11th Jun2019

Digital Shorts: ‘Refunct’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Refunct, a new “relaxation” game now available on the Nintendo Switch.


Following on the recent trend of relaxation games released for Switch, Refunct differentiates itself by having an achievable goal and an oddly addictive quality for its relatively brief running time.

I’ve played a few games in the casual / relaxation genre over the past couple of months, the most recent of which was Feather, a game in which you, as a bird, fly over a small island. It had decent mechanics, visuals and controls but nonetheless felt somewhat of a tech demo due to the lack of a sense of progress or an end point. Refunct is instead a first-person platformer with surprisingly robust controls and a smooth frame rate in which you are plonked into a colourless, grey landscape and must light up all available blocks by traversing the vertical world, landing on each one (there are also some slightly more difficult pick-ups available, but I’m not sure what they do beyond providing a tiny, extra challenge) as you make your way around.

Though the gameplay may seem one-dimensional and slight, this is not a game that burns with challenge or demands twitch-like reflexes, it instead is a gentle and deathless romp through a cubic world designed to relax you as you meander.

As is to be expected, the soundtrack is quiet ambience which rolls in and out as you leap around and all sound effects are soft and unobtrusive. As I slowly lit up the towers in the game using wall-jumps and boost platforms, I must admit that was quite immersed, much like Car Quest, I was drawn into the almost hypnotic, simple idea. There’s also a percentage on the pause screen which shows how far away you are from completion which yearns to be 100%’d. Upon reaching this ( a process which takes around an hour), there’s a quite nice, short ending animation and you can begin again.

There isn’t much more to say as it’s quite a basic premise but I can see this game not only being aimed at casual gamers but I would personally use it as a way of showing children or non-gamers an entrance point into an easily understandable 3D world. It’s not a game I will personally return to but for fans of a more casual genre or a new entrant, it’s a pretty decent starting point.

Refunct is available on the Nintendo eShop now, at the bargain price of £2.99 / €2.99


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