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TUNIC: The game that transports you back to childhood

 Image Source: Nintendo 


Do you remember the specific euphoria when you were a little kid and your parents surprised you with the DS game you’d been pining for? That sensation where all you wanted was to begin playing, but you had to wait until you were back home, so you’d repeatedly pore over the booklet without giving it much attention?

That is precisely how Tunic makes you feel!

Tunic is an action-adventure indie game featuring a charming little fox donning its familiar green costume. Initially, the game presents a serene and visually pleasing atmosphere, with soft golden hour lighting, retro-style animation, adorable enemies, and stunning scenery. However, don't be deceived, as this game offers a substantial challenge.

Beyond merely requiring dexterity and skills, Tunic also tests the player’s ingenuity and puzzle-solving abilities as they delve into its dark lore. Players will encounter various types of monsters, each more formidable than the last if approached in sequence, and engage in epic boss battles that may initially appear daunting for inexplicable reasons.

One of the most intriguing and simultaneously frustrating aspects of Tunic is its method of information acquisition.

Recall how it was mentioned earlier that this game has the ability to transport you back in time, evoking the feeling of being a child once more? Consider this: what is one common behaviour among young gamers when they first start playing video games? Reading.

Reflect on those moments when you found yourself aimlessly wandering through a Pokémon game, unable to progress because you overlooked a crucial piece of information. Does that trigger any memories? This is what Tunic aims to recreate.

When you first start Tunic, you have absolutely no information, nothing at all. 

If you're accustomed to playing video games, you'll quickly master some controls instinctively, like rolling, running, and perhaps accessing your inventory. However, that's about it. In fact, you start stranded on a beach with nothing until you gradually progress and stumble upon a page.

Fox on the beach

Image Source: Nintendo

This page is one of many providing essential information about your character, your abilities, your surroundings, game lore, and the numerous objects and secrets cleverly concealed. 

But one might wonder, how challenging could the game be if there's a booklet providing all necessary information? Well, it would indeed be too easy. That's why the booklet is predominantly written in fox language, with only a sprinkling of English here and there — just enough to grasp some of it, but insufficient to simplify solving puzzles and mysteries.

These somewhat illegible pages will lead you to wander endlessly, attempting to determine where to go and what to do next. There are no clear paths, many illegible signs, unclear dialogue, nothing to guide you. Everything is shrouded in mystery until you decipher enough that what once was a crazy thought is now the flash of genius needed to piece the puzzle together. 

In fact, one of the most astonishing aspects of Tunic is the multitude of abilities your little fox possesses from the start, waiting for you to discover. For once, your character doesn’t need to acquire these skills; instead, it's you who must unlock the knowledge of such abilities.


With Tunic, it often boils down to how much time you're willing to devote reading the booklet through a magnifier attempting to decipher its contents. Because, believe it or not, absolutely everything is contained within those pages.

Now for their location. Those precious booklet pages are scattered all around the map and quickly become one of your most desired finds in the game. Indeed, finding all 56 of them does eventually become its own little game to the players with the patience, the drive, and the creativity required, but this article won’t get into that so that you can find it on your own.

On top of its intricate gameplay, Tunic’s map is detailed and complex. Eventually, mastering it will be highly gratifying. 

Tunic has an isometric open-world map that is incredibly well thought out, almost unbelievably so. The isometric perspective of the game creates an illusion of three-dimensionality that brings an added layer to Tunic’s map. In the process of playing, you will inevitably realise, to your own displeasure, how well everything is connected!

(click here for part of the map, but if you intend on playing the game you might wanna refrain and discover it on your own)

If you search thoroughly enough, you'll find many ways to end up in map areas where, as a gamer, you'll soon realise you're not prepared. Not that you weren't supposed to be there — the game doesn't mind your exploration, it's what it wants you to do: discover. However, it will humble you very fast, whether by presenting a mystery you simply have no chance of solving or new enemies that you are not ready to face yet. Either way, it will quickly send you back to the path you are supposed to be following at that stage.

Returning to those pages. It is such a satisfaction when you get a page that has a map on it. But don’t rest on your laurels just because you have a map, you will still need a keen eye for details to find every secret.  

There are numerous secrets that will astound you, revealing how you overlooked them before and the trouble you could have spared with prior knowledge. This will prompt you to eagerly explore behind walls, bushes, and trees, driven by the belief that hidden surprises await. Suddenly, investigating behind that windmill becomes impossibly tempting. Who can say for sure?

Finally, if you could take away one piece of advice from this article before you start playing it would have to be: don’t go seeking online!

Tunic is undeniably one of those games that you'll find yourself longing to erase from your memory just to experience the joy of playing it anew.

Be lost, be confused, use a pen and a notebook if you need to, but try to enjoy it. With the internet and how easy it is to find information these days, it is not commonplace to find a treasure like Tunic, an experience that relies on your curiosity!

Edited by Avani Hiranandani

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