The Little Fox is an absolutely adorable but challenging game made by Zplay and h8games. The idea of the game is simple enough; you play as a cute little fox that adventures across various planets. As you run and hop through these environments, you'll enjoy the great music, the happy-go-lucky tone, and also curse the game's difficulty. That's because at its heart, The Little Fox is a game of speed and precision. There really isn't any aspect of luck to The Little Fox, it entirely comes to your ability as a gamer to progress. This made each victory feel deserved and rewarding. Unfortunately, too much challenge is worth nothing if the controls are faulty or the game runs badly. Does The Little Fox handle its challenge well, or is it too frustrating to warrant a try? Let's find out.
Let me reiterate something immediately. The Little Fox is super cute. The game's graphics resemble a type of cell shaded style. Textures are blocky and toy-like, making serene winter landscapes and forests feel gentle in spite of the hard edges. Conversely, more intimidating environments like the Sweltering Canyon and Burning Volcanos feel harsh and dangerous. The game is very centralized though, and all fits into a comfy theme.
The Little Fox is unsurprisingly about just that... a little fox. The controls are incredibly basic, as you only tap the left or right side of the screen to turn. Each of the game's levels are laid out in a sort of grid-like fashion. You play from a top down perspective, turning and pivoting at critical moments to avoid falling off the map. It starts out simple enough, with plenty of room to move. Before long, you'll find yourself running along super thin pathways and making giant bounds over chasms. It's high-stress at some points, but thanks to quick respawns and a forgiving checkpoint system, you'll have ample opportunities to overcome each level's challenges.
Each level has three distinct challenges; clearing the level, obtaining all of the teardrop collectibles, and a time trial. Don't underestimate the difficulty of these challenges, as only true masters of the game will be able to earn all three for every world. Besides in-game challenges, there's a hefty list of 51 achievements to unlock. Achievements range from completing different levels to perfecting worlds. Achievements unlock at a steady rate with just standard play, so you'll feel rewarded even if you're not gunning for anything in particular.
Life management could've been unfair, but I'm glad the developer chose to go with a less-greedy stance. If you lose all your lives, you can purchase 100 for a mere dollar, or infinite lives for 2 dollars. However, those looking to play completely free will also be happy to know that free lives are just as easy to obtain. Watching a brief advertisement nets you a generous 10 extra lives, and lives also generate over time naturally. Lives will go quickly though, especially as you aim for more difficult challenges.
With only 12 worlds to play, the game won't take you a huge amount of time to beat (if you're just trying to finish each world). This was my only disappointment with The Little Fox. I would've liked to see the gameplay evolve as levels continued, but it generally stays the same throughout. I've only seen a few games that control like The Little Fox, including a game I previously reviewed called Hellriders. Although the two games are quite different in tone, Hellriders was a bit more inventive with its variety in gameplay scenarios. I think that if The Little Fox implemented some of these spins on the normal gameplay, it would be a much better experience.
Despite the gameplay staying relatively unchanged throughout, I still felt that The Little Fox was a great time. I commend the decision to keep micro transactions low and not bothersome, and I really appreciate the style and cuddly nature. Generally speaking, The Little Fox is a great game. While it's not super lengthy or revolutionary, it's a competent and well designed gameplay experience. You won't find yourself sinking hundreds of hours into the game, but rather a few very compact and rewarding hours. In my opinion, that's a better experience anyway. Whether you're looking for a good challenge, or just want to see a cute fox bound through some pretty environments, The Little Fox can accommodate you. With controls easy enough for gamers of any skill level, I highly suggest giving The Little Fox a download today. If anything, it will brighten up your day and bring a smile to your face.
Reviewed by Matt
Watch The Little Fox Trailer