Tuesday, April 12, 2022

2022 Games of the Year: Tunic

This is the first game that really made me think hard about what to include in this running list.  I've already decided not to include everything, but this made me define things further.  The place I landed is that I want to include anything I play that is either good, interesting, or both.

Tunic is an interesting game.  It's a mash up of classic Zelda gameplay, an isometric action game, Fez, and has some Dark Souls DNA in it too.  You get to adventure around this isometric world exploring and defeating enemies while uncovering the core functions of the game.

As you explore, you slowly find pieces of the game manual that have some illustrators on them but mostly are covered in symbols that don't (as of me writing this) map to a language we understand.  That's where some of the Fez elements come in.  It feels like a game that wants the community to come together to solve its mysteries.  If you're into that kind of community solving, this game might be for you.

Did I mention you're an adorable fox and that the art style is incredible?  I feel like that's more important to this game than most people realize.  The cutest makes the game feel more approachable at first glance than it actually is but I think that cuteness is also what has drawn a lot of people into giving the game a shot in the first place.

Ultimately, this was an interesting game that just didn't click with me.  I've heard other people loving the slow reveal of how the gameplay works through the manual pieces you find but for me that just led to frustration.  I really wouldn't be surprised to see high up on other people's lists at the end of the year but it's going to be low on mine.

Here's what our running Games of the Year list looks like now:

  1. Elden Ring
  2. FFXIV Endwalker
  3. Horizon Forbidden West
  4. Pokémon Legends: Arceus
  5. Halo Infinite
  6. Vampire Survivors
  7. Nobody Saves the World
  8. Unpacking
  9. Tunic
This is the first time I've added a game to the bottom of the list instead of somewhere in the middle or high up.  Tunic is really interesting and it looks like it would be great for certain types of players.  I just happen to not be one of them.  But, in the end, I wanted it on this list to acknowledge that it's doing new and interesting things.

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