Kitsune Tails is a cute retro platformer about queer romance

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“What if Super Mario World but it’s about a cute kitsune on a quest to rescue her girlfriend?” That seems to be the idea behind Kitsune Tails, the next game from the creators of Super Bernie World.

In Kitsune Tails, you play as a young fox spirit who’s heading out on her first journey as a messenger for Inari when a kind sorceress comes to her aid, sparking the beginnings of a romance between the two. But that goes south with the kitsune’s own mentor imprisons the sorceress in an elemental prison, turning her first delivery into a rescue mission and an exploration of “the complicated relationships between kitsune and humans”.

Kitsune Tails is a classic 2D platformer with a colourful retro pixel-art style. Your journey takes you across five different elemental worlds inspired by Japanese mythology, with a variety of different powers available in the form of cute outfits—like a cute shark outfit that lets you run across water.

It’s described as a follow-up to Super Bernie World, a parody of Super Mario World created in support of Bernie Sanders in the lead-up to the 2020 US election. While Kitsune Tails is obviously very different in theme, it looks like it shares a similar sort of playful energy, sense of humour, and retro-inspired presentation.

Here are the game’s key features, from its official site:

• Classic platforming action set in a land inspired by Japanese mythology
• Explore five elemental worlds and various haunted houses
• Learn new elemental powers and use them to find secrets and optional story content
• Unlock a bonus ending by fully exploring the relationships between characters
• Use cute outfits to power up or stomp around by stealing a giant boot from enemies
• Defeat your haughty former mentor and her gang of foxy minions
• Stomp on pangos to make them curl into a ball, pick them up, and kick them around
• Carry lights through haunted houses to reveal secret doors and ward off ghosts

Kistune Tails is coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC via itch.io and Steam, with a planned release in early 2022.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.