Kitsune Tails Preview - A Foxy Adventure

Having recently come back from playing Super Mario Bros. I was naturally intrigued by Kitsune Tails which got showcased as part of the Wholesome Direct I covered previously. It's adorable, full of Japanese inspired charm and the protagonist is a fox. All things that very much appeal to me. And like the game series it clearly takes gameplay inspiration from, it is brutal.

Players step into the paws of Yuzu, a kitsune who has recently become a courier. Yuzu is a curious and energetic fox who frequently gets into trouble. Which becomes all the more apparent with a cutscene after the first level where Yuzu gets attacked by an oni while foraging for mushrooms in a cave. A couriers life is not an easy one, especially as Yuzu gets tasked with delivering a letter to a ghostly warlord in a haunted house. The amount of stage variety in the demo isn’t bad and they aren’t easy to clear either.


In addition to the standard jumping and platforming, there are also enemies Yuzu needs to be wary of, like Armadillos, Skeletons, Beetles etc. Most of these enemies can be jumped on to neutralize them but some have spikes or are covered in fire which will hurt Yuzu if she tries. Speaking of, getting hurt reverts Yuzu from her humanoid form to her fox form. Taking a hit as a fox results in going back to the beginning of the stage or a checkpoint. If Yuzu is a fox, she can use small orbs found in stages or her inventory to turn back to her human form. Much like with Mario, there are certain platforming segments that are easier to do in fox form and some that are easier with the bigger form. Admittedly, I also like some of the gameplay concepts the demo shows off. Having to hold a lantern in order to navigate otherwise hidden platforms and avoid the ghosts in the previously mentioned haunted house is a neat idea. And using a lantern enemy to reveal a hidden door is clever. I do appreciate the game makes use of its level design this way, even if it takes a few tries to get through.


Incidentally I noticed Yuzu doesn’t have any sort of life count. Instead the player continuously just respawns. An interesting choice though I wouldn’t probably have made it as far as I did if there was a life counter. After completing a level, the seasons change showing time passing which changes the overworld accordingly. It doesn’t seem to affect previous levels though if one goes back to them which I thought was a little disappointing, though the aforementioned lack of life system means players won’t feel particularly inclined to replay previous levels anyway except for maybe power-ups. The platforming itself can be pretty tight, with some jumps needing to be timed accordingly. More than once, I needed to retry a segment several times to make it. Pressing the button hard results in a longer and higher jump, while a quick press results in a small jump. Both of which are useful for different scenarios. 


The changing seasons does affect what the current level looks like and that helps add to the visual variety and keep things from feeling too samey. Speaking of, I enjoyed looking at the various backgrounds, the game is quite colorful and vibrant. The music is also nice enough but I never found it particularly noteworthy in any area. That said, the overworld tune and sound effects were pretty decent. 

Overall, not a bad experience. Kitsune Tails is a hard game and it knows it. It's full of charm and I like the nods to Mario and Japanese mythology. Definitely worth the look. The demo can be found on Steam now and the game is due for a full release on Aug 1st if this sounds like your cup of tea. 

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Nothing too special, just a gamer, reader and music lover from Kansas! I love writing and woodworking!
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