Published and developed by Rewind Games, Tanuki Sunset is a third-person longboarding game with a colourful aesthetic. It’s certainly eye-catching and it caught our attention for being something unique. It’s not everyday you see a wild animal longboarding after all.
In Tanuki Sunset players will take on the role of Tanuki. Tanuki, a Japanese raccoon dog (or at least we hope he is. Tanuki are not to be confused with normal raccoons), is a longboarder and must master the art of longboarding. That’s easier said than done though since Sunset Island is filled with some truly dastardly roads.
Gameplay in Tanuki Sunset is fairly straightforward but a controller is still recommended for playing this title. Players will control Tanuki’s longboard with the left analog stick. Your speed and direction are controlled by the left analog and players can drift by pressing and holding down X on their controller. It does take some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, longboarding is quite fun.
The tracks on offer in Tanuki Sunset are all randomly generated within a level and have intermittent checkpoints within them. If you fall off the track, you’ll respawn at the previous checkpoint and this can be slightly infuriating in-game. Why might you ask? Well, the answer is because the distance between checkpoints is rather large. Crashing into a car or falling off the track right before a checkpoint and being set back quite some distance is more annoying than it should be in a game that prides itself on being a chill experience with laid-back beats.
Players will collect “Bits” as they longboard across Sunset Island. These Bits can then be used to purchase cosmetics for Tanuki back at Bob’s Skate Shop. The shop is your base of operations and at the shop, you can walk around and interact with the two NPCs that sell items to you. The cosmetics they sell are accessories for Tanuki himself or accessories for his longboard such as different wheels or skins for the board itself. At the shop, you can also interact with an arcade cabinet and take part in “Trials” which are an additional challenge for Tanuki.
Once you get a bit further into the game, you can eventually pull off tricks with your longboard. It’s remarkably fun to longboard at high speeds, launch yourself into the air via a ramp, pull off a few tricks and stick the perfect landing. Even more so when you can do this repeatedly throughout a level while avoiding collisions with objects such as cars or barriers.
The soundtrack in Tanuki Sunset is one of the game’s best features. While the game features a vaporwave aesthetic, the soundtrack in Tanuki Sunset contains a collection of chill Lo-Fi beats and tunes with even some retro-funk thrown in. Every single track in the game is great and we hope that it’s made available for purchase either as a separate download on Steam or elsewhere at some point.
Graphically, Tanuki Sunset is great. The graphics while low-poly are still appealing and the game even has a photo mode which makes for some great screenshots. Trying to pull off a trick and using the photo mode at the same time is a challenge but it can be done.
Overall, Tanuki Sunset is a great indie game. It’s simple enough to pick up and play without struggling too much despite being slightly rough around the edges with regards to the checkpoints. The soundtrack, aesthetic and gameplay will keep you entertained throughout. Finishing the game’s three to four-hour long story mode will unlock an “Endless” mode and this adds to the title’s longevity. Highly recommended, especially for the soundtrack.
You can purchase Tanuki Sunset here on steam for £11.39.
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