Fox n Forests (PS4, Switch, PC)

If you miss the good ol’ days of 16-bit mascot platformers, then I’ve got good news for you.  Fox n Forests is designed to emulate the style of those kinds of games!  You play as Rick the Fox, who must pair up with Patty the Partridge to reclaim magic bark from a talking tree to restore the seasons in a forest.  In this 2-D platformer, your fox can run, jump, use a dagger and arrows to attack, and cast magic to change the seasons (what it is with video game foxes who can do that?).  Anyway, the game is available to download on PS4, Switch, and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Rick the fox can attack enemies from a distance with arrows, but he can only shoot them when standing still.  If he gets close to an enemy, you can push the same button to swing his dagger and dispatch them as well.  Defeated enemies drop coins.  Spend those coins in Patty’s shops to upgrade Rick’s moves and allow him to do things like double jump, ground pound, and spin attack.  You can also buy more hearts for health and extend your mana bar, too.  Lastly, potions can be purchased to give your weapons elemental attacks, among other things.  In stages you use coins to activate checkpoints from Retro the Badger.

Each stage is represented by a season, and you can change it to another by pressing the shoulder buttons.  You can only change it to one other season, and you’ll do this to solve puzzles and bypass obstacles.  For instance, a spring stage could have lots of water, but change it to winter to freeze over the ponds and walk right over them.  Or change a summer stage to fall and mushrooms will act as new platforms, and leaves on trees will fall, revealing secrets hidden behind.  Changing seasons requires mana energy, though, so be careful as the mana meter fills up slowly.

After a couple of stages, you’ll fight a boss and retrieve some magic bark.  Bring it back to the talking tree and you’ll get a new kind of shot for your arrows.  But you won’t be able to unlock a new set of levels until you have enough seeds, which are hidden throughout the stages.  Use your new arrow skills to hit colored targets to open up new paths to get more seeds.  So yeah, you do a lot of backtracking, and it ends up being more annoying than fun, as it’s just a way to artificially lengthen the game.  And normally I don’t even mind backtracking.

The game has a few other problems, too.  Because you can only shoot arrows when standing still, and melee attacks don’t always activate or connect, play control feels a little sluggish and unresponsive.  This is especially noticeable in a stage where you fly on Patty the Partridge in a scrolling shooter level.  One other very minor problem is the characters are very generic.  I guess they didn’t want to make them look too cutesy since there are plenty of those kinds of fox mascots like Lucky and Tails.

But if you don’t mind the backtracking and slightly clunky controls, Fox n Forests does a good job of emulating a classic 16-bit platformer.  Even the music sounds like the muffled orchestral sounds of the SNES, although the tunes here aren’t particularly memorable either.  But the game certainly reminds me of some of the titles I rented back in the 16-bit days.

Kid Factor:

Fox n Forests is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You can hit enemies with arrows and a dagger, but they just explode when defeated.  No worse than the platformers I grew up with.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and younger gamers may get frustrated with the challenge, although you can select from three different difficulty modes.

One Response to “Fox n Forests (PS4, Switch, PC)”

  1. I am fan of ps4 game concepts. In this blog , Each stage character has own responsibilities and explode a enemy limitation.

    Thanks for sharing.

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