Developer: Boomfire Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platform, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence
Release Date: 27/06/2019
Price: £8.09 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
If a game has an animal as its protagonist, I’m immediately interested, particularly if it’s a cute forest animal. So naturally, Furwind the fox instantly drew me in and so did the pixel art visuals. However, I wasn’t expecting to be hooked into this platformer by the variety of levels that test you on your timing and combat, fighting enemies and bosses straight out of classic video games.
Playing as Furwind, you must defeat the darkness that threatens your world and its critters, battling through three different chapters. Each chapter has five levels and a boss level, as well as prisoner levels where you save a fox friend, and challenge levels. The levels have the same aim; defeat two mini bosses to give you a puzzle piece each, which come together to unlock the gate which completes the level. There are also scrolls hidden in these levels which unlock the challenges.
In each chapter you learn a new ability, but the basic controls are to jump, double jump and attack. Using these you must face zombie wolves, poison spewing mushrooms and many more while searching different pathways. The enemies weren’t ridiculously hard – the bosses following the classic three wave format – but it did require you to time your moves so you wouldn’t touch them and lose health. You also had to be facing an enemy in order to hit them, which is tough when you’re faced with many from both sides. This caused me to die quite a bit but it didn’t affect the gameplay too much; it just meant I had to be cautious and time my jumps or attacks.
Though the goal of each level is the same, and the same mini bosses or enemies feature in them, the different types of levels kept the game from growing stale. One type of level was lit by fireflies surrounding you in the pitch black. They would slowly decrease in number unless you stood by crystals or nests, otherwise the light would fade and bats would kill you. For another you have to run away from the darkness chasing you from the left side of the screen. That variety prevented me from becoming bored and the game being too repetitive.
The pixel artwork is simply gorgeous! The forest scenery in particular makes it so easy on the eye, with great use of shadow and lighting to give it that extra dimension. It is colourful without being garish, from the greens and browns of the forest to the blue fireflies and crystals lighting up the darkness. It is animated so well, making it almost relaxing as leaves blow in the breeze or fires crackle – despite the action in the levels. I loved the character design of Furwind as well as the enemies too; the foxes looked so sweet yet the bosses were creepy looking without being too gory. As someone who is a fan of games set in nature, the visuals were perfect.
The soundtrack was straight out of a fantasy film, with whimsical music playing as you wander through the forest and tense, eerie music as you escape from the darkness. It accompanied the game incredibly well and set the mood for each level. The noise of the dialogue however creeped me out a little; instead of the characters actually speaking, they would have a strange, deep noise – like Animal Crossing but way less cute. This isn’t a fault of the game though, just a personal issue I had with it. When you die, the controller also vibrates incredibly loudly, which I didn’t think the Switch was even capable of, so this could be toned down a little.
There is some room for replayability to find the scrolls and unlock the side levels which you may have missed so that you can fully complete the game. There are also lots of ways to explore in each level, with gems that you could have missed hidden somewhere you haven’t looked. These gems can be used to buy things in the store, such as more stamina and hearts.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this game and it had very little faults. I was taken by surprise by how this visually beautiful game could also be so fun and keep me playing for long periods of time. It is the perfect level of difficulty: not too hard that you become frustrated but not so easy that you fly through it. I would happily recommend this game to anyone, but especially for fans of pixel art and platformers!
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Furwind from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Furwind-1563516.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.