So, I’ve just finished getting 100% completion in Refunct, a relatively small title from Dominique Grieshofer. I have to say, it was an interesting experience. It took me a little while to take in, everything the game had to offer to suitable review it here. Refunct is a 3rd person platformer with some light parkour elements. The game is designed to be accessible for everyone, the controls never get particularly complex, there is no fail state and you’re sort of left to yourself to explore.
The aim of the game is to touch every platform to cover it in grass, exploring the map to gather little floating red cubes as collectibles. Large red beacons shoot up into the sky and a button is under each one, with each button press more of the map unlocks. Keeping a steady pace of additional mechanics. The game took me a total of 26 minutes to 100% and there appears to be a small speed running community following this game.
Refunct with its simple nature does somewhat drop you in the deep end, the game starts instantly and you just have the instinct to jump from platform to platform. The game develops with wall jumping, some swimming, lifts, bounce pads and places to slide under. There is a natural flow to how the player moves around and with each additional section unlocked brings another type of jumping puzzle.
The visuals of the game are simplistic, with nothing other than the skybox standing out, players can watch a small scale day/night cycle pass by which every few minutes changes how the entire game looks. I enjoyed aspects of the music, at points the calming tracks really made me feel like more of an explorer to the dubstep tracks that give a more action feel.
A personal complaint with this game is how shallow some of the game mechanics feel, at points you are thrown underwater and it is only used a handful of times. There is no underwater places to explore. It’s a personal complaint because I can see how Refunct is trying to be easily accessible, in the same way how some of the wall jumping puzzles aren’t to the same level as Mirrors Edge.
From a technical perspective the options menu is fully equipped, plus with controller support and full re-bindable keys I didn’t find a single issue there. The game had a smooth framerate and there wasn’t a single loading screen to worry about, but given that it’s a £2 game that might’ve been expected.
Onto the price point then, for £2 you get half an hour of calming platforming. I can’t quite place how I feel about this game, the ending honestly came out as a surprise to me. You suddenly find a yellow beacon and the camera zooms out to thank you for playing, it felt sudden. I guess it was that I started finding myself getting immersed into the game and then to have it end. The pacing of the half hour game time is well designed, each new mechanic is almost spoon fed to understand how they change how the player moves.
It was also a little weird how some of the achievements were named, as you collect the red cubes onto you had the names “What makes you smile?” or “Do you do what you love to do?” which honestly felt rather out of place. The game has no story to go on, but it honestly has so much room for something. Even if each red cube gave just a little bit of story or text could’ve worked, because currently once you 100% the game you get about 15 seconds of fireworks.
In conclusion, Refunct seems to be the beginning of something great and in its current state it seems to be lacking a little individuality. Refunct does have some really solid aspects, the player movement and flow is honestly enjoyable. Multiple jumps all flow naturally into one another supported with a smooth pull up mechanic to let you reach higher ledges. What I will say about Refunct is, if you’re new or looking into game development Refunct would be the perfect game to study. The scope is relatively small and it completes all that it set out to be, so I’ll say if you’ve got a spare half an hour to kill, pick up Refunct.
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