The RPG genre is still rather popular, with several big-name releases arriving every year. While these are usually grand spectacles, Fairune keeps things quite simple. As with many "retro-esque" games these days, it attempts to emulate the look and feel of a classic '80s game, and that comes with matching game mechanics.
Combat is usually a big part of RPGs in the modern day, with lots of different attack options and strategies at your disposal. Instead of this approach, Fairune has a combat system that's highly reminiscent of the first Ys games - combat consists of little more than simply ramming into an enemy, upon which blows will automatically be exchanged. If an enemy is the same level as you, it will die, and you will take one point of damage and receive XP. If the enemy's a level higher, it'll still die and you'll still get XP, but if it's any higher than that you'll be completely unable to harm it. This means that you'll constantly have to find new groups of enemies to level up on, while avoiding the ones that are invincible until you're strong enough.
Despite the unique combat, however, it's not really the main focus of the game. The focus instead seems to be on puzzles, which are fairly abundant and must be solved to move on. The main overworld itself is a bit of a puzzle, as it loops around via the edges, and before you know it you'll even stumble into completely different additional maps. Each of these has more puzzles to solve, which can range from finding a hidden path by looking at the scenery carefully, to simply finding and using the right items.
Neither the combat or the puzzles in Fairune are very challenging, and as a whole it's a relatively straightforward experience; our end game time clocked in at just under 2 hours. That said, despite its simplicity it's quite entertaining, and does a good job of capturing that old-school feel.
Once you've beaten the game there is some incentive to go back in for seconds. Aside from the aforementioned secrets it does have a few achievements, which include finding all items and enemies, as well as beating the game within a single hour. Nothing mindblowing, but definitely something completionists will want to do.
Fairune's music and graphics aren't quite 8-bit and are closer to 16-bit, but nevertheless they're both well done and accentuate the game's straightforwardness pretty well. Despite their relatively small size, all of the enemy sprites are nicely detailed, making them pretty charming to look at.
Fairune's a very simple game, but for such a low price it's pretty hard to go wrong. It might not be all that long, but it's enjoyable from start to finish, which is a what we hope for in a download.