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This branching game about being a tree has 16 endings

It turns out being a tree is more exciting than just standing on the spot listening to the wind rustling your leaves—at least if How To Be a Tree's arboreal fantasy is to be believed. As a tree, you can become a therapist, sprout a jetpack and blast into space, or conquer humanity, jumping over tanks and toppling skyscrapers.

It's a platformer with a branching story that will take you to one of 16 surreal endings. It has a touch of The Stanley Parable about it: you can take several paths through the levels, and as you do so the narration will change, a floating eye following you around and passing judgement.  

As for the platforming, your tree is surprisingly bouncy and bendy, and you can curl it up into a compact squiggle to squeeze through tight gaps. The trailer at the bottom of this post will give you a good idea.

It's a short game: creator Jimmy "Zaphos" Andrews posted a 46-second speedrun on YouTube this week. Most playthroughs will take a lot longer, but you could probably find all the endings in two to three hours. 

Grab it for free on itch.io. And if you're a tree lover, you should read Matt's history of trees in PC gaming.

Thanks, Kotaku.

Samuel is a long-time PC Gamer freelancer who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play. You can find him on the floor, struggling under the weight of his Steam backlog.