“Tunic”: a cute but rough adventure like “Elden Ring”

Awaited for five years, the game of Canadian Andrew Shouldice plunges a little fox into a fascinating world where everything is to be deciphered.

Nothing like a brightly colored adventure in a sunny universe to recover from the harshness ofElden Ring, Hidetaka Miyazaki’s majestic role-playing game on the way to becoming the phenomenon video game of this beginning of the year.

The sea is blue, the trees are chewable and our cute little fox trots towards one of the inhabitants of this adorable world, who hastens to brutally attack him. Game-over. Corn… Elden Ring, is it you again?

Hidden treasures

Do not be fooled by appearances. If the very round graphic style of Tunic and its isometric view recall the unreal sweetness of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Switch version, the very personal project of Canadian Andrew Shouldice is not one of those games that encourage quiet drifting and dreamy exploration, but rather, like Elden Ring and other FromSoftware productions (Dark Souls, Bloodborne, sekiro…), a work that has to be earned. And which is approached cautiously, step by step, with the awareness that danger can arise from anywhere and that learning from our mistakes is the condition for any progress.

In a way that is both revealing and mischievous, one of the main treasures hidden in its decorations, one of our greatest rewards, is moreover its manual, reconstituted page by page over the course of the adventure. This allows you to learn, for example, if you haven’t seen it yourself, that our little fox briefly becomes invulnerable when he rolls, crucial information to defeat the cruel Knight of the Garden of the West using wisely the sword, the shield and the various bombs and accessories at our disposal.

Wonder

What should be done ? Where to go ? And what do these signs written in an unknown language mean? Will play Tunic, it is to experience a world that is not only mysterious but cryptic and in which almost everything (the organization of the places, the behavior of the enemies, the usefulness of the objects that one unearths) asks to be deciphered . But it is not a question of an arid universe, of a giant puzzle deployed in space and time because Tunic is also one of those games that knows how to provoke wonder. This moment when you suddenly emerge into a vast sandy space without monsters or danger is revealing: under the puzzles and the merciless fights, there is Journey, but one Journey mostly prevented, upset. Like the work of Jenova Chen, Tunic is a mental journey, an inner epic.

This is due to few things, to the general atmosphere (mention to the music of the duo Lifeformed), to the fact that the enemies reappear after each passage through a save point, but the work of Andrew Shouldice has less at stake the conquest of places than the reestablishment of a continuity between them, their reconnection (by opening the way, by lowering bridges…), which brings it closer to a much more peaceful masterpiece of the game indie: A Short Hike. Because that’s where we’re going Tunic : at the intersection of the roads ofA Short Hike and from Elden Ring. Funny place for a very nice meeting.

Tunic (Andrew Shouldice/Finji), on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Mac (29,99€) and Windows (27.99€)



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