Refunct
Gameplay 7
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Refunct is a short and sweet indie game that provides players with a first person platforming experience that is surprisingly relaxing. Jumping around and filling gray squares with green grass just by touching them is quite soothing and you’ll soon find yourself pulling off moves like wall jumping with ease. The whole thing can be completed in under thirty minutes and there is no risk of every dying, which means it might be a little boring for action fans. However, considering the low price and entertaining gameplay, there are far worse ways to spend those thirty minutes.

Gameplay: Fun and relaxing, but over a little too soon.

Graphics: Quite minimal, but everything looks great and fits the mood of the game.

Sound: Also quite minimal, but once again very fitting

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Refunct

Developer: Dominique Grieshofer | Publisher: Dominique Grieshofer | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Casual / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

It is not very often that the words “first person platformer” goes hand in hand with calm, and relaxing, but that is about the only way to describe Refunct. It is a first person platformer that gives you a simple task and a tranquil environment to do it in. Your task is nothing less than restoring a vibrant world, but don’t worry, as it is infinitely simpler to accomplish than what you may think. Refunct doesn’t have any death defying traps, snarling monsters, obscure puzzles or bloodthirsty opponents to deal with. Instead, it is a single player title where it is impossible to die and everything is so simple that you don’t even need a tutorial to show you the ropes.

The first thing you’ll notice when starting Refunct is that you are in the middle of a seemingly endless body of water and surrounded by some imposing gray columns. Stepping on a gray square results in it being covered in vibrant green grass, which means you’ll quickly be hopping around trying to convert everything in sight. You may also notice a red beacon of light shooting up at the sky and make your way over to it to investigate. Upon reaching the light you’ll find that it originates from a button that when pressed causes more platforms that were just under the water to rise up. With each new set of columns you uncover the challenge of reaching all the grey squares and buttons become a little more challenging, but it never feels impossible and you have more than enough tricks up your sleeve to get to them.

Since you cannot die, you are free to explore your surroundings without the fear of doing something wrong. While initial blocks and buttons can be reached with a few short jumps, you will soon discover that your character is also capable of wall jumping to reach higher spots. Then there are lifts that can take you higher and springboards for an extra boost. Reaching some spots also requires you to crouch down low or make use of the pipes that are dotted around. While exploring you might even spot a couple of cubes that are floating around on spots that are just out of reach. Collecting them are completely optional, but making the effort rewards you with a couple of unique achievements. Refunct doesn’t have any sort of story, but the texts that accompany the achievements appear to be designed to make you reflect. The achievements all have names like “What Drives?” “What makes you, you”, “What makes you smile?” and “Do you do what you love?” There’s no need to collect any of the cubes, but they ad some extra incentive to try a few of the trickier jumps.

Refunct is a pretty nice looking game and while it doesn’t have a ton of detail or a very large gameworld, it is quite soothing on the eyes. To add even more visual polish to the game, the developer has implemented a short day and night cycle, which contributes to the atmosphere while playing. The audio is just as minimalistic as the graphics, although the music is quite relaxing. The lack of any voices or jarring sound effects, combined with the stylish visuals and tranquil gameplay makes Refunct a great game to chill out with if you don’t have the strength for anything else.

Just because Refunct is a very relaxing game doesn’t mean that you can’t challenge yourself with it. On average it takes about thirty minutes for players to complete the game, but it also lends itself very nicely to speedrunning. This is why after the release of the game the developer also included a couple of achievements to encourage speedrunning, such as one for finishing the game in eight minutes and one for completing it in less than four. Both of these feats can be accomplished with a bit of practice, which makes Refunct a nice entry point for players who are interested in trying their hand at speedrunning.

Refunct doesn’t do much, but what it does, it does well, which makes it hard to criticize. The game is indeed very short, but this is also reflected in the bargain price it is being sold at. Paying for a game that can be completed in less than thirty minutes might not sound like value for money, but the low price and replay value more than makes up for that. Having said that, the playing area of Refunct is rather small and we would definitely have liked to see more. The single level available feels like it is just an introduction to a larger game that never appears. The inclusion of an editor and Steam Workshop support could have gone a long way towards endearing the game to more players and making it a favorite among speedrunners.

As it is Refunct is a nice little Indie gem that offers a similar feel to games like Mirror’s Edge, but without any of the stress or worries. If you have some loose change left in your pocket and want to kill a few minutes without taxing yourself too much, then Refunct should definitely be considered.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 / AMD A6 @ 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 240 / AMD Radeon HD 4670 / Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 / AMD FX @ 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 / AMD Radeon HD 6870
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • OS: macOS 10.11.4
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 / AMD A6 @ 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 240 / AMD Radeon HD 4670 / Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: MacBook 2015+ / MacBook Air 2012+ / MacBook Pro 2012+ / Mac mini 2012+ / iMac 2012+ / Mac Pro 2014+
  • OS: macOS 10.12
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 / AMD FX @ 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 / AMD Radeon HD 6870
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: MacBook 2015+ / MacBook Air 2012+ / MacBook Pro 2012+ / Mac mini 2012+ / iMac 2012+ / Mac Pro 2014+
  • OS: Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 / AMD A6 @ 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 240 / AMD Radeon HD 4670 / Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Storage: 250 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 / AMD FX @ 2.4GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 / AMD Radeon HD 6870
  • Storage: 250 MB available space

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