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Rev is a beautiful free game about keeping a fox pack well-fed

The red fox. Crafty ol’ Vulpes Vulpes. For city slickers like me, a bin-raking scoundrel. A chicken-chewing menace for farmers across the land. Poor things. Rev, a short free game from developers Faxdocc and Nostalgiatree puts you in the tiny red paws of hungry leash of foxes as they hunt down the day’s meal. No people, no trash, no poultry – just you and your mates and a forest full of prey.

Every morning, your skulk wakes up in a lovely little clearing around a gnarled old tree. Unfortunately, foxes don’t have the luxury of taking it easy – those tiny tummies are rumbling, and you can’t just nip over to the nearest bin for a half-eaten baguette. You’ve got from sunrise ’til sunset to track down a meal and bring it back home.

You’ll need a foxes cunning to get fed, mind. Prey animals are fast and fearful. To take them down, you’ll have to charge a pounce – staying close enough to make the attack, but keeping enough distance as to not frighten them off. Your pack of two (later three) can be lightly controlled with the mouse or hot-swapped between with a keypress. Combine that with tracks that can be read by holding still for a moment and you can start setting up ambushes, cornering prey for the killing blow.

For starters, you’ll be hunting down rabbits. Nippy wee buggers, but nothing too tricky. As the days roll on, you’ll start sizing up bigger prey – deer are a nightmare to pin down, but they travel in packs – packs you and your pack can reliably ambush and pull apart. But it’s the buffalo that really start testing your hunt when they roll into town on Day 3.

These brawny lads are easy to rile up and aren’t afraid of throwing their weight around. Here’s where you’ve gotta get a little nasty. See, I cornered one travelling with their calf on a clifftop – as the rest of my pack went a full three rounds with mama, I snuck in to pounce the young’un, making off with its carcass in the mayhem. Brutal.

It’s a lovely place for a hunt, too. Rev’s world is this winding, layered forest, with thickets and waterfalls and wind-swept cliffs. It’s working with a vastly lower budget, but a scattering of ruins give the space a real Hyper Light Drifter vibe. All that’s missing is a melancholy synth soundscape.

As a game journo, I’m not qualified to tell you how accurate Rev is. I’m almost certain foxes don’t improve with skill upgrades every morning, but hey, what do I know? If you feel like chilling out with some rabbit murder on a Sunday morning, Rev is currently free over on Itch.io.

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Natalie Clayton

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Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes

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