The beat 'em up genre hasn't been thriving as much in the modern day as it did in the arcade era. However, there have been a few in the last decade that have made the genre shine, such as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game and Castle Crashers. When it's done well, it's still great fun, but developer LEAP Game Studios hopes to take the genre a step further by blending it with roguelike gameplay. Tunche dares to be different and Shacknews ventures to see how different by trying out the Steam Games Festival demo.
Tunche takes players to the Amazon, brought to life with a hand-drawn art style. This is where a tribe of villagers look to subdue the mad god, the title character Tuche, by journeying across the perilous jungle. There are multiple characters to choose from, all with their own distinct stats, abilities, and even their own stories. There's even a cameo with Hat Kid from A Hat in Time as a playable character. On the surface, Tunche looks to emulate many classic arcade brawlers by offering four-player co-op. Within minutes, you'll feel like you're playing something like Final Fight or Double Dragon. However, the more you go in, the more Tunche will feel closer to a roguelike in the vein of Hades.
Players must plow through areas packed with enemies, like killer frogs and projectile-tossing monkeys. Upon clearing an area, players must navigate branching paths. Like the aforementioned Hades, there are icons to indicate what each path will lead to, whether it be extra currency or additional experience points. Sometimes, players will find story events that delve further into the backstory for the various individual characters. The action will pause briefly for a comic book-style cutscene that explores each character's story and what set them off on their adventure.
Because Tunche is structured like a roguelike, death in this beat 'em up means starting over from scratch. There's no putting a quarter back in and returning to where you left off. Instead, the focus is on taking your currency and your experience points and buffing your character's stats so that they can go farther in their next run. Players can improve their characters by picking up new abilities, stronger combos, or items that can be used during play. The idea is to eventually make it all the way across the game's four worlds, defeating powerful bosses along the way.
While Tunche will look to offer plenty to the solo player, the fact that it offers four-player co-op is a strong selling point. Unfortunately, it's all local, so PC users will either have to share their rig or go it alone. Can the enraged Tunche's rampage be stopped? Find out when Tunche comes to PC in Spring 2021. In the meantime, check it out during the Steam Game Festival.
This preview is based on an early Steam demo build provided by the publisher. Tunche's demo will be available in the Steam Game Festival 2021 and the game will launch Spring 2021 on PC via Steam.