Stranded in a ruined land, and armed with only your own curiosity, you will confront colossal beasts, collect strange and powerful items, and unravel long-lost secrets in Tunic, the celebrated action RPG created by Andrew Shouldice and an all-star team that helped make Chicory: A Colorful Tale, Cuphead, Celeste, Night in the Woods, and Dustforce.
Tunic’s journey began in 2015 with Halifax’s own Andrew Shouldice fondly remembering those profound shared experiences of playing strange and inscrutable video games before the age of the internet and fan sub rom hacks. What is this strange item I just found? How do you beat this bizarre boss? Who is this old man in the cave? Is that creature even an enemy? Also, how do you recreate this experience for … everyone?
So Shouldice, who helmed the vast majority of Tunic’s level design, characters, puzzles, animation, combat, programming, lighting, and story, started prototyping a little orange triangle-headed hero who had all the charm of a classic retro protagonist but a set of moves that was inspired by the tumbling heroes of modern Soulslike masterpieces. All that remained was to make a “little” world for the fox to explore…
…As well as an incredibly detailed in-game instruction manual that doubles as a puzzle book (or triples as a strategy guide), complete with strange notes from some previous owner. It’s hard to summarize how the manual works in this game without spoiling some of the most interesting puzzles to hit video games in a good long while, but it is dense with information, delight, and mystery.
The last step was to assemble a team of brilliant collaborators to bring the lush world of Tunic to life. Rebekah and Adam Saltsman (Finji) joined long-time collaborators Kevin Regamey (Powerup Audio), Terence Lee (Lifeformed), and Felix Kramer (Burndown Productions) in 2017 before inviting level artist and programmer Eric Billingsley, Finji’s wonderful QA and marketing staff, the PR team at ICO, the porting engineers at 22nd Century Toys, and various other geniuses to join the party.
While Tunic is designed to be a single-player adventure, there’s so much to talk about, and so many puzzles to unravel, that you’re going to want to keep a dedicated party open so your smartest friends can help you decipher the hardest secrets. We’re also designing Game Help content on PS5 to always start with the gentlest of nudges, so that you don’t get anything spoiled even if you get totally bamboozled by one of the terrifying bosses or ancient riddles littering the realm.
While Tunic takes big cues from the ultra-challenging games from our past and present, it also includes a range of options that allow players to customize the combat challenge to suit their interests, without actually removing the fun of fighting ferocious fiends. Players can opt out of some of the more technical aspects of the combat, or even enable a “no fail” mode. Whether
you’re new to the dodge-rolling action RPG genre and still learning the ropes, playing your first real adventure with a young one, tired from a long week of work, or mostly just here for the incredible puzzles, this game has you covered.
Tunic is published by Finji (Night in the Woods, Overland, Chicory: A Colorful Tale) and will be coming to PS5 and PS4 on September 27, 2022.