Throughout the years, there have been a legion of anthropomorphic foxes in fiction, non-fiction and various, countless forms of media but when it comes to Fox ‘N’ Forests, a new, reckless, furry hero is making his mark in the video game universe and he’s joining the never-ending, ever-increasing roster of video game, platforming mascots.
News By Wing See Li. Twitter: @xflowerstarx
Figure 1: The logo of Fox ‘N’ Forests.
The storyline of Fox ‘N’ Forests is self-explanatory. Deep within a mystical forest, an unknown, shadowy villainous force is tampering with the seasons in an attempt to introduce a lethal, fifth season and amassing an army of half-plant, half-animal hybrid mutants while they’re at it. Thereby, the evildoers are posing a threat to nature and laying waste to the mana woodlands in the process. Meanwhile, Rick is hunting for winged prey in the dense woods, not giving a hoot about what’s happening around him until he encounters a female bird named Patty the Partridge who is seeking out for his help. She promised him gold and armed him with a mythical melee crossbow in order to help him combat the forces of evil, courtesy of the Guardian Tree. He might have agreed to her plea but he had other plans. With Patty in tow, they continued to venture into the forests, unaware of what lies in store for them and what kind of strange, otherworldly creatures await them.
As the game title implies, Rick the Fox (not to be confused with Nick Wilde from Disney’s Zootropolis or Fox McCloud from Nintendo’s Star Fox series) is an anthropomorphic fox and the main protagonist of the 2D side-scrolling, throwback-inspired platformer called Fox ‘N’ Forests.
It draws a bountiful of inspiration from Super Ghouls ‘N’ Ghosts, Wonder Boy in Monster World, ActRaiser 2, the Castlevania series and The Legend of Zelda series. Thereby, it pays homage to these games and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System games. With its 16-bit style graphics, chiptune original soundtrack, Mode 7 and parallax scrolling, it’s an indie, modern game with a retro twist and these qualities give a sense of playing a game from long ago.
Figure 2: Bonus Level Entertainment is the developing team behind Fox ‘N’ Forests.
With the intention of making this upcoming game, a collaboration is formed between a German developing team named Bonus Level Entertainment, Independent Arts Software and freelancers all over the world. Each of these groups possesses numerous years of experience under their belt. According to the Kickstarter campaign, Fox ‘N’ Forests is set to be released in September 2017 on PC, Linux, Mac, Steam and DRM free. If the initial goal is reached and if the campaign is extremely successful, more additional video game console ports will be available to choose from such as PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Nintendo NX. Oddly enough, Bonus Level Entertainment decided to skip Nintendo Wii U. Speaking of the Kickstarter campaign, it commenced on Wednesday 13th July and it will end on Saturday 13th August 2016.
Figure 3: From left to right: Rick the Fox and Patty the Partridge Figure
4: Switching between seasons opens up brand-new possibilities, paths and secrets.
Fox ‘N’ Forests is a 2D, side-scrolling action platformer boasting with difficult levels that will put the players’ skills, wits and memory to the test and evil enemies to eliminate. Not to mention, RPG elements and a season-swapping game mechanic that encourages exploration, progression and backtracking to boot. Equipped with a crossbow, Rick is a one-fox army, dispatching his opponents with ease and being a force to be reckoned with.
Speaking of his signature weapon, it is no ordinary weapon; it can do multiple things such as shooting, slashing and altering seasons. Technically, it’s a multipurpose and a three-in-one weapon. Luckily for Rick, ammunition for the crossbow are scattered all over the locations he visits on his quest.
Similar to the 2D and 3D dimension-switching game mechanic from the Nintendo Wii game back in 2007, Super Paper Mario (the third instalment in the Paper Mario series which is developed by Intelligent Systems), Rick have the ability to switch between seasons at will, revealing new, secret pathways and enabling him to hop from platform to platform (ranging from bouncy mushrooms to lofty, grassy ledges, depending on the selected season) and discover well hidden spots he couldn’t reach otherwise by means of a magical melee crossbow. Clever exchanging of the seasons can affect the adventure and the scenery.
For example, a seemingly, impassable massive body of water (whether they’re lakes, rivers or oceans) can only be crossed if it’s frozen in winter and a bothersome beehive can be avoided if the current season is changed to the abovementioned season. However, the season-switching ability can only be utilised for a limited period of time as the metre depletes itself, hence it being visible at the top of the screen in one of the screenshots. Therefore, he must use his season-manipulating powers wisely. Thankfully, the aforementioned metre automatically refills itself once the aforesaid ability is used.
Figure 5: Experimenting with methods and discovering weaknesses are the keys to emerging victorious.
As the trailer progressed, Rick eventually encounters and confronts a menacing, screen-filling, giant infested wasp. Looks can be deceiving but it’s revealed to be female, as stated by the developers in the Kickstarter updates of the campaign. Once the battle commenced, Rick tries to inflict pain to the wasp but to no avail and with little success. However, if he carries on assaulting her, she soon becomes disoriented which means she is wide open for attack. Seizing the opportunity, he withdraws his crossbow, thrusts it up into the air and changes the season to autumn, resulting in a gust of wind to send her slamming into a wall of spikes on the right side of the screen.
For more Fox ‘N’ Forests news, updates and articles, stay tuned to GamesYouLoved.
News By Wing See Li. Twitter: @xflowerstarx
Keep up to date with Fox ‘N’ Forests and Bonus Level Entertainment on the internet: Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/foxnforests/fox-n-forests