I don’t want to go too in-depth on just what this game will throw at you, as a lot of laughs and enjoyment came from all the crazy interactions in the game, much of which is completely unexpected. These surprises are a lot of what makes this game so fun. One second you will be chopping down a tree, and the next you will be flying off the map. Many times someone would keep trying to complete a task, only to keep falling off the map losing all of their progress. You would think it would get frustrating after happening 5 times in a row, but the pure chaos of this game makes it funnier each time. These moments are where Lumberhill really shines, and why it is essential to be played with friends.
This is made easy with the variety of options present, ranging from local to online. If co-op isn’t your style, there is also a PvP mode where you compete with your friends for a high score. PvP does come with a twist, where one team is comprised of lumberjacks and the other of animals. Each team gets a shot as the lumberjacks, who are trying to get points while the other team disrupts them as animals. This mode is a lot of fun, but the levels are a little slow to unlock, as they are dependent on stars from the main game.
PvP levels aren’t the only unlock you can expect to find. Completing the level’s additional challenge objective will award you with a diamond axe, which will unlock new lumberjack and animal skins. Many of these challenges are quite difficult and will require some very skilled play. A few examples include no-death completion and not dropping anything off the map, which provides some real difficulty if you choose to go for them. If you are looking for more casual fun, these challenges are not in any way required, and you won’t miss out on any content other than outfits by skipping them.
There’s plenty of things I love in Lumberhill, and quite honestly, there’s very little to dislike. The worst thing I can say is that the game is occasionally a little glitchy, but strictly from a visual standpoint. Nothing too crazy ever happened, but it was definitely noticeable when the game bugged out. Thankfully, these moments almost always occurred in menus or results screens, which don’t disrupt gameplay at all
Overall, Lumberhill is a great choice if you are looking for a new co-op party game. While a little rough around the edges and simpler than similar titles, Lumberhill provides just as much fun. Rest assured, Lumberhill will be a staple game to break out when looking for something to play with friends and family.