Tunic Review

Fox on the beach.

This will be the shortest review ever here on The Pretend Gamer, I promise you. Let me assure you that it is not short because I hated Tunic. Far from it, in fact. I think it is one of the best games to come out this year. No, it will be short because it would too much of a spoiler to even talk about some of its mechanics.

Yes, you read that right. Even talking about some of Tunic’s core mechanics would ruin the experience for anyone who hasn’t played the game yet. This is because most, but not all, of the ins and outs of the game are revealed through pages of a manual you the player have to find within the game world itself. These manuals aren’t written entirely in English either so not all of their secrets will be revealed just from looking at the pages.

I have finished the game (technically) and I still don’t know how a few of the mechanics work or even what a few items actually do. There are even some treasure items I don’t know how to get to as well. The manual is so intricately crafted that it was a joy whenever I figured something out by myself while making me feel really stupid when I couldn’t discover what I needed to do. I’m not going to lie here. I had to look a few things up while I was playing through the game. Not very many things, mind you! Just a few that I needed some clarification on. If you finished Tunic without looking anything up then I applaud you! You are obviously way better at video games than me.

The game is all about exploration and it will become clear very quickly whether or not this game is for you. There were times when I thought I was going the wrong way only to find out that it was in fact the right way. Do not lose hope dear players! That is my only advice for you. The exploration in Tunic is the best out of any of the games I’ve played in recent years.

The exploration is also one of Tunic’s problems, however. This is because some paths are hidden around corners or out of sight and I got lost a few times because I didn’t see where I was supposed to be going right away. I spent a whole hour looking for the way forward one time and it was right in front of me. Also, the game gets a little too obtuse for my tastes in the second half of the game. Navigational clues are few and far between during that section but, again, don’t lose hope! Just keep on exploring and the way forward will become clear enough (maybe).

I also want to mention the combat briefly here before I go. The combat is difficult in places but you’ll get the hang of it. Without saying too much, the combat and the way death is handled is very much inspired by Dark Souls. Having said that, the game is nowhere near as hard as Dark Souls. As with the exploration, don’t give up and just keep trying and you’ll get through it.

I’ll say one other thing about the combat before I go though. I didn’t like how, if you used items in a fight and died, those items would be gone forever when you respawned. I know the “git gud” crowd will have a field day with what I just said but I don’t like when games handle items that way. I hated losing a fight in which I used items and then I had to farm money just so I could buy back those items I didn’t have anymore because I lost a fight. It didn’t make the game any more fun but if you’re into fighting the same enemies over and over again to gain funds to buy items you once had then Tunic is the game for you!

In Conclusion:

As I said, this will be the shortest review ever here on The Pretend Gamer. To reveal any more than I have already would be a slap to the face of the developer of the game. There are a ton of secrets to be found in this game and it’s up to you to find them. Tunic will give you hints but don’t expect it to hold your hand. Some will hate it but I loved it. I am looking forward to any future games the developer of Tunic has in store for us, that’s for sure.

Thank you for reading! Has anyone out there played Tunic? What did you think of it? Let me know!

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