Tunic from Finji and TUNIC Team is a charming isometric action-adventure inspired by the beloved The Legend of Zelda series. Learn more about this gem in our Tunic review!
Tunic from Finji and TUNIC Team is a charming isometric action-adventure inspired by the beloved The Legend of Zelda series. You’ll be playing as a young fox – the Ruin Seeker – who will go on a journey of self-discovery as he tries to remember what has happened before and what he needs to do to find the magical treasure of the island… or something. The story is a bit cryptic, and there’s not much handholding, which is not a bad thing! Oh, and the twist for this one? While its look and feel might scream The Legend of Zelda, its gameplay is actually of the Soulslike variety!
On the bottom left corner of the screen, there will be three colorful bars. The first one will represent your character’s health. The second one will be for his stamina. As for the last one, it’s tied to your character’s magic points – a.k.a. its mana. An interesting gameplay mechanic is how you’ll be working on completing the game’s manual as you progress through the game. The manual will certainly remind you of the one for the classic The Legend of Zelda game that was released way back in 1986 – that is, if you were lucky enough to have a physical Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) copy of the game! There’s an overworld map, an ancient language with runes, gorgeous illustrations, and, you know, instructions and information for Tunic.
Kudos to the game’s developer for printing out and stapling together a blank physical manual, giving it some proper wear and tear from turning the pages over and over again, to give the pages the look you’d expect from an old-school NES manual from the 1980s that you would have looked at many times while playing a game like The Legend of Zelda. The dev then scanned those blank pages and used them to build the digital manual that you’ll uncover as you play through this wonderful world.
This is an important element because the game is full of runes that you won’t be able to understand. Walk up to a signpost and interact with it, and you’ll see some runes on it. Collect an item, and the pop-up message will have runes on it. Interact with a well and, well… the message will be nothing more than runes! At least the “OK” prompt to close the message is not written in runes. The developer wanted to create a game that felt like something you would have played as a young kid, unable to read and comprehend all of the words in the manual… but that wouldn’t stop you from playing the game!
You can customize your experience with Tunic by going into the options menu and then checking the accessibility section within. Along with selecting the vibration intensity for the DualSense controller, you can also reduce the screenshake, reduce motion blur, reduce damage flash, and audio puzzle assistance. And then, there are two special options that can make a big difference: no fail mode, no stamina restrictions. Since actions require stamina, activating no stamina restrictions makes the whole game a lot easier. The same goes for no fail mode. You can also go into the extra options section and reduce combat difficulty.
The game has a full trophy list to work on, with 17 Bronze trophies, 16 Silver trophies, and 3 Gold trophies to unlock as you work on adding a new Platinum trophy to your collection. And since this is a Cross-Buy title, if you own a PlayStation 5 console, you can take on each version separately for twice the Platinum fun! As for what you’ll need to do for that Platinum trophy, you’ll get trophies for collecting specific items, locating colored keys, finding the many secret treasures, chopping down 1,000 blades of grass, executing a special technique, and more. Since there are some missable trophies, you might want to check a Tunic Trophy Guide.
Tunic is a game I had been looking forward to playing on PlayStation 5, and I’m here to report that the game is certainly one that you should add to your collection. The influences from the classic The Legend of Zelda series – particularly the NES original – are easy to spot, and that, mixed with a Soulslike twist to the combat, makes for a challenging but fun experience. You’re looking at around 10 to 12 hours to see everything that Tunic has to offer, which is a good length for this experience. Tunic is available as a Cross-Buy title with a $29.99 asking price, giving you access to both the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5 versions of the game.
This Tunic review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Finji.