Refunct is a low budget experience that costs almost next to nothing to invest in, and has enjoyed a wide range of massively positive reviews over on PC. I use the word experience rather than game, because for the most part, that’s exactly what it is. Only after you’ve plugged in several hours of play does it begin to feel more like a game, and this isn’t by any means a criticism, it’s simply an observation. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game that’s this cheap to pick up, and had me totally captivated for each and every minute of play, in great lengths.
The game takes place in a world that has no colour, surrounded by water, and full of platforms that you need to traverse using light parkour play. You’re tasked with touching every platform, which will then cover over in grass, as well as collecting a band of red floating cubes. Dotted around the environment will be small red circular buttons that emits a red streak of light into the sky. When pressing a button, it will submerge more platforms for you to make your way around.
In terms of difficulty, it’s a very easy game to get to grips with. Once you’ve got a handle of the controls, everything else becomes second nature. Do note, and this is pretty much a given, Refunct can be completed in roughly 30 minutes. There’s a layer of replay value for those that enjoy speedrunning and record setting, but outside of that, you’re left with a brief session that you can nuke before your coffee goes cold.
The actual gameplay is fluid and built to cater for your own pace. The game wants your complete attention from the moment you pick up control, and before you know it, you’ll be bouncing, wall running, sliding, and even swimming from platform to platform. It really is a marvellous experience, and not one that will be lost in my memory anytime soon. That being said, I cant completely praise Refunct. On two of my play sessions, I witnessed two instances of the frame-rate dropping. I do have to point out that these were very minor occurrences, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it.
The visuals are just as calming and welcoming as the soundtrack. Everything that you can see from the get-go looks absolutely inviting. There really isn’t that much to see from a level-design point of view, but this is to be expected when you take the scope of the game into account and weigh it up with the pricing. With that to the side, the developers have clearly put a decent amount of effort forward, because Refunct certainly looks the part, and plays the part.
I really didn’t want to stretch out this review longer than it needed to be. It’s one hell of a short game, married to one hell of generous price tag. The visuals and the soundtrack go hand in hand well, and the gameplay is incredibly fluid and satisfying, despite some frame-rate issues. The game may only go on to last roughly 30 minutes a pop, and half of that when you bond with the mechanics, but for what it is, it’s hardly an experience you can scoff at. Refunct is certainly aimed at the speedrunning crowd, and it’s there where the longevity will be drawn from the most.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.