PAX West 2017: Tunic is a Lovely Modern Take on Overhead Adventures

Tunic’s initial reveal was under an entirely different name, originally being known as Secret Legend until its re-reveal this year at E3. While the first showing of the title managed to turn some heads in interest, it has increasingly drawn in more people as they’ve gotten to see more of it. The overhead action adventure is nothing new, but the lovely art style had people immediately interested in where it was going. There are easy comparisons to be made to classic games from the early years of gaming, and while Tunic hits that nostalgic style of gameplay, it does so while also being a modern take on what some of those titles might be like today.

In the Tunic demo, players take on the role of a fox who wakes up on a beach with only one way to go. After traversing through some puzzles and avoiding enemies, the little fox manages to get his hands on a stick to fend off enemies with. He continues through old ruins and forests, discovering different ways to go and little secrets along the way if he’s curious enough. Eventually he manages to find a sword, and after traversing even further through fierce foes finds a golem boss before finally meeting his match.

There’s an air of mystery as the small fox makes his way exploring the land around him. Whenever he runs into written language on a sign or note, it’s always in mysterious characters that seemingly can’t be deciphered. Some of these are tutorials, showing button commands the little fox is able to pull off, while others are just mysterious text that leaves the players pondering what it could possibly mean. While there isn’t much of a story to speak of yet, this small mystery gives players a little look into secrets waiting to be uncovered.

The combat shown off in Tunic has a simplistic feel, with some good challenge to it. Players can attack, shield and dodge enemies any way they like. The fox starts out with a good amount of health, but can be quickly drained if players aren’t watching the enemies closely. Enemies with swords are especially dangerous when encountering them for the first time, as they won’t hold back and the fox will need to either dodge or shield their attacks in order for a chance to do some damage back. Fortunately enemies glimmer ever so slightly before sending off an attack, making it all about timing to dodge and fend them off.

Tunic is a delightful game, that while being nostalgic to older players of early adventure titles, manages to capture people by being fun with a good balance of challenge and exploration. With a breathtaking visual appearance and a wide variety of secrets to be uncovered, Tunic is shaping up to be a title worth keeping tabs on. There’s no definitive release date for it as it’s still carefully in the works in order to create an adventure for many players to enjoy, but for now fans can tentatively look forward to trying our Tunic in 2018.