Furwind review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Publisher: JanduSoft
Developer: JanduSoft
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Going by screenshots — or even short gameplay clips — you might think that Furwind is worth playing. I mean, it?s fairly adorable. You?ve got a cute fox protagonist running around a world that looks as lush and verdant as you might have seen in old Sonic games. It?s not the most original setting or anything, but cuteness sometimes counts for a lot.

As you?ll find when you get into the game, however, cuteness isn?t everything. Gameplay and controls matter, and on that front, Furwind becomes much less interesting.

In fact, it becomes downright dull. The plot is your standard trope of awakened evil, only the hero can stop it, blah blah blah. The game?s world is equally forgettable, with the levels mostly blending into one another. It tries mixing things up occasionally by making some levels larger and bring in a Metroidvania influence, but different doesn?t equal interesting in this case.

As for the controls, you?ll probably find them infuriating, but mostly passable. The titular hero has a spin attack, except it only works in one direction, the hit detection is lousy, and you have an energy bat that?s easily depleted by every spin. This, in turn, means that the mini-boss fights — where your enemies dash back and forth across the screen, and you have a narrow window in which to hit them — can become very frustrating fairly quickly.

Not all the boss fights are as annoying, mind you. There are some where you have to free prisoners being guarded by a bunch of baddies, and even if you have to wrestle with the same lousy hit detection, they?re at least short, and don?t require you to backtrack through a level if you die and have to start over again./

Of course, it?s not a good sign when the best that can be said about a game is that some levels are over relatively quickly and painlessly. While nothing here is outright painful, there?s nothing in Furwind that will make you want to keep playing. All in all, it?s a platformer whose cute facade masks a wholly forgettable experience.

JanduSoft provided us with a Furwind PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: C+