Tunche (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Tunche is a side scrolling beat ‘em up with roguelike elements and features South American myths and lore, which is something you don’t see much in video games.  Choose from five playable characters.  Four of which are kids from South America and the other is a guest star: the kid from A Hat in Time for some reason.  Indie games like to feature other indie game characters I guess.  Anyway, up to four can play couch co-op as you battle all sorts of creatures in the Amazon.  The game is available on most current home consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

You’ll start at a base camp and can choose from five different characters.  I would imagine each plays differently, but I really couldn’t tell much difference myself.  You have a standard attack that you can combo, as well as a dash move to avoid hits and you can jump as well.  You can also send enemies flying into the air by pressing the ZR button, then you can jump and attack in the air.  Another button gives you a long distance attack, but you’ll deplete mana when you use that, so watch out.  You can also carry healing potions and use them when your energy is low.

The game has some roguelike elements to it as well.  Each area is usually a single screen with waves of enemies to fight, and then when you’re done, you’ll get items and goodies to help you out.  Try to get high combos to get better stuff.  Then you can choose a path that’ll get you more goodies and enemies to fight, or you might find a character who will let you buy items to help you out, or you might come across a story scene that’ll explain why the characters are fighting in the Amazon jungles.  When you run out of energy, you’ll be sent back to base camp where you can use your spoils to buy items and upgrade your characters with a skill tree, then you can venture out again maybe a little more powerful than before and maybe make it just a bit further before losing again.

I did like the classic styled gameplay and cartoony hand-drawn graphics, but the ‘roguelike’ elements kept me from staying interested.  It made an already repetitive game genre feel even more so, and progression felt slow because of that.  If I were going to play a 2-D beat ‘em up, I’d rather play something like Streets of Rage 4 or Castle Crashers. Despite the complications, this game is still very pick up and playable, but I imagine it is a lot more fun with multiple players.  Plus the text is way too small in handheld mode.  But if you like games with roguelike elements in them, and have a bunch of people around to play with, you may enjoy it anyway.

Kid Factor:

Tunche is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Crude Humor and Fantasy Violence.  You punch and hit cartoony animals and monsters that just fall over and disappear when defeated.  And when you run out of energy, you just fall over and wake up again at base camp all better.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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