Capsule Review: Refunct

A short and simple first-person 3D parkour platformer. Run, jump, and climb your way onto a series of platforms to restore life (platforms start as bare concrete but become grassy when you step on them) and activate buttons that raise up more platforms to restore. The visuals are unobtrusively simple and cleanly beautiful and the uplifting electronic soundtrack perfectly matches the calmly energetic gameplay.

While this is an exploration and restoration game like Flower and Dawn, here the atmosphere is in service of the mechanics rather than the other way around. Refunct will actually test your skills and the achievements for speedruns and minimalist runs feel like a legitimate way to add in replay value rather than out-of-place padding. The base experience can still easily be enjoyed by less-skilled players at their own pace as there are no time limits, death, or failure modes and the platforming challenges are tightly scoped so even if you fall there’s little punishment. There’s also very little text and no dialog, with the game’s mechanics being communicated intuitively by color and lighting cues and level design that encourages certain actions. (The one exception is that the game does a very bad job telegraphing the fact that you can jump from a lift while it’s rising to get some extra height.)

My first, thorough playthrough took me about half an hour. I found it a soothing and uplifting experience (except for having to look up the bit about the lifts to get the last two blasted platforms).

I Stopped Playing When: I finished a 100% playthrough.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.