Having been announced years ago, Furwind is the latest platformer coming from developer Boomfire Games that originally was on Steam Greenlight and easily received praise to become a full fledged release. Now we are 2019 and Furwind is officially out on Steam, but also on our Nintendo Switch.
Furwind is an action platformer in a the popular pixel style look. The title-hero jumps through a multitude of labyrinths. During your travels through the labyrinth you also come across arenas, in which all enemies must be defeated to free captive villagers. And those who can pick up two scrolls in one level will be rewarded with more skillful passages. Next to the regular levels you also have areas that have auto-scroll levels and other variations of popular side scrolling platform elements.
Each level has two emblems, bossfights, and sometimes a mini-game. Furwind beats his opponent with his tail or jumps in the air to perform a slam attack. Both actions are coupled to a stamina bar, which tends to feel a little small in brutal situations. Attacks must therefore be well considered. In addition, the little fox can throw purple bombs with the L-key. Most of them are intended to blow up special blocks and clear the way, but they can also be used to combat enemies. However, there are also two things to take notice off. That this resource is very limited and on the other hand, exact aiming is virtually impossible because the bullets travel a long way before they explode. And do not even try them when you perform a jump.
Furwind receives the blessing of a totem in each of the three chapters, this blessing grants a new skill to your arsenal. These are also tied to limitations and resources. For example in the form of the final challenge of the first chapter: The recently won Airdash was absolutely necessary for climbing a tower under time limit. However, when I fell down later, the skill was no longer available to me and was not recharged, which could only be remedied with a restart – through the courageous leap into the lava basin. To counteract this, there are a variety of jewels to collect in each level. Not only checkpoints can be unlocked, with the rest of my treasure I’m looking for the merchant. He sells me upgrades for life energy, stamina, resources, or increases the likelihood of getting to all the hidden parts of the levels. So if you want to wander through the world without frustration, you can not miss a little grinding.
The aforementioned pixel graphics is sometimes the best thing about the title. There are many small details in the environment and in the level design, which makes the world seem alive. The soundtrack has its driving peaks, but is otherwise not truly worth mentioning. It does feel different with sound effects on, but some elements are just not great at all, like the character interactions where you would rather just skip the scene and go on with your level.
Coming back to the controls once more. Furwind runs and jumps in a direct comparison with other platform heroes we know all to well. However, as skill is less important in the game and thoughtful action is in the foreground, the platforming itself doesn’t feel all that special. What bothers much more, is the very high rumble you feel. In the past, we had the realization that a standardized Rumble feature on the Nintendo Switch with its HD Rumble leads to almost uncontrollable wobble. Fortunately, most titles have an option to disable the controller vibration. Luckily Furwind does have the option to turn rumble off entirely as well, but it would have been nice to feel a soft vibration when fighting enemies or getting hit by obstacles of sorts.
Furwind is a good platformer that just seems to have a few shortcomings that could still be fixed with patches. From the character interaction to the rumble features, they could easily get fixed and then you have another platformer in hands that is worth your dime or buck.
Furwind is a decent platformer that just needs a few extra touches here and there to be considered ‘great’.