The perfect love scene. A couple of foxes were enjoying the sunset in the forest. Everything was perfect. The temperature was nice during this summer afternoon. The sun was setting. A calm breeze was gently touching the trees, making some leaves solely fall. Birds were flying… but wait. There’s a bird flying in their direction. Not a bird: an eagle. When all of a sudden… Look out! The fox-girl was kidnapped!! Compose yourself, fox: You’ve got to save her!
Developed by the Russian studio BUG Studios and published by Ratalaika, FoxyLand is a colorful and charming platformer where you play as Foxy Fox in a mission to rescue his beloved Jennie. Explore 36 levels of full of enemies and traps, collect crystals and cherries, hide behind rocks and bushes and buy new outfits for our brave fox. It is not because you are in a rescue mission that you can’t be well dressed, right?
What do you do? FoxyLand is an old school platformer where you will venture through 36 challenging levels to rescue your foxy girl. Thankfully she dropped some crystals along the way for you to find her (maybe she was a fan of Hansel and Gretel). So, you will need to collect all these crystals in each level to find her.
What we liked!
- Visuals: In case you don’t know it yet, Ratalaika means ‘pixel love’ in Russian. What’s wrong? You don’t believe me? But you should! If not all of them, most of the games published by Ratalaika are beautiful projects of pixel art and FoxyLand is no different. The colorful graphics, detailed scenarios and charming characters with good animation – especially the one when your hero dies – make the game a pleasant adventure for players of all ages! That’s a great adventure to play with your kids if you have any.
- Sound: The chiptune soundtrack makes your adventure even better, evoking those good old memories from the 8 and 16-bits era. As the sound effects are very timid, we still don’t know what the fox says – in case you didn’t get the reference, please check – I can’t even think about them now I’m writing this review. But it makes it worth.
- The gameplay: Gameplay in Foxy land is very simple: you will explore the levels looking for crystals that give you access to the next stage. Hop on enemies that cross your way, collect cherries to trade them for new costumes and try to get three stars on each level until you reach your girl.
- Level design: I enjoyed exploring each one of the 36 levels of the game. The challenges they hide include traps, hidden switches, rolling boulders (Indiana Jones said ‘hi’). After the original 36 levels, there are three Halloween themed bonus levels with a boss.
- Unlockables: The costumes you unlock, although cute, don’t add anything new to the gameplay. This way, they don’t feel like an addition to the game: they seem to be there only to pad things out. But I’m sure some players will want to unlock them all. And that’s ok if you are one of them.
- Few enemies: Your array of enemies is really short in this game. So short to the point of feeling unfair with the player. In its 36 levels, you will face possums, toads and eagles – and that’s all. And I always was told forests are dangerous places to be alone.
- Too short: Another short adventure from BUG Studios with little challenge that you can complete in about one hour. Or even less. It looks like a game aimed only for achievement hunters or people in dire need for a boost in their Gamerscore. An additional game that took me more time to write about it than it took for me to complete it. Maybe this is a problem only to me since in our society time has become less available day after day. Perhaps these short games are the best option for a quick sense of accomplishment we need every day.
What we disliked
- Story? What story? If you’re curious about who kidnapped your beloved Jennie or why she was kidnapped at all, please join us. The game doesn’t give us any answers or explanations about who or why. It’s actually pretty straightforward, like games from our past were. But there’s no need to be like this. We players do care about the motivations behind an adventure. And this is something that really bothered me: I couldn’t see the end of the game coming! There’s no final boss or final challenge. You just reach your girl and that’s all.
- Gameplay issues: It looks like our little friend has some serious issues about collisions: stones – like those in Super Mario series – smash you in middle air and some jumps over enemies seem to not connect. And yes, I died several times thanks to those small problems.
Foxy land is a cute and funny adventure. And as most of Ratalaika’s, is way too short: you will finish it in less than an hour. I know players addicted for GS love Ratalaika’s games ‘1000G in one hour’, but there’s a charming and good game here under this somehow problematic characteristic. I just regret it will be over before you notice it.
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.