I started playing video games at home on the Atari 2600 not long after it was released. I grew up gaming, playing every console that was available but my 1st true love will always be the Super Nintendo. Hours were spent as Samus, Link, Mario and others. I bring this up because Bonus Level Entertainment and Wild River have released a new game that brings me back to the glory days of early gaming. Fox N Forests is a platforming, metroidvania adventure that puts you in control of the seasons.
Fox N Forests is the story of Rick the Fox, an adventurous animal out looking for treasure when he stumbles on Patty the Partridge. Patty enlists Rick to help save the forests with the help of a magical melee crossbow. This weapon will allow you to take out enemies up close or at a distance. It also has the power to control the seasons. With the touch of a button you can swap between summer and winter, or spring and fall. You will need this power to work your way through the forests, defeat gigantic bosses, and find a mysterious 5th season.
After you beat each boss, your crossbow will be granted even more powers. You begin with simple arrows, but as you progress against bosses you will earn arrows that split and fire arrows. These will help you take down even more powerful enemies, and they are used on targets to give you access to previously unobtainable areas. These areas will contain treasure, seeds, and more. You will need to collect as many of the 5 hidden seeds per level so that you can unlock new forests to explore. Along the way you will have to also earn gold to upgrade the melee part of your weapon, get new abilities, grab potions and more.
Gameplay is very reminiscent of Super Ghosts and Goblins. You can only shoot your crossbow when you are standing still, so you will have to get used to using melee attacks when jumping and running. The platforming in the game is not that difficult, but you will have to learn how to use the seasons to your advantage. Remove obstacles from your path or open up safe pathways simply by trading seasons. You are able to change to an alternate season at will, but the change will only last for as long as you have the mana to support it. Your mana recharges fairly quickly, but not as fast as season stabilization will drain it. Mana is also used to power your special arrows.
Graphics are pure 16 bit 2-D heaven. Each forest area has a unique design that transforms into a 2nd season. Characters are well rendered and pretty diverse. If you are a fan of retro games you will want to pay attention to the dialogue of Retro Badger. He serves as the check point system in levels and each of his interactions are drawn from classic games. The music in the game is some of the best you will find. I have a copy of the soundtrack and listen to it on a regular basis. Each area has a sound that fits the environment to a tee.
Fox N Forests is now available for XB1, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Steam. The price tag for the title is around $19.99. Anyone who is a fan of 16 bit platformers needs to check out this title. I have played it both on XB1 and Nintendo Switch, and the game was beautiful and fun on both.