Fox n Forests is a retro-inspired game that is inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda and Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, so my expectations were reasonably high going into this 16-bit adventure. Our protagonist, Rick, is far from heroic, but he has the power to change seasons and sometimes that’s all you really need.
More Than A Throwback
Fox n Forests plays with aforementioned unique ideas, such as being able to switch between seasons at will as you search for the elusive fifth season. This mechanic is vital to your progression. Waterfalls can be frozen, plants can be grown to climb on, and some enemies such as beehives offer no threat in the winter. As retro games often are, Fox n Forests can sometimes be nail-bitingly difficult, and being armed with primarily only a bow means that distance often plays a key part in battling.
The game’s season-switching mechanic means that you need to think about your next month because often you’ll have to switch seasons quickly to move on. I’ve been a bit trigger-happy with the mechanic, fallen into an enemy, and died a couple of times, but thankfully you’re unlikely to find yourself stalled because of this. Some sections or enemies are more likely to do you in, especially if you need to jump a lot. Sadly, your bow cannot be used in the air, leaving you with only a short-length dagger.
You can purchase and upgrade skills to make things a bit easier on yourself, and to access paths you can’t initially, leaving plenty of room for replayability if you fancy more after the final level. This is great because, annoyingly, to get there you need to collect enough Fife, which are magic seeds, to progress through the game. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer simply beating one level to access the next.
Fox n Forests truly looks like a game of old with its 16-bit graphics accurately capturing the spirit of Mega Drive and other similar consoles’ games, and it’s something I could imagine playing as a child. I probably would’ve struggled a lot more back then with it too! Its animations and environments are gorgeous and lively, and it’s clear that the developers are truly big fans of the inspiration that led to the creation of Fox n Forests. The soundtrack isn’t as memorable as the games that contains it, but it does a solid job at providing background chiptunes to fight along to.
Retro-inspired isn’t usually a term that appeals to me and, before I received the code, I hadn’t heard much about Fox n Forests at all. I might not be its target market per say but it’s one of the modern day 16-bit games which really did take me back to earlier days of gaming. It challenged my reflexes and platforming skills, and the love that went into bringing Fox n Forests to life is clear.
Whether you’re looking for something that’ll provide a hearty challenge, something that will get you nostalgic or a game with plenty to do and plenty more to explore, then Fox n Forests is for you.
Fox n Forests review code provided by publisher. Reviewed on Standard PS4. For more information on scoring, please read our Review Policy.