Need to know
What is it? An isometric Zelda-like with a foxy hero.
Expect to pay $30/£25
Developer Tunic Team
Reviewed on Intel Core i7-11700K, GeForce RTX 3070, 16GB RAM
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On the surface, Tunic’s delightful art style and charming tone bear a striking resemblance to The Legend of Zelda series. But below its cheerily disarming exterior lies a game intent on testing your resolve. Tunic’s seemingly warm and welcoming world is teeming with enemies who are all too willing to knock the stuffing out of you. Prepare to die. A lot.
Beyond an abrupt opening that sees our fox friend wash up on a beach, there’s little in the way of storytelling. And what scant plot Tunic does have is purposefully vague. This world’s wider mystery is a nice addition to the game rather than a compelling reason to play. Just delving into its fascinating surroundings, doing battle with its unsavoury inhabitants and uncovering its many layers is a riveting story all of its own. This beautifully constructed isometric world is nothing short of joyous to explore. Both the overworld and the game’s many dungeons offer intricately designed and varied environments. Some are filled with hazardous obstacles, such as the Quarry’s life-guzzling goop, while others provide a more straightforward search for treasure, shortcuts and a way forward.
(Image credit: Finji)
Tunic’s niggles are, thankfully, as small as its fuzzy main character. All of your offensive capabilities can only be mapped to three buttons, which is fine in the beginning but rather limiting when you want to use an array of consumable items in combat alongside your sword and magic. Occasionally, when transitioning between areas, the isometric levels can take considerably longer to load than you’d expect for a game of this nature. Enemies also sporadically clip through the environment, and flying foes often back away just out of reach of your sword swings, making them incredibly irritating until you’ve got access to ranged magic attacks.
While it draws inspiration from many of gaming’s greats, Tunic has a uniqueness and sense of wonderment all its own. Its simple and colourful graphical stylings and focus on good old-fashioned fun make for an undeniably captivating experience. At the same time, the contrasting challenge it presents adds an extra level of immersion and satisfaction that makes this enchanting adventure one you’re not likely to forget anytime soon.
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