A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Tunic has no spoken dialogue and minimal text explaining its plot. While details and themes may be vague, the player acts as a positive force on the world by trying to discover what happened to a lost civilization and hopefully saving it from corrupt forces.
Positive Role Models
Players can interact with a large amount of characters at one point, but what they say is indecipherable or vaguely helpful to solve some puzzles. Otherwise, you're on your own.
Ease of Play
Tunic has a simple control scheme that's not only easy to learn, but also can be remapped as desired. The game doesn't have a formal tutorial, so players will need to experiment with using items and read in-game instructions to learn various elements of play. Boss fights and puzzles will present difficult yet fair challenges, but there's an option to turn off dying if the player wants to focus on the puzzles and exploration.
Violence & Scariness
Tunic has a cute, cartoony art style, so violence is never graphic or detailed. You use a sword, bombs, and fire against enemies who show no signs of damage, either falling over or exploding in a puff of smoke upon defeat. There are animated skeletons and corpses in some areas with no blood or gore. There's only one squid-like animal in an area that was decapitated at some point, but this is undetailed. There are also ghostly spirits who are imprisoned and forcibly used for their power.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tunic is a downloadable action-adventure game with combat, exploration, and puzzles that's available for Xbox One, Xbox One Series X/S, and Windows (via digital store platforms like Steam, Epic Games, and Humble). The player washes ashore on a beautiful island as a cute fox with no context, direction, or belongings. After exploring around a bit, you'll realize you need to find a sword and shield, but in gathering other items and discovering new places, your goals and expectations will expand into new horizons that are best left unexplained to preserve the game's intentional mystery. Tunic doesn't have anything parents should be concerned about beyond mild cartoon violence. Despite killing plenty of fantastical beasts and monsters with a sword and explosives, violence is never as graphic as enemies falling down or exploding in comical puffs of smoke.
Is It Any Good?
This action-adventure title is built off classic design features, but it has the brilliance to become one itself. In Tunic, you play as a small fox who primarily uses a sword against fantasy monsters and animals. Other equipment like magic wands and ice bombs can be cast to strike enemies at a distance, but if they're about to hit you, dodging and blocking are crucial to avoid damage. A limited amount of potions can be consumed to recover, and dodging must be managed carefully to avoid depleting stamina, which can momentarily make you slow and vulnerable. With its smooth and simple combat, Tunic is proudly influenced by Dark Souls, especially with a few big bosses that are exciting, rewarding challenges. Still, the difficulty is approachable and the tone friendly, making Tunic a perfect starting point for kids who aren't ready for that popular and violent dark fantasy franchise.
Tunic doesn't hold your hand, allowing your curiosity to lead you with minimal guidance. Sometimes your next objectives can only be uncovered while exploring a new area or stumbling across hidden paths and rooms. It's satisfying when you solve clever puzzles and see how those solutions can be applied to other mysteries. Even new mechanics are unveiled later on that teach you how to harness a weapon or item in ways that weren't evident before. Most of these discoveries are prompted cleverly through an in-game instruction manual with pages scattered across the world. This manual is written in a fictional language, yet contains pictures and notes to be studied and referenced frequently for help with how to play, along with lore, maps, and clues to analyze. With a catchy, ambient soundtrack and colorful, cute graphics bringing this rich world to life, Tunic provides a thrilling sense of discovery from beginning to end. It masterfully blends its inspirations while distinguishing itself with phenomenal level design and gameplay that will captivate players both young and old.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.