How Metroidvania is it? Barely Comparable. There is no ability gating and the level structure uses a level select map screen. However, most levels involve non-linear exploration that could be described as ''Metroidvania-like'' and there’s a decent chance that Metroidvania Fans will enjoy the game overall.
Primary Challenge: Tricky Platforming
Time to beat: ~3 hours
Review Info: The Steam review code for Furwind was provided by the developer
Buy Furwind if you like…
- Tight Tricky Platforming
- Short, but Sweet
- Escalating Difficulty using familiar locales
- More focused action platforming
▼ Review continues below ▼
As I alluded to in the “How Metroidvania Is It?” score, Furwind kind of stretches the purpose of this curator a bit. Purists trying to protect the integrity of the genre are certainly going to argue against even having the game on my lists. However, I think that Furwind is a bit of a difficult game to classify overall. It’s got some “Mario”-like qualities, namely in how bosses are handled, and the level select. It’s got some Puzzle Platformer qualities, but I definitely wouldn’t call it that. And, it has enough explorative elements to make it comparable to Metroidvanias. Genre-wise, Furwind is like a fox without a den, and who do you recommend that to if every genre has to be kept “pure”? I feel like Furwind is something I could recommend to Metroidvania fans looking for something different – Especially to fans of the shorter “Mini-Metroidvania” category. In any case, it’s a good game that I think people should know about.
Furwind has 15 levels, plus 24 shorter “Challenges.” Each level is split into one of 4 types, and as you progress through the game the gimmick of each type is upgraded to a higher difficulty. There is your basic level structure that has you exploring around looking for two mini-bosses as well as two optional scrolls that are used to unlock the aforementioned challenges. Another type is basically the same as the first, except it’s dark, and you have a time limit when wandering in the darkness before the Grue gets you (you have to refill your light source periodically to survive.) One level structure has you climbing a linear tower, being more like a puzzle platformer. And the last type of level is a platforming race against a pursuing darkness. Each time when you’ve completed 5 levels you face off against a boss that’s very reminiscent of games like Klonoa or Mario, where they have some kind of gimmick necessary to defeat them other than simply hitting them until they die. The challenges escalate nicely, keeping the tension high, and the variety of levels is a great way to stave off any sort of design fatigue that might otherwise be an issue. Each one is fun for different reasons, but I suspect that there will be some players that will enjoy the exploration levels, but will be cracking their controller in half at the runner levels or the towers. This is especially the case in the last third of the game when everything is at the highest difficulty. I personally appreciated it, though it got kind of predictable even still – thankfully the game ends just in time for when its pattern was wearing out its welcome.
Presentation-wise Furwind is spot on. The graphics are attractive, the whimsical music really sets the mood, and most importantly the animations and physics are intuitive. This makes the game’s later difficulty the best kind, since by the end I really got a sense of exactly how Furwind was going to act as I controlled him. Some of the tools you get are an exception to this though, such as the game’s bomb tool. The bombs bounce everywhere, and, since you always have a limited number of bombs, I never felt like I was practiced enough to ever use them effectively. One of the other tools is similarly unreliable, but none of the tools are actually required to complete the game with all of the secrets unlocked. Even though you get a movement upgrade that could be described as “Metroidvania-like”, the lack of necessity is slightly disappointing. The game’s story touts the tools as being the key to defeating the great evil that haunts Furwind’s home, but only one of the tools is really useful on the final boss (And it’s not the tool that you’re probably upgrading to help with the regular levels.)
If I were to change only one thing in Furwind though, it would be the story presentation. As usual in these types of games, the story isn’t really important, but since a lot of the challenge levels involve saving NPCs from imprisonment, it would have been nice to see a little more sophistication in the narrative – something to make the rescues feel more rewarding. Even without a memorable narrative though, visually Furwind delivers some spectacularly memorable scenes, particularly with its boss fights.
Furwind is a bit short for the price point – I unlocked all of the game’s challenges and completed them in around 4 hours – but I think the whole experience is polished and presented well enough that I can give it a pretty hearty recommendation to anyone wanting a unique flavor of Adventure Platformer. I especially recommend it to people who don’t have a lot of time to game and don’t want to commit to anything huge.
Regular enemies could be just avioided, but has some excellent bosses,. Combat is more ''Mario-like'' than traditional Metroidvania Games
Platforming ranges from frantic races to the right to puzzle exploration. A good variety of challenges
Exploration is limited to the individual levels, and isn't too complicated, but definitely fun to complete
Most of the puzzles you that actually take any brainpower to solve are optional, with small exceptions
Nothing spectacular or memorable, simply sets the stage for the action
Pixel art is excellent and animations convey the action perfectly
Whimsical orchestrated music sets the atmosphere wonderfully
You can 100% the game in under 4 hours without speed running - there isn't much else to offer after that
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All Time: Mostly Positive
(75% of 24 Reviews)