[EXPRESSO] Fox n Forests NNSWDDL | Wink Wink Nudge Nudge E.T. Atari Cartridges

One of the older “good children of Kickstarter”, a retro-styled 2D platformer made by nostalgic gaming enthusiast for the nostalgia crowd that loves 16-bit style platformers for the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.

And before you ask, yes, there are “Metroidvania” elements, Kinda. As in you’ll have to revisit levels when you get an upgrade allowing you to reach new paths and collect more of the items necessary to unlock the other batch of levels. The music does remind one of Castlevania, though, like a lot.

You play as Rick the Fox, tasked by the ancient talking tree to recover sacred bark and repel the mysterious “Fifth Season”. You’re given a bow with sword for close combat, but the main gimmick of Fox n Forests is the ability to change the season in the level to affect the level design: freezing rivers in winter to walk on the icy surfaces, changing to autumnmakes vines grow, creating extra platforms, and so on.

It’s a good game held back by how on-point it recreates the 16-bit platformer experience, despite otherwise finding good compromises to mesh old and new sensibilities, like retain checkpoints but having you fork over cash to activate them. The main problem is having the fodder (and sometimes stronger) enemies respawning ad infinitum, making exploration more difficult and grating than needed, in a game that wants you to explore (and revisit) the few big levels available as throughly as possible. And it’s pointless since enemies always drop coins, not the more useful health items.

Also, most boss battles are downright obtuse and become piss easy once you realize what you were supposed to do, and the videogame references… the less said the better.

I really wanted to like this more, but it’s still slighly above just being “decent”.

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