Foxus is a game where you get to control a fox and go through a magical world to, what seems to be, gaining an identity. You start off on a journey through the world of Alandia with little info to go on, so it really began to feel like the beginnings of a good adventure game. As you progress through the forest and enter a plains section, you are welcomed by your first quest giver. They task you with a simple “do X and you will unlock Y” and this goes on for the rest of the game.
The first level is designed like a Beta, the ambiance and music hold true to that “mystical forest” type of atmosphere. You could almost feel like you are there with the birds chirping, and with headphones, it is well done. It is unfortunate that it does not go beyond this, even when you get to the beach and town levels, it seems like they were just in an Alpha phase of development and the game was released without filling in all the sounds.
Your main goal is to follow the “Stargazer” and this requires you to go through portals to other lands to find them. As mentioned you will go through forests, beaches, towns, and a weird sky to space level. As you progress further in the game, it really starts to beg the question, “Why is this game a full price 1.0 release?” There are a few levels where there really is nothing to do but follow a marker on the map to go, and there is a lack of any final art. The beach/sand area is just a bunch of repeating textures and the level design is very limited. Once you get to the town area, you gain some excitement as there are now NPCs to interact with and a false sense of hope that the game will really take off with quests. Nope. You just continue your one-way path to the end of the game.
It is unfortunate that this game suffers from so many problems as a 1.0 release and it has pretty much died in the water the minute it was purchasable. The Developer did reach out to the community to help design a new workflow, but really, this should have been an Early Release title that already addressed so many glaring issues. There is mention that a large patch is coming and that it will be free to everyone who purchased the game. Big promises are coming from the developer, but it should have released last month, and there has not been any other news, so who knows.
Review Note: The reviewer of this title purchased the title at their own expense. This does not affect the content of the review or its final grade.
The controls are infuriating. Forget about playing with a keyboard and mouse, although some functions like Jump are easier to perform on the keyboard rather than a controller. On an Xbox Controller, the way the fox moves feels dated compared to platformers of today.
There are some really pretty environments, it is just sad that they are offset by ugly repetitive textures that distract the player in some levels. The world is designed in 3D models of yesteryear, but you also find some levels just barren of anything cool to look at.
When the ambiance is working, you really feel like you are in that mystical forest. It just has issues of cutting out. The same could be said for the music, what is in there is great, but it could use a little more.
There is nothing to do but beat the game again and try to do it faster. The collectables do nothing in the game, so it is a waste to even bother with them.
PROS / CONS
- The first level is what sells it. Beautiful and the setting is solidified.
- Good ambient sound when available.
- Has a good plan on a story.
- Variety in environments.
- The game is buggy, containing several incomplete functions such as a proper configuration menu.
- It is extremely short and a speed run gets you about 20 minutes.
- The game is really shallow in depth and feels like a good Alpha candidate instead of a 1.0.
- The camera gets stuck on a lot of things, like trees and fences.