It’s a tale as old as time…you (FOXY FOX) and your mate, JENNIE, are living your best life and a bird kidnaps her! You race to save her, solving puzzles, dodging traps, and flipping switches to get to her…this is the premise of the platformer FOXYLAND, developed by Bug Studio and published by Ratalaika Games.
There has been an almost wondrous retro indie craze taking place, a break from the ultra realistic, gritty scenarios most AAA games have been providing. FOXYLAND is a vibrant, pixelated world which harkens back to a simpler time. You inhabit a 2D space, where you dodge projectiles, toads, opossums, eagles and flip switches, and avoid traps, while you collect gems (which you collect to clear the stage) and cherries (currency to build your skills). You get 3 chances per go on each level to try to succeed, each loss of life deducts from the stars you are also collecting (the stars mark how “perfect” your skills are in clearing the stage) so timing is everything.
So, did they get it right? I would have to say yes, sort of. The menu screen seemed a bit buggy, you can’t jump in and play, you have to make sure the play box is NOT highlighted, because it takes you to the currency screen often. However, once you get past that strangeness, then the controls appear to be tight. You use the d-pad or the analog stick to move, press X to jump, tap twice to double jump to get higher and reach things, and is also used to flip the switches that you need to get to often unreachable items by activating platforms. Sometimes, this also triggers perils like projectiles and other problems. You also have your standard spiked floors to deal with, because who doesn’t enjoy having their feet impaled…
‘The difficulty ramps up slowly on every level, and your timing must be on point to keep alive. After all, who wants to get KO’d by crashing against a TV screen? You must survey your surroundings, and it may take a couple of times to find the best way to beat each level, making sure to get all the gems. You can also collect a series of cherries that can be used to purchase some cute costumes for Foxy Fox to wear. These can range from hats to entire costumes.
The pixelated artwork is well done. The characters are quirky, and kind of cute, it reminds me in a way of the plethora of mascots of the 90’s and early 2000’s. If you like, say, Mario, before he was 3D, you will find enjoyment, as I did.
As is the case in these retro games, the music is done in an either 8-bit or 16-bit style. I didn’t find myself humming or tapping my toes to these tracks like I would if playing, say, Sonic the Hedgehog, nor can I compare them to the blackboard scratching soundscapes of some games. It merely is innocuous enough. It doesn’t take away from the experience, but some may prefer to play with the sound muted.
While I found the game to be fun, once you’ve cleared the thirty-six or so stages, I didn’t feel the need to want to go back and do it again, it’s not like it is procedurally generated…Foxyland overall is a nice, bite sized experience, which, fortunately, they were smart enough to make portable*, but this experience is based on my PS4 playthrough. I recommend this title for a good time though.
*Foxyland is also on PSVita and Switch (portable) Foxyland is also available on non-portable platforms, such as the Xbox One. That is all.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 8/10
Foxyland is a decent indie platformer.
- Bright, vibrant stages.
- Retro vibes, a nice break.
- Tight controls.
- Medium replayability.
Bring your own music