Tunic review: Don’t let Elden Ring overshadow this memorable Zelda-Souls hybrid

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: This looks _delightful_. It seems like it would be a good Switch game, but I don't see it planned.
<em>Tunic</em> looks and feels a lot like 8-bit <em>Legend of Zelda</em>. But I assure you, more is going on here.

Enlarge / Tunic looks and feels a lot like 8-bit Legend of Zelda. But I assure you, more is going on here. (credit: Andrew Shouldice / Finji)

When I reviewed The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on Switch in 2019, I lamented its stubborn adherence to the past. I don't necessarily blame Nintendo for reproducing the Game Boy classic's elements wholesale, but the remaster's gorgeous, modern aesthetic, complete with 3D models replacing the original 2D sprites, started turning gears in my head.

Could a modern game have classic-yet-fresh gameplay that feels as good as this remaster looks? I asked myself. What if a beautiful, top-down adventure could both evoke 8-bit Zelda nostalgia and implement more modern mechanics and ideas? In the modern gaming era, we've seen all manner of games borrow liberally from Nintendo's classic adventuring series, but they've mostly been on the 3D side.

This week's Tunic, a six-years-in-the-making indie adventure made primarily by sole developer Andrew Shouldice, is a rare example of a truly worthy 2D Zelda homage. It even surpasses other recommended modern titles like Death's Door, Hob, and, yes, Nintendo's own Link Between Worlds.

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