Howdy there everyone! Looks like I just can’t t get away from the world of cartoon animals in video games, as a super cool game that I’ve been watching, Fox N Forests, released midway through this past May! What’s Fox N Forests you ask? Well, I’m glad you’re curious because today we’re gonna take an introductory look at the game!

I first came across Fox N Forests on Twitter back in 2017, of all places, when one of my furry friends had retweeted a post by the game’s official Twitter account. Two things immediately caught my eye: one, it had animal characters which is always a bonus with me; and two, it was going for that ever-classic 16-bit retro gaming look that so many indie games were going for. But it had enough of its own unique-looking visual design and game play elements to definitely catch my interest in it. The game was being made by some startup company named Bonus Level Entertainment based out of Munich, Germany. And so, I gave the account a follow to keep tabs on when the game officially released, as I’d already missed a couple of the large events for the game.

The game had already ran itself a Kickstarter campaign which launched in June of 2016 and successfully closed in August 2016, coming in at €107,875 in donations which were well over their goal of €95,000; for us US folks that’d be about $126,912.56 stacked up against a goal of  $111,766.08. There were an awful lot of different rewards too; not only was there the usual fare of a free copy of the game, a digital OST, and a digital art book, but fans could also get a print out PDF of an origami fox and a special gif, exclusive in-game items…one tier was even a cheaper version of an existing tier with limited slots! These guys sure went all out and got inventive with their rewards, that’s for sure! There were also stretch goals, of course, but fans only managed to break into the second tier, netting them more magic attack potions and the basic funding level; the further goals included new enemies, an extra final boss, and a “director’s cut” version that would have added four extra levels. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll get to see these extras if the game has some great sales? There’s always the DLC option!

So, what exactly does Fox N Forests entail? Well, it follows the adventures of Rick the fox who gets recruited by Patty the Partridge on behalf of the “rather remarkable” Guardian Tree to help defeat an evil force looking to introduce an evil 5th Season to the year – the reward being gold, and a “magic melee crossbow” to help fight the evil off. Our pal Rick of course initially wants to grab the gold and crossbow for himself…but I’m betting he’ll have a change of heart later.

The seasons do actually factor heavily in this game and serve as more than just something that needs saving; each level will have two seasons Rick can use his magic crossbow to switch between, which affects both the game world and enemies alike. For example, one clip in the teaser showed a shoot ‘em up like section with Rick having to navigate around obstacles on fire, but with a go of the crossbow, the seasons change to what I’m assuming is Spring, and now it’s raining and the fire is out…but that also means there’s now menacing thunderclouds to navigate around. Another section showed Rick navigating a rather spooky area where the fogs were setting in and limiting his visibility, but with a go of that crossbow, the seasons change and now there’s more visibility. It kinda reminds me of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons…except it’s a 2D platformer and not an adventure game. Which I find interesting; usually this idea of two different versions of one stage is something I’ve seen in full-blown adventure games like Zelda or Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, but not really in 2D games. The game also features secrets to be discovered, magical potions to use, your “magic melee crossbow” that allows ranged and slashing attacks, and more.

So as you can see, the game does look like something straight out of the SNES era, matching Bonus Level Entertainment’s mission statement: They want to create a mixture of old school retro action that takes advantage of modern-day technology. Which actually sounds pretty awesome; true, many-a-indie game goes for the retro style, but I feel a lot of them infuse modern day graphics, sounds, music, or any combination of the three. Seldom do I feel like any of them gun for what the original release of Cave Story did, where it felt like I was playing some sort of retro game complete with retro graphics, sounds, and music. Or, maybe more games have gone for a more “pure” retro feel, and I’ve just missed out on them. But regardless, Fox N Forests seems like it’s gonna hit the mark on that concept. I mean, check out this boppin’ menu theme music:

It’d be interesting to dive deeper into this game and see what happens when one takes the retro feelings of old and uses the power of modern day gaming to create a more expansive experience. I mean, fellow retro gamers, how many times have we heard about something being reduced or cut down due to the memory limitations of a cart?

If you’re a fan of retro gaming, games with fuzzy animal heroes, or 2D platform games, you owe it to yourself to check out Fox N Forests for a modern-day blast to the past. You can check out the game’s official Steam page here, the game’s official website here, and if you’re interested in updates, check out the game’s official Twitter page as well. And if you’re not of the computer persuasion? Don’t worry! The game’s also available on Xbox One, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch! But what are your thoughts so far on Fox N Forests? Or, if you’ve gotten around to playing it already, how is your experience with it? I know I’ll be purchasing this game and doing my own deeper look into soon enough as well! Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you all next time.