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Elusive fox adventure Tunic is playable this weekend

It’s been a minute, eh Tunic? For as long as I’ve been paying attention, Andrew Shouldice’s sharp, foxy roll n’ slash has been hiding in the bushes. Ever-present, yet always skittering just out of sight. But while Tunic may be no closer to an eventual release, you can play a bit of it right now thanks to a free Gamescom demo.

You’ll want to get your fill in quick, though. Tunic’s demo is only available until tomorrow. Come Monday, and this wee fox will scurry back into the development woods.

Tunic’s been kicking around for a while, and in many ways, that shows. There’s a real “indie boom” energy to the game’s style – from a FEZ-style fake language to Hyper Light Drifter’s anthropomorphic swordsfolk and angular magic. There’s even a dreamy, mellow soundscape delivered by Dustforce composer Lifeformed.

It is an awful pretty thing, though. The trailer doesn’t quite capture how “physical” the world feels in play, a tilt-shifted diorama that rises well above its low-poly facade. That said, what little of the demo I played was a little too simplistic – wandering around, bashing slimes with a wooden stick, and dodge-rolling around attacks.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a new demo – if you’ve played Tunic at shows over the past few years, there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before. Shouldice notes that the game’s come a long way since this build, saying: “When I look at it, all I see are the bugs I’ve fixed, the old systems I’ve revamped, and the details I’ve improved. That being said, I know that people have had fun rolling around the forest, whacking blobs with a stick, and finding a secret or two. I hope you do too.”

The Tunic demo can be downloaded via the game’s Steam page, or by checking into Gamescom’s wholly-digital Indie Arena. Unfortunately, there’s still no date in sight for Tunic’s proper release.

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Natalie Clayton

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