The tunic is so much more than it looks. It treads on familiar ground for classic Legend of Zelda-style adventures with simple combat, a large overworld, and a selection of bosses and dungeons. However, it is what is added on top that really shines.
To begin with, the fox hero doesn’t even have a sword, but throughout the game you’ll gradually earn all the equipment you need. Your inventory contains weapons, gadgets, consumables, and idle features – all of which have their own uses. In countless treasure chests, you’ll find items to upgrade your stats, along with other rewards. It’s basic stuff, but it’s well executed and clearly presented.
As mentioned, the combat is simple. A combination of sword swipes, some magical abilities, and some useful bombs are your offensive options, and you eventually get a shield to go along with your defensive dodge roll. The enemies are well designed and surprisingly challenging, including some bosses that can be real difficulty spikes. However, you can lower the difficulty whenever you want. It works quite well, but sometimes problems with lock-on can lead to some untimely deaths.
Better and more important than war is exploration. Navigating the overworld will take you through different areas, each filled with hidden paths and head-scratching puzzles. Backtracking happens frequently, which can make certain parts of the game feel a little tedious. However, explorers as a whole are well rewarded.
An important part of the tunic is its virtual instruction manual. Its gorgeously illustrated pages are scattered throughout the map, and finding them not only gives you important information, but they’re also paramount to solving many of the game’s major puzzles. It’s an incredibly beautiful way to give you a nudge without over-explaining all its secrets.
We won’t spoil what happens, but the tunic slowly peels off the layers right to the end. It’s a cohesive, satisfying game that scratches the old-school action-adventure itch, going above and beyond with subversive, brain puzzles. It may have stayed on the touch longer than necessary, but this little gem of the game punches well above its weight.