Games can be overly complicated.
I won’t mention names, but I recently played a game that had tutorials and button descriptions still coming more than two hours into the game. So sometimes it’s a bit of a relief to play a game where the goals and objectives are as simple as pie, the control system as easy to remember as how to make toast.
Rise of Fox Hero is one of those simple old-school platformers that doesn’t ask a lot from its gamer friend, except that they provide the concentration and stamina to keep repeating its ever-increasing difficulty in level design. Is it fun though?
There isn’t really any story to be had in Rise of Fox Hero. You start the game without any idea who our fox hero is, why he has a sword, or where the hell he’s going. There aren’t any long cut scenes or story lore bits playing out in long text readouts or voice over. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. You are a fox with a sword and you like going from A to B over four stages and thirty-two levels. And you can get to do all that for under a fiver in price.
Gameplay-wise and it all boils down to being a case of getting across a world of platforms, making it to the other end. For a bonus, you can collect a number of stars along the way, something which starts off quite easy, but by the end, becomes a real challenge.
As you’d suspect, you have at your little foxy disposal a jump and an attack button, attached to a sword to kill enemies. There is also the ability to turn the camera around a full 360 degrees. This is very handy as you go star hunting, discovering those hidden away.
There is the usual platforming to be done too, as you jump across, up, and over blocks. Some of these will disappear should you stand on them for too long, whilst others move when you jump so you have to guess where they might be next.
There are enemies dotted around the levels; creepy crawlies and plants that gob out poison which you have to dodge. Then at the end of each chapter, there is a boss battle to be had. I found these quite tricky and it’s here where you’ll need all your foxy patience, learning attacks and trying not to die. The good news is that if you do fail, you can keep coming back for more, all thanks to a life system that never runs out. The bad news is that if you haven’t reached a checkpoint you might find yourself repeating whole sections.
Visually, Rise of Fox Hero comes with a pleasant cartoony world to explore. But it attempts new things as each level delivers a different environment; a snowy level, a desert level, a medieval level. And throughout those stages, you’ll find that the enemies feel fine, yet you may well long for some variation in the types that come your way.
Sound-wise the effects are fun and different tracks play through the levels. I liked the music, especially a little jazzy track that will have your foot tapping.
A game that does what it needs to do pretty well, Rise of Fox Hero is a good old-fashioned platformer; bright and cheerful, with a good amount of levels and challenge. It helps that it is cheap to purchase and so if you’re looking for something to take a punt on, you won’t go far wrong. That said, it does start to feel a bit bland once you get roughly halfway through, something that is not helped by the lack of variation.
But if you’re after something light and breezy that you can finish in a few hours then Rise of Fox Hero is worth considering.
Rise of Fox Hero is on the Xbox Store