There are few games capable of even attempting to recreate the magical and fantastic exploration that The Legend of Zelda is known for. And while soon-to-be released Tunic may wear its triforce-shaped heart on its sleeve, the one-man developed indie looks to be carving out a space for itself with stunning environments and a mysterious story centered on an adorable fox.
Here, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about Tunic, including story and gameplay details, as well as some exciting rumors. Make sure to check back as we’ll be updating this story following any new announcements.
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Tunic Release Date
Currently, Tunic has no official release date. It will be released on both PC and Xbox One. The game is being developed by Canadian game designer Andrew Shouldice along with help from Finji, who is also publishing the title.
Before partnering with Finji, Shouldice was working on the project under its original title, Secret Legend. Tunic would make its debut during E3 2018 where the game was announced and given a ‘2019’ release window, which would later be pushed back.
Chief among Tunic’s fascinating features is it’s puzzling and minimalistic story-telling. The game will reportedly have no dialogue whatsoever accompanied by in-game text that’s written in an ancient, undecipherable language. This is an intentional design decision on the part of Shouldice, which he explains in a recent interview with Red Bull Games.
“The core of the game is exploring a place that you don’t fully understand,” Shouldice says. “I have memories of being a kid and leafing through the instruction manuals of video games that my neighbours owned. I was too young to understand them, and definitely too young to play them, but those images stuck with me. Just wondering at the secret possibilities that a game could get at. That’s the fancy-pants auteur reason for it.”
Perhaps there’s a deeper meaning waiting for players who are skilled enough to decode the game’s confusing glyph language. Or maybe the true enjoyment comes from the pursuit of understanding Tunic‘s world rather than being provided with a concrete answer.
For now, this is all we have to go off of: you play as a weapon-wielding fox who wakes up in a strange world he doesn’t seem to recognize. There is a noticeable difference in scale and appearance between the tiny, jovial fox and his weathered surroundings, suggesting the area may have been home to an ancient civilization at one point.
Whatever the fox’s reason for exploring this newfound land is, we know he’s not alone. In the trailer, we get to see some of Tunic‘s different enemies, many of which appear to be just as battle-ready as the fox, if not even more. The trailer wraps up with the appearance of a black dog-like creature wearing a robe with a tri-colored symbol on it, reminiscent of the iconic Triforce in Zelda.
Tunic is played from an isometric perspective, with the camera tilting slightly whenever the player locks onto enemies. Staying true to his obsession with secret possibilities, Shouldice claims this feature will have an additional in-game function that players may not recognize at first.
At the start of the game, the fox’s arsenal is limited to a simple stick; however, early on gets replaced with a sword and shield. These are the primary tools that will see you through a majority of the game’s battles.
Combat in Tunic is centered on dodging enemy attacks until an opening to strike presents itself.
There seems to be a large variety when it comes to the game’s enemies, which come in all shapes and sizes. Early sections of the game see you battling slime monsters with simple attack patterns; however, as things progress, players will encounter tougher foes that wield a variety of weapons such as swords, axes, and even casting spells.
The Final Word
Although Tunic may appear to be just another love letter to the Zelda franchise, upon closer inspection, the indie game has a lot more to it than that. Shouldice’s fascination with green garment-wearing heroes and made-up languages is only one piece of a bigger picture. Tunic appears to be at least partially autobiographical, reflecting the relationship Shouldice had with video games during his childhood.
Outside of that deeper meaning is a vivid world with captivating visuals and an unlikely hero who manages to come across as equal parts cute and courageous without uttering a single word. We look forward to experiencing all that Tunic has to offer when the game launches later next year.
Looking for something to hold you over until Tunic’s release? Check out our curated list of the Best Upcoming Indie Games of 2021.