Indie/budget platformers, at least the ones that make it to consoles, are often of the 2D variety. Rise of Fox Hero, from 2Awesome Studio, breaks with this trend, offering 3D platforming action across four different chapters/environments that are home to 32 levels. It’s out for PCs and consoles – we checked it out on a PlayStation 4.
Of course, at this price point, no one will expect something that can rival Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart. Platforming fans will find plenty to enjoy though, even with a game that’s fairly generic and bare bones in its approach. Heck, despite the title, which seems to allude to some kind of epic story, there’s no narrative to speak of – no characters we get introduced to, not (sub)plots to chase after and no antagonists.
You’re just a little fox (somewhat reminiscent of the hero in Lucky’s Tale) who’s ready for adventure, armed with your jump ability and a sword that you can use to attack. You’ll run into a few enemies and obstacles, and you can collect stars along the way – which is a nice incentive for completionists. It’s fairly generic stuff, as is the platforming itself, but it’s entirely functional and fun as you traverse the game’s familiar challenges.
What we really liked are the isometric-style visuals, that can be fully rotated to offer different views of the challenges ahead of you (and some secrets otherwise obscured from you). It looks very clean and you don’t get a lot of the awkward camera issues that often plague low budget 3D platformers – quite an elegant solution for an indie platformer.
And while much of the game will feel fairly easy for platforming veterans, Rise of Fox Hero also features boss fights, which are well designed and more challenging in nature. They still fit the colorful cartoon-like aesthetic of the game, but they’re a lot meaner than you’d think based on the visuals and the gentle music that plays.
Rise of Fox Hero may not score big points with an engaging narrative, complex mechanics or even a ton of variety, but if you’re looking for a quick platforming fix at a budget price point then this will provide just that. From the audiovisual style to the gameplay, this one’s enjoyable yet unremarkable. For the asking price, that’s probably good enough if you enjoy the genre.