Tunic immediately gives off the vibe of other titles like Death’s Door or even old-school Zelda. However, it becomes abundantly clear very early on that where these other titles have substance to them, Tunic is just a fancy shell with nothing inside.
Wait, This Game Has A Story?
To begin, Tunic doesn’t really have much of a story. Basically, the game depends on you to guess what’s really going on. You start as a little fox-like character and get chucked right into the thick of it with only a stick to defend yourself. Very early on, you come across a massive gold door. As you enter, it takes you to a mystical place where there happens to be a big fox-like character trapped inside an orb. Suddenly you’re back at the gold door without being able to get back in.
All this does is raise questions as there is no explanation as to what is going on. Who is the person trapped inside the orb? A goddess maybe? Are you supposed to find a way to free her? How did this world become like it is? Are there any other characters like you? How did you arrive at this place? Who exactly are you? Not one of these questions gets answered as 90% of the dialogue is done in that Tunic style. This just forces you to guess to fill in the blanks. As someone who loves a well-written narrative, this felt very lacklustre. If not, a little lazy.
The Good & Bad of Tunic’s Gameplay
The gameplay on the other hand, is mostly well done. The combat is relatively basic based around a simple attack and dodge with a shield to add a bit more defence. However, because you have to find each weapon before you can use it, you will spend a lot of time fighting with just a stick or sword. This makes it quite difficult to take on the tougher enemies. Without a shield however, you will be forced to rely heavily on explosives. Which makes dealing with the tougher enemies a lot easier.
The only problem I have with the gameplay is that it can become very difficult to know where to go. There are a couple of arrows to point you in a certain direction but you have no idea why you have to go there. This means you spend a lot of the time running in circles trying to figure out what on earth you’re doing. So not only are you not told WHAT you need to do, but you’re not told WHERE you need to go.
Now some people may enjoy the lack of ‘handholding’ in this game, and that’s fair. But there has to be something about a game that drives you to keep playing. When it came to Tunic, nothing enticed me apart from how nice the world looked. And unfortunately, that’s not enough.
Tunic is Gorgeous
The world design of Tunic is easily the best part of the game. Immediately, I get the same kind of feel as Death’s Door with a lot more colour. The world you’re in actually looks incredible. I absolutely love the art style of the world and all the enemies and characters. I especially love the design of the ghost-like character where you can buy explosives.
There are some pretty good puzzles and places you can’t get to until you advance further in the game. Plus, as you make your way through Tunic, you collect pages for a booklet that tells you how to play the game. Even though this quirky booklet looks awesome, it yet again plays off your guesswork.
If all you’re looking for is a beautiful looking game that you can pick up in short spells, then this game is fine. If not, then I wouldn’t suggest it. There is basically no story to be found, as Tunic just feeds off your guesswork. It is frustrating always having to guess where to go or what to do and it doesn’t really have anything to drive you on. So even though this game looks gorgeous, there really isn’t enough to save it.
By Dillon Van Der Putten – Reviewed on PC
Tunic initially looks incredible. Featuring a top-down attack and dodge style, it immediately gives off a Death’s Door vibe with an abundance of colour. Upon entering the game though, it becomes very clear that Tunic is just an empty shell of a game. With basically no story, basic combat, and a world that looks amazing but leaves the player wondering where to go. It becomes very stale very quickly.
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Finji. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.