Tanglewood (Genesis)

missing cover art
81
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.6
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  David Howland (5)
Written on  :  Aug 27, 2018
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
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Summary

A charming new and original Sega Genesis/MegaDrive game that does a good job of combining nostalgic technical elements with modern gameplay influences

The Good

The controls are pretty straightforward and should be familiar to anyone familiar with retro platformers. The game takes inspiration from puzzle games like Flashback, but thankfully did not inherit the movement style. The jumping and movement is nice and smooth, as it should be. Nymn's running motion reminds me of classic Sega game The Lion King, which is a very good thing.

The graphics are really good for a Sega game. The game has bright, vibrant details to bring the forest to life. The mood of the forest at night is well-conveyed. The artwork is beautiful and there is plenty of variety between the levels.

The sound in Tanglewood is interesting. This is an area where they definitely take a turn from retro and introduce some modern styling. The mood of the forest is quiet and peaceful during the day, and a little creepy at night. For that effect, there is minimal background music. Instead, the sounds of the forest are your main companion as you concentrate on making your way through each area. That being said, there is definitely some wonderful music in this game. It will show up to alter the mood at various interesting sections.

The story is minimal but there is plenty to love. There is emotion, there are surprises, there are ups and downs.

The Bad

Most of the enemies aren't very dynamic.

The Bottom Line

Tanglewood is the story of a nimble fox-like creature named Nymn who navigates a dangerous forest and battles a mysterious evil. Nymn is not particularly strong or well-equipped, but has the ability to absorb powers from little forest-dwellers called Fuzzls to help him survive out in the dark. These powers include the ability to glide, for example.

I would classify this game as a puzzler platformer. The gameplay mostly consists of exploring each level to find the exit, usually while solving Fuzzl-based puzzles to make progress. Later maps involve more large scale fights. Our hero has no offensive abilities, so he must defeat his enemies using the environment.

A brand new Sega cart is a welcome release in 2018. Not only is Tanglewood a wonderful nostalgic treat, but it is also a great game and lots of fun.