An entourage of cute animals, some beautiful hand-painted visuals, and a fantastic soundtrack with music supplied by Leavon Archer, Mighty Mill’s Tanuki Forest [$0.99] is a huge breath of fresh air compared to the increasing number of mediocre endless runners that are gradually finding their way onto the App Store. This may be Mighty Mill Games first project, but the team behind this charming new and exciting game has had plenty of past experience, with titles like TimeSplitters and Criterion's Black as part of their credentials.

Your goal is to manoeuvre a flying squirrel through an endangered forest, rescuing as many animals as possible along the way whilst avoiding the hazards and keeping out of harms way. If you collide with one of those treacherous looking spiky objects, then it’s curtains for you and your chain of animal friends, but luckily as you advance throughout the forest there are various gates in which to deliver them to safety. That said, the more gates you skip over, the better your multiplier bonus, so sometimes it works in your favor to take a risk then play it safe.

IMG_1904

Thankfully, Mighty Mill Games doesn’t overcomplicate things when it comes to their simple one-touch control system. Gliding your squirrel protagonist through the air requires simply holding down your finger upon the screen; in turn, letting go will cause squirrely to fall towards the forest ground. That’s not all though; as you advance throughout the game, you will be able to switch to other spirit creatures that each require a different method of command. Each time a new spirit creature is encountered, a new control system is then explained, and gameplay continues onward with this new guide. Though it’s literally all one-tap based, this simple change of tactics keeps things highly interesting and new.

Along the way, you’ll collect Kami, which in turn can be exchanged to purchase various power-ups, outfits, animals, magic trails or items for the den. Surprisingly enough, Tanuki Forest is fairly generous, for a free game. You won’t ever find yourself reaching into your bank account to keep yourself entertained, and there’s always something new to experience throughout. For example, there are also a set number of challenges for each run-through that require achieving certain goals as you advance. This could be anything from holding a chain multiplier, passing through a specific number of gates, or rescuing a specific number of animals.

Yes, Tanuki Forest is an endless runner at its core, but it’s beautifully designed, highly original, and incorporates new and exciting elements of play to keep things interesting. Whatever Mighty Mill’s influence where Tanuki Forest is concerned, it’s without a doubt a leading front runner and full of charm. It excels in areas where others have failed, and doesn’t make you feel like you’re constantly on a road leading to nowhere. Kids and adults alike will love it, and it’ll definitely keep you entertained for countless hours.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • wizardhowl

    This is an amazing game! Downloaded it day one and haven't stopped playing it since! I don't know why the App Store hasn't highlighted it, but there you go. IAP is completely unobtrusive & art is beautiful. Real class act. So much so that I bought the kami doubler just to support the developers!

    • Jake-gumbleton

      Thanks wizar howl!! :D

    • djstout

      Totally agree with you

  • http://www.superbatcave.com Super Bat Cave

    I like this too. Gameplay and movement seem a little sluggish to me, but the visuals are superb.

    • Jake-gumbleton

      Hi there I am one of the two man dev team. We have changed his flight speed when the game is slow at the start for future versions (should come through the build after next) but he really is only slow in the beginning. Once the game is moving along fast the controls are pretty dam tight :)

      I hope you enjoy playing it!

      I can't wait to see someone break though the 10,000,000 points marker :)

      • http://www.superbatcave.com Super Bat Cave

        Thanks for the update! It's definitely still on my devices, and I'll continue to play, and look for the update! Check out our game too! :)

      • Jake-gumbleton

        Ace will do :)

      • djstout

        What's new in the next update?

      • Jake-gumbleton

        I can't make any promises as we are somewhat pressed for time but I sure will try and add that black cat that you are after just because it's so nice to have such a passionate fan of the game out there :) it will be a few builds (weeks or months) away Mind.

      • djstout

        Well thank you for thinking about it, don't worry if you cannot make it as it was just an idea that came up to my mind. Just saw Kiki delivery's service (the movie) at the cinema today, very similar to Ghibli's anime. You'll love it if you like Miyazaki's work.

  • sokae

    Lol, the word tanuki remind of 'chopper' in one piece manga.

  • djstout

    My favourite game of the year with Oasis! I love this one very much, very easy to play, great atmosphere and great music! For all Ghibli's fans, get this one!

  • Purohan Pirilu

    @Jake-gumbleton Hi, I'm the guy who left a comment about the bad translation in the French App Store.

    I'll go edit that comment out because I hadn't realized this gorgeous game was made by only 2 people.

    But... I still mean it, it's really, really badly translated - and this was a deal breaker. Even though the game looks great.

    I haven't removed it from my iPad yet but wasn't willing to play again, just because of that.

    I have no idea whether a botched localization really works against an app, and I'm not sure how localization works, but if it's just a matter of editing/correcting a text file, I'm willing to do that for you - for free, of course. Let me know, if you're interested.

    • Jake-gumbleton

      Hi there,

      The translation was done by a mate as a favour. I had no idea it was bad. Can you explain what is wrong with it? I guess it must be pretty awful for you to come and find me like this!

      Can you pm me and I will email you so we don't have to do this in public :)

      Thanks so much for the heads up !!
      Jake

      • Purohan Pirilu

        Sure. Should I edit my first message? I wasn't trying to publicly shame anyone. (Actually, I was convinced you had googletranslated the whole thing and called it a day.) PM coming up.

      • Jake-gumbleton

        No I have let my friend know it's okay :) honesty is best :)

      • djstout

        I am French too, so if you need my help, let me know.

      • Purohan Pirilu

        Hey DJstout :-) Jake let me read/correct the doc, there were mostly typos after all, the translation really wasn't as bad as I thought at first. Congrats for the top5 on the leaderboard btw!

    • Jake-gumbleton

      I can't find your username on the message system. My email is jake@mightymill.net please do drop me an email :)

  • EggYolkeo

    What a gem! Hard to believe this is made by only two people. Beautiful artwork! Hats off :)

    • Jake-gumbleton

      Thanks :) I loved painting this game :D

Tanuki Forest Reviewed by Lucy Ingram on . Rating: 4