When you first jump into Tunic, it can be a little bewildering. Don’t worry – we’re here to help.
Tunic is purposefully obscure, drip-feeding you information in subtle and often cryptic ways. This is a game that wants you to figure everything out for yourself as you play. And that’s part of the fun: uncovering a new secret or figuring out something major is one of the real thrills of playing Tunic.
But we could all do with a little nudge in the right direction sometimes. We’ve put together a few tips that should hopefully help you out in your first few hours with the game.
Grab a weapon straight away
Don’t make the mistake we did and go exploring before heading into the really-super-obvious cave right at the beginning of the game. Just after you step off the beach, you’ll see a cave with a mailbox outside of it. Go in it. There’s a stick in a chest – a makeshift weapon that’ll see you through the next section of the game. Get it before you go anywhere else!
Make sure you equip it, too. Once you’ve picked it up, press LB to bring up your menu. Select the stick, then press either X, A or B depending which button you want it to be assigned to. Press LB to leave the menu, and now you’re free to whack away.
Explore, explore, explore
There’s only really one way you’ll figure out what’s happening in Tunic, and that’s by exploring. Spend as much time as you can simply poking around its world, trying to find secrets, hidden pathways and rooms you haven’t been in before. Not only will you find useful items that’ll help you in journey later, but you’ll likely also uncover the path you need to travel. Nothing in Tunic is obvious, so you’ll have to get used to spending time looking around.
Hunt out instruction book pages
Look out for glowing pages dotted around the world. These are instruction booklet pages, which you’ll collect as you play. They’re very important, as they provide useful information about your adventure. Often the information on them is obtuse, but find enough pages and it’ll all make more sense. Plus, they’re delightful to look at thanks to their beautiful art and quirky doodles.
Upgrade your character regularly
You’ll find various items in Tunic, and some of them you won’t really know what they are. Some items can be equipped and used as weapons, bombs or potions. But you’ll also find other items, like flowers, mushroom and fangs, that seemingly have no purpose. Except they do! They’re very important, as these provide upgrades to your character. To use one, you’ll want to find a statue – the same statues that act as checkpoints. When you’re stood by it, press LB. You can then make an offering, which in turn will grant you an upgrade.
Here’s what each item does:
- Fang: increases attack
- Fox statue: increases defence
- Square flower: increases potion effectiveness
- Pink flower: increases health points
- Leaf: increases stamina points
- Mushroom: increases magic points
Hold down ‘A’ on golden squares
See those mysterious golden squares dotted around the world? Hold down ‘A’ on one of them to get transported to a mysterious ‘hub’ world. You can use it as a sort-of fast travel system. And if you find the right page in your instruction booklet, you’ll know exactly where each square will take you.
Make good use of items
As you play through Tunic, you’ll amass various items in your inventory which can be equipped. You’ll find several types of bombs, from traditional bombs to dynamite to bombs that freeze enemies on explosion. These can be really useful in combat and help get you out of a tricky spot. Make sure to always have something equipped that you can toss in a bind, as your game doesn’t pause when you head into your inventory menu.
Use checkpoints… with caution
You’ll want to interact with checkpoints regularly – the glowing statues that you’ll find spread evenly around the world – but do so with caution. You see, a statue saves your progress and restores your health – but it also resets all enemies in the world, bringing back any you’ve just killed. If you sense you’re on the way to a boss – you can usually tell with a change in environment, music, and the fact that the area just before is often devoid of any other enemy – it’s worth using a checkpoint. But if you’re simply exploring up and down, it might not be worth having all the enemies you’ve just cleared come back.
There’s an easy mode, if you want it
If you’re finding Tunic far too challenging, you can head into the accessibility options and turn on either unlimited stamina or no-fail mode. In no fail mode, you’re essentially invincible. Clearly it’s not the designed way to play, but it can get you out of a tight spot if you’re ready to give up on trying to beat a boss. It’s always nice to know you have a fall-back option, at least. Besides, games don’t have to be challenging. As long as you’re having fun, that’s the main part. And Tunic‘s world is gorgeous enough to be explored without the difficulty factor.
Use your maps
If you’ve found them, your instruction booklet has pages with maps for most areas in Tunic. They’re interactive, too: an icon will appear on your location and it’ll track your movements. It can come in very handy, especially when in some of Tunic‘s tighter locations.
If you find a coin, toss it in a well
You might (eventually) get a nice reward. That’s all we’re saying.