Furi is one of the many games I wanted to play on PC or console but never got around to purchasing. Lucky for me, French developer The Game Bakers decided to bring the game to the Switch in January, and I’ve been fortunate enough to review the boss-fight gauntlet. A mix of stylish fighting game and bullet hell shooter, Furi pits you against an ever-increasingly hard series of boss fights to get out of some futuristic sci-fi prison. You don’t speak, and your only companion is a mysterious sword-wielding bunny-masked man. With style driven by the creator of Afro Samurai, a killer electro-synth soundtrack from top artists, and boss fights designed by Afro Samurai’s Takashi Okazaki as well, Furi is a work of art. But is it fun to play? That answer is definitely a yes. This is our Furi Switch review.
The gameplay of Furi is straightforward. While there are large periods between boss fights where all you’re doing is walking (or letting your hero auto-walk by pressing B once), these times serve as a way to discover the game’s narrative as the bunny-mask wearing man slowly unfolds what happened to you, where you came from, and why you’re breaking out of this space prison. Normally, this sort of passing gameplay is something I’d frown upon, but as a cinematic experience it works well and gives you plenty of “take a breather” time between the game’s intense boss fights.
I’m not the best at bullet hell games or difficult combat games (think Dark Souls). Furi offers a simpler difficulty level as well, for people like me… it’s still challenging, but you won’t have to die nearly as much. The only downside is that on the easy “Promenade” mode you won’t unlock speedrun mode which lets you fight all 10 bosses in a row, without the cinematics. That can only be done on the higher difficulties. This is fine for me because despite how much I enjoyed Furi, it’s still a game that’s best on its first playthrough as its replay value is diminished when the mystery is gone.
Each boss fight comes in waves, as they should. They teach you their mechanics, you work down their health and shields, and then they up the ante. Probably the easiest fight for me was the old man you face third in the series. Turns out, he may have gone soft on you, anyway, because the rest of the game’s battles are increasingly more difficult. All told, most players will beat Furi in just a few hours, more or less depending on how much you need to retry each fight.
It’s an experience worth the price of admission at $20, but there’s a part of me that wishes there was more exploration, more “trash mob” fights between the bosses, and more to do altogether. As an example of boss fights at their finest, Furi is a great game. And when it was over, I felt like I’d achieved something, even on easy mode. I suppose the reason I’m a little disappointed in the game is that it left me wanting more and that’s a good thing. Furi is out today, January 11th, on Nintendo Switch. If you’ve yet to play it elsewhere and love the premise, give it a look.