Continuing the grand old tradition of the 2D adventure game, Won-O-Soft’s upcoming free title Fox Tales: Escape from Dr. Goober casts the player as a resourceful little critter and sees them trying to elude the nefarious clutches of a deranged scientist by running and jumping through a vibrant world inexplicably filled with floating chunks of land, killer wildlife, and all manner of deadly contraptions.

Now, I’m a sucker for old school platformers and I was quite impressed with indie developer Won-O-Soft’s last game, dual-stick shooter, Danger Express – Surviving the Alien Infestation, so when they got in touch to ask if iFanzine would like to take Fox Tales for a spin ahead of its App Store release, I was more than happy to oblige.

As I say, Fox Tales is a platformer very much in the classic mold – the aim of the game is simply to get from each level’s starting point to the exit while gobbling as much fruit as possible, avoiding obstacles and trying not to fall off anything – but that’s not to say it’s predictable in the slightest.

For starters, interestingly, Won-O-Soft have opted for a combination of tilt controls for movement and a virtual action button for jumps. While playing, you can also make use of a free-roaming camera (see the eye icon in the first screenshot?), which is really handy for helping plot the most viable route through stages. It’s worth noting that while I did have some concerns about how well the tilt mechanic would work given the accuracy of control platform games usually demand, I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s more than adequate and that the action consistently flows fluidly.

Traversing the bizarre, side-scrolling levels is a lot of fun, and, brilliantly, the game almost feels like a puzzler at times thanks to your having to engage the old gray matter to figure out the least hazardous way of approaching certain obstacles and evil Goober’s collection of contraptions. In addition to these tilt-powered platforming sections, Fox Tales also features a trio of mini-games that introduce a 3D perspective on the action. Judging from the screenshots I managed to get my paws on, one will involve navigating your way through alligator infested waters in a row boat!.

I only really tipped my toe into what the game has to offer for this preview, but, so far, Fox Tales seems like a pretty engrossing adventure; the core gameplay is never less than compelling, its retro graphics, in particular a series of quirky cut-scenes with a snazzy cell-shaded style, impress, while that diverse clutch of mini-games should help keep things interesting.

iFanzine will of course be reviewing Fox Tales in full when it hits the App Store, however based on the time I’ve spent with it so far, the game’s shaping up to be something of a must-have at the unbeatable price of free!. One to watch methinks.