“What sense in there in this place? only the fog itself knows, and the fog itself is unknowable.”
Earlier this year, Catherine Brinegar had written a preview of Badru’s upcoming environmental tactics game. Finally now the general public can join in the enchanting experience with a a sort of early gameplay episode set within the titular Foreverlands itself.
Something that becomes immediately striking upon starting the game is how the lush earthen overworld provides an exquisite atmospheric landscape, a backdrop for the conquest that lay ahead of the fledgling goblins in your party. It’s evident that Badru, Isa Hutchinson and Michael Bell have come together as a team that’s more than capable of vivid world-building, the sort of setting that draws the eye as well as the mouse further into the fog.
It’s not hard of recent to feel a touch fatigued by the wave of contemporary indie games that overly rely on spartan flat shaded visuals. Tenderfoot, on the other hand manages to retain a strong sense of self and individual identity in the face of this trend, setting out for a more painterly influence and emphasis on minimalist UIs and tasteful visual FX. Everything in Tenderfoot comes across as intentional, cultivated in service of the larger whole, with no element of the experience wasted.
As you protrude deep within the haze of the Foreverlands, there is an ominous sense that you are the interloper, an intruder from a forgotten foreign land, and the fog closes in on you in response, recognizing you as a threat and shifting angrily like a reflex. Emerging from the grey horizons are guardians manifested by the malevolence of this place, eager to pursue your units in a wrathful frenzy, the drums of war distantly pounding.
Only determination, nerves of steel, and the clever deployment of the Goblin’s abilities will tell if you too, are doomed to become a phantom that will forever wander these lands.
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice