Furi is a one on one battle based game from independent game makers The Game Bakers. Released in 2016, Furi was aimed to get the relatively new game studio securely on the map. Time to see how good it is.
Furi is a top down beat ’em up where you play a white haired warrior bidding for freedom. You start locked in prison, but once the weird rabbit head wearing thing helps you escape you progress to the training ground. The antagonist is your jailer, the rabbit headed thing said to kill him and you will be free. The jailer has other plans though, he has been torturing you on a daily basis for as long as …… well I have no idea, but he likes his plaything, and he doesn’t want you to escape.
Let battle commence. The jailer, who seems to be a schizophrenic cross dressing geisha warrior man, and possibly part rabbit as well, takes you on in one on one combat. The purpose of this is to teach you the moves that you will need to survive in the outside world. The fortunate thing is that you were imprisoned with your sword, so you have a fighting chance.
First you shoot at him, seems simple enough, push the stick in his general direction and hey presto, blueish white balls fly at him. Move the other stick and your character will move around the arena. Next you have to get in close and slash and parry, or should the preferred order be parry and slash. The buttons to press do each action appear on the screen, so knowing what to press is fairly obvious. Press these buttons until they are committed to memory with their associated action. Once you have knocked him down a few times (health bars are available at the top of the screen) you get to move onto the next section, the charged shot and the charged slash, basically the same as before, but with additional buttons, or hold it longer. I struggled to aim my charged shot, a line emits from the character to show where the shot is going, and I found it easier to let the jailer walk into it rather than use the stick to aim as the line seemed to take on a bit of a mind of its own.
Get passed this and you get to learn the art of dodging. This is a very important skill and it is cunningly placed on the X button. Attacks get thrown at you that you have to dodge, there’s no dip, no dive and no duck, just dodge. After about 3 minutes of just dodging these attacks it did dawn on me that maybe I need to actually attack as well, so I fired a few shots and then I moved in to melee attack.
Once the lessons have been completed and you have shown that you are competent in battle the tips disappear and the Jailer comes at you with everything he has. What happened next? I died. I died again, and to cut a long story short I just keep on dying. Whilst having structured lessons I could concentrate on certain skills, whilst in battle the information left my brain faster than a bullet train out of Tokyo. I panicked and pressed most buttons at once. Sometimes I attacked, sometimes I parried, but mostly I travelled across the arena at pace shooting blueish white balls over the edge. This would last about 30 seconds before being embraced by the arms of death. Not to be defeated, I always return to the beginning and ease past the lessons, but defeating the jailer has thus eluded me. The rabbit headed thing was probably right, if I could kill him I would probably be free, free of the torture of repetitive monotony and frustration levels higher than a Bob Marley after show party.
Go forward 3 1/2 hours and the biggest wave of euphoria I have had come over me for long time was experienced. I even shouted ‘BOOYAH’, stood up and punched an invisible midget. Execution complete, the jailer was dead and my sanity levels returned to normality. Now it was time for the actual game to begin as I used my skills in the real world.
There is no real world, just a brief stroll and a chat with rabbit thing before meeting the next end of level baddy. Where are the levels? Maybe my hopes were set too high, but bring on the next boss, a few hours of my time and a can of energy drink and anything goes. As you progress, the bosses get harder and their attacks vary. This game is no walk in the park, learn your enemies and use everything you learn to your advantage. You need to commit for the long haul for Furi, and time in the real world can end up being meaningless. Expect sore thumbs and bums before you get to the end.
The graphics are one of the best aspects of Furi. You have to watch for your enemies movements to plot your next moves, so good graphics and realistic movement are at the heart of this game. The styling of the game sucks you in to the world in which it is set, and the cut scenes all add to the story so that you feel a sense of purpose. The battle arenas are well crafted and well thought out to keep adding more variety to the game, each one providing an alternative playing area.
This has been well thought through, the soundtrack throughout Furi is very good and keeps the adrenaline coursing through you. Keep the volume up to make the most of this soundtrack. There are the usual grunting, fighting noises as well, but that is par for the course.
As a boss only dual stick shooter with some very fast and furious close combat action it fulfils the brief. As a stand alone game against the competition, Furi does lack a little, but having said that, it is genuinely the most frustrating addictive game I have played in a long time. Whilst I am yet to complete it, rest assured that I will one day be crowned victor over the last boss and once more I will feel like I can take over the world. What Furi does, it does very well, but for me it doesn’t do enough.
I can’t wait for the next dish to be served from The Game Bakers to see what they have cooked up to keep those thumbs wiggling.
Furi has bossed its way to a Thumb Culture Silver Award
Disclaimer: We received a game code to carry out this review