Refunct Review

Refunct is a wonderful refined first person platformer with a natural flowing progression that its incredible design and quick completion makes it feel far too short lived. The platforming begins easily with a stack of blocks and a switch to be reached on the highest block. Each block that hasn’t been stepped on appears cold and grey in the vibrant world, but once tread on the block flushes with life becoming colorful in the energetic environment. Once reaching and activating the first switch blocks begin to rise up from the surrounding water creating more platforms to walk and jump along with another switch to be activated indicated by a red glowing beam. The progression goes on naturally like this with the landscape being developed as you create the game around you with each new switch. Smaller elements of gameplay are apparent as well such as at the end of the game your time of completion is shown, or how there are cubes hidden around the world to be collected or when the game is paused a percentage shows how many of the blocks are colored.

There is no tutorial in the game, but rather learning the new platforming abilities such as wall jumping, crouching, sliding, diving, spring boarding and entering pipes are intuitive skills thanks to the simple level design and control scheme. For example, upon approaching the first switch using wall jumping you fall into a pit that the only way out of is through wall jumping. After learning how to wall jump from the pit your new found skill is further tested throughout the game. The game subliminally shoehorns you into a familiarity with movement options that by the end of the game you feel as though you have mastered an arsenal of controls.

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The artstyle of Refunct is primarily blocky and slightly reminiscent of Minecraft’s block based verticality. While playing through the game the sky will change from the day to night. Each form of the sky based on the ingame time is gorgeous in its own unique way from a purple starry night overhead to rose colored clouds during a sunset/sunrise and of course a warm inviting blue sky with wisps of clouds above. The water surrounding the platforming challenges is serene with shimmering reflections of the ambient sky. When diving below the surface of the water you are greeted with a darker hue of the ocean’s surface blue draping over the platforms to soon rise up.

Audio cues and sounds are thoughtfully implemented to meet the gameplay and visual design. The satisfying thump and indication of landing, the wishing of soft water when submerged and the satisfying clicks of restoring a block’s color are all examples of the game’s intentional use of audio cues. Music in Refunct doesn’t fail to reach the pleasant level of relaxation, zen and tranquility found through the aforementioned aspects of the game. When the game first starts the music is slow and soothing as matching your role in the new environment, but as you progress and become faster at interacting with the game the music transitions itself into an upbeat techno zen quality.

Refunct stirs feelings of warmth and heartfelt design into a simpleplatforming based game. At its core the gameplay and world is simple, but it is this simplicity that is endearing to players by allowing them to enjoy intuitive controls, smart level design, beautiful backdrops and gorgeous music. Refunct is an outstanding first person platformer that fills the player with a simplistic joy.

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