If you pride yourself on keeping your ear to the ground when it comes to the hottest indie games, there's a good chance you've heard of Andrew Shouldice's Tunic; this excellent Zelda-like adventure game has been in development for many years and recently launched on Xbox Series X/S to rave reviews.
Shouldice has made no secret of the fact that he's a huge fan of Zelda, and the game takes this adoration to the next level by including a truly authentic NES-style digital instruction manual, which you can reconstruct in-game as you find more pages.
Speaking to Pure Xbox, Shouldice explained:
When I was very little, I loved poring over game manuals — or “Instructions Booklets” as they sometimes called themselves. I still love reading them today of course, but back then, they were very mysterious objects. I remember being at my next door neighbour's house while they were playing Metroid 2 on the Game Boy. That screen didn’t really allow for comfortable over-the-shoulder viewing, so I had to content myself with leafing through the booklet.
We’ve tried to evoke those same feelings of wonder in Tunic. As you play, you’ll collect pages of the game’s manual, which you can bring up at any time. They’re not just collectables though — just like those old manuals, the pages are full of maps, secrets, and important tips.
Our pals over at Pure Xbox reviewed Tunic recently, giving it a glowing 9/10 score and saying:
Tunic is a fantastically clever adventure that kicks off in familiar Zelda-esque fashion before branching out to become its own thing entirely. There's an exquisitely designed world to explore here, a great big puzzle-box to probe and prod at as you progress through a story that's got just the right amount of mystery and intrigue about it to keep you hooked in. Combat can be a little clumsy at points early on but it improves as new powers are introduced and the game develops and grows into a surprisingly big, surprisingly challenging experience that's absolutely one of our favourite games of 2022 so far.
Will Tunic come to Switch? Well, Shouldice hasn't confirmed anything as yet, but it would seem that the deal with Microsoft is for timed exclusivity, so when that ends we'd expect Tunic to come to other platforms.
For now, however, you'll either have to download it on your PC or Xbox console – it's currently part of the Game Pass lineup on the latter. If you're a fan of old-school Zelda titles, then it really is a must-play.