Released on Steam back in October, Boomfire Games’ Furwind has now come to the Playstation Vita as well by way of publisher Jandusoft. We check out the Sony handheld version of the game, which is also coming to PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Furwind is a classic platformer with 16 bit era-style graphics that sets up its background story using a classic storybook setting up front. It talks about ancient ones who imprisoned Darhûn, one of their own, a long time ago. He’s now free again, and intent on drowning the world that you live in in darkness.
Story rarely matters a great deal in games like this, and Furwind is no exception. It’s nice that it’s being delivered with full voiceovers, but the downside is that the translation was somewhat poorly handled. The on-screen text and spoken words don’t match and the written text has quite a few errors in it. It’s better to just listen to the voiceovers, which are delivered nicely – the Spanish accent revealing that English wasn’t the base language for this one.
Once in the game, it’s fairly standard platform stuff. You play as a fox and are able to jump and perform attacks with a slash of your tail. You quickly learn that you can also roll little bomb-like red balls at enemies, though these are limited and need time to recharge. You can collect little blue orbs along the way as well, which can be spent on health or power-ups. There’s another use that you quickly learn about though, and that’s related to the in-level checkpoints.
When you hit a point where you can save your game, you can do so at the expense of a few of your gems. The first save is fairly cheap, but the cost increases with every save – even if it’s at a different checkpoint. It’s a great system that really plays into a “risk vs reward” dynamic. Do you save and lose a few of your precious gems, or keep going and risk having to repeat more of the level if you happen to fail?
Furwind is mostly linear in nature, with an adventure that’s split up into three chapters. Within a chapter, you can also unlock little side missions where you – for example – save one of your imprisoned friends. The first of these is Korvo, a big bird who also happens to run a magic store that – after you save him – can be visited in order to permanently upgrade things like your health or the ability to get gems when you defeat enemies.
The biggest rewards come when you defeat the game’s bosses, which can be either during or at the end of a level. Getting past them means you get a little health back, but you’ll also gain riches that you’ll need to grow stronger and progress – assuming you don’t spend them all on save points.
Furwind is a nice little platformer from a small team which has mostly generic platforming gameplay, although the diversity in missions in certainly welcome. The visuals are colorful and the music fitting of the era that inspired the game – so if you’re fond of retro platformers then this is a nice choice to have on the Vita.