Review of ‘Tunic: A Zelda Inspired Puzzle Box Of Delights
TLC once advised us not to chase waterfalls. This message was never sent to Andrew Shouldice, but it was appreciated by everyone.
Tunic is his latest video game. You want to see behind every crumbling statue, cascading wall, or swaying leaf of grass in search for treasure. It rewards curiosity with an intricate puzzle box that offers a world full of mystery, surprise and revelation. It is a remarkable piece of work, and I cannot get it out of my mind.
Tunicis an adorable Zelda -style game about a fox and a sword. This is a solid selling point. There are environmental puzzles that you can solve, bosses that you need to defeat, and new items that you will discover. Its bright, colourful and colorful isometric design is a delight to see.
You’ll soon see that Tunic is more than just another Zelda-lite. The world of em>Tunic has been cleverly designed so that there are many shortcuts, game-changing items and key clues hidden in plain sight. It’s more like a successor to 1986’s The Legend Of Zelda than any subsequent Zelda games.
More than once, I have seen the exit to a tomb or other dungeon hidden behind trees or around the side of a column that prevented me from accessing it. If you are able to find the right route, you can access a late-game area almost instantly. However, these routes are so well hidden you won’t even know they exist until you get to the other side. These hidden areas are everywhere and it is exciting to stumble upon them. Tunic is a game like Outer Wilds or Dark Souls. It can only be enjoyed in its purest form once. Once you understand how the game works, it is forever changed. This makes the first playthrough even more memorable.
Tunic is a vast, mysterious world filled with unintelligible text and items that require little or no explanation. This game was designed to remind you of a time before tutorials were available in-game.
Tunic has a manual that can be used to help those who are stumped. The manual can be found by our smol fox friend, who can locate it from all over the globe. This beautifully designed booklet is a love letter to the original NES Zeldamanual. It features gorgeous art, maps and tips to help players get started. I would be the first to purchase one if Finji wanted to recreate the entire thing IRL.
The manual is more than just a nice thing to look at. It is also Tunic’s most important item. The manual will provide you with key clues, help you upgrade your skills and point you in the right direction. You will find notes written on the pages by the previous owner to help you decipher the puzzles. Tunic had me sitting cross-legged on the ground, writing down notes on a rough plan I had drawn myself as a reference. The game transported me back in the past without my realisation.
It takes a thorough examination of every inch of the manual to see all the game has to give. The post-game treasure hunt, in particular, forces you to think far beyond the box and makes it seem like a distant memory from a previous life. Sometimes it is frustratingly vague. However, those eureka moments are just as rewarding as any gaming experience I have ever had.
Tunic is not as well-implemented as it seems. This game is a lot of work, especially towards the end. The slow-travel system and backtracking make it more difficult than necessary.
Due to the lock-on system, combat can become a bit tedious, especially when there are large numbers of enemies. There are many in-game options that will allow you to get through these encounters without fighting. This first option allows infinite stamina and gives players the freedom to dodge or block as many times as they need without worrying about being penalized. This is a good compromise for those who want to downplay the challenge. This second option allows you to go through enemies without any worries and concentrate on what Tunic does best: solving puzzles and looking at cute foxes.
Tunicis an affectionate tribute to classic adventure games. It still manages its own clever twists to the formula to create a meta-game with interconnected puzzles that hide a larger problem. It is incredibly rewarding to slowly unravel its complex code, if you can resist the temptation to check your phone every time you get stuck.
Tunic is a similar game to Elden Ring and Breath Of The Wild. It’s yet another proof that games can be free from our control and let us figure things out. After completing the 10-hour, challenging, and always surprising adventure, I am still wondering what Tunic has left me.
The pros: Beautiful storybook aesthetic, clever puzzles, well-designed world, great options for switching difficulty. I could stare at the in-game manual for hours
Cons : Sometimes clunky combat and annoying backtracking
To be enjoyed by: Dark Souls and The Legend Of Zelda.