Tunic, released in 2022 is a fantastic Zelda-like game with an absolutely gorgeous art-style, engaging combat, plenty of puzzles, and an open world worth exploring.

It’s a must-play for any fan of action-adventure games. Of course, if you’re here you probably already know this, and want something to play after finding every page of the manual and seeing the secret ending.

Not many games can match Tunic precisely, but many share some things in common, like a friendly artstyle, world design, etc. With that in mind, we prepared a short list of alternatives which might be great follow-ups to Tunic, depending on what you’re looking for.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Release date:2019-09-20
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Grezzo

Given that Tunic is, by design, quite Zelda-like, it’s only reasonable to put it as the first recommended alternative.

The Remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is probably the closest match not just aesthetically, but also in terms of gameplay style. There’s a lot of exploration, a fair number of enemies to fight, and a few classic, puzzle-intensive dungeons to figure out.

The original Link’s Awakening launched in 1993 for GameBoy, so the 2019 Switch remake had quite a lot of room for improvement, and indeed, made something wonderful. Not only does the game look lovely, but there are also interesting gameplay improvements, such the options to assemble your own dungeons, or integrated gear upgrades leaving room for more items.

Key features
  • An incredible remake of the classic Zelda game, with stunning modern graphics
  • Once you beat a dungeon, you can use its rooms to make your own
  • Lovely, friendly aesthetic
  • Plenty of pleasantly old-school puzzles

Hollow Knight

Release date:2017-02-24
Genre:Action & Shooter
Developer:Team Cherry

If you are after engaging combat and an intricate world which opens up as you acquire new abilities, then you should absolutely give Hollow Knight a chance.

It’s a 2D metroidvania with a lovely, if gloomy, hand-drawn art style and a different type of Dark Souls influence. The enemies don’t respawn when you rest but if you die, you lose currencies and need to recover them safely.

Hollow Knight’s story takes place in an insectoid kingdom driven to the brink by a mysterious disease robbing its people of free will and driving them mad and violent. As a lonesome knight, you become entangled in the stories of the surviving people as you explore this world to find a cure and save the Hallownest. The choices you make will affect your ending, so consider your options well.

Key features
  • Tense, challenging combat
  • Mostly non-linear, Metroidvania-like exploration
  • Lovely 2D aesthetic depicting a gloomy, unlucky kingdom
  • A sequel, Hollow Knight: Silksong is in production (at the time of writing)

Ori (series)

Release date:2020-03-11
Genre:Action
Developer:Moon Studios

The Ori games are somewhat halfway between Tunic and Hollow Knight.

They inherit HK’s presentation and side-scrolling gameplay, but they also have 3D models, and a lovely, soft aesthetic like Tunic. On top of that, the series also adds gameplay more oriented towards precise movement and challenging platforming, than on combat, finding a comfortable niche.

The games follow a young guardian spirit named Ori, who is on a mission to stop a cataclysm causing the forest to wither. While it would be rude to reveal details of the plot, the stories of both games deal a lot with themes of loss, parenthood, and sacrifice, presented in a gentle, sincere manner through gorgeous art style and excellent animations.

Key features
  • Intense platforming which will test your precision and reflexes
  • Both games look gorgeous
  • Complex world map design: a Metroidvania through and through
  • A touching story

Hyper Light Drifter

Release date:2016-03-31
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Heart Machine

We’ve back to isometric camera, but this time with a pixel art aesthetic inspired by the 8- and 16-bit games.

Hyper Light Drifter is an action RPG with a vibrant world to explore and fast-paced combat skillfully mixing melee and ranged options. While it doesn’t have Tunic’s collectible user Manual, it does rely a lot on the players piecing lore and story together by studying the environment.

HLD puts you in the role of a professional collector of lost knowledge and artifacts, the titular Drifter, troubled by a mysterious illness and seeking a cure among the remnants of forgotten civilizations. Hyper Light Drifter has a map you can freely explore, with bespoke locations and encounters, striking a good balance between freedom and a guided experience.

Key features
  • Great combat design, using a mix of melee and ranged attacks
  • Gorgeous pixel art
  • Play as a collector of old lore and artifacts
  • A roguelike spiritual successor, Hyper Light Breaker, is in the works (at the time of writing)

Darksiders Genesis

Release date:2019-12-05
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Airship Syndicate

A complete change of tone and style. Darksiders Genesis is a good Tunic alternative if you crave a more epic, heavy metal fantasy, and a ton more combat in-between environmental puzzles.

DG is a part of the wider Darksiders action-adventure series following Horsemen of the Apocalypse dealing with schemes and plots of heaven and hell alike.

In Genesis, you play as brother Strife and War, sent to check on some overly ambitious demons. Unlike its more third-person perspective predecessors, this one has a top-down, mostly fixed perspective, making exploration feel similar to Tunic. Combat, on the other hand, is more reminiscent of hack and slash titles, with plenty of enemies to kill and spectacular abilities to deploy.

Key features
  • Playable both solo and in a two-player co-op
  • Plenty of environmental puzzles to solve
  • Hack and slash combat
  • A prequel to other games in the series

Bastion

Release date:2011-08-16
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Supergiant Games

Bastion was the first title released by Supergiant Games, before Transistor, Pyre, and Hades.

While all these games are great picks in their own right, Bastion is probably the closest to Tunic. It takes place in a land shattered into floating islands by a mysterious Calamity. The islands act as discrete dedicated levels, each with its own pieces of story and items to find.

You’re playing as The Kid, whose silent exploits are instead given voice by the Narrator, who comments dynamically on events taking place. Gameplay mostly revolved around exploring the levels and combat using a quick and responsive system feel familiar to anyone who’s played Hades. There’s no open world, but the New Game and a Time Attack mode can provide the extra longevity.

Key features
  • The titular Bastion is your upgradeable safe zone between levels
  • Gorgeous art style
  • Engaging and dynamic combat
  • Narrator who dynamically comments on what you’re doing

La-Mulana

Release date:2013-04-15
Genre:Adventure
Developer:GR3 Project

La-Mulana, as well as its sequel might well be the hardest games on the list, and an option for people who decided that Tunic is great…but would be better if it was less scrutable and more punishing.

La-Mulana is intended to evoke the style of old-school games from the 1980s, not just via 2D, 16-bit side-scrolling presentation, but also through the difficulty.

The games follow the adventures of discoveries of the Kosugi family: Lemeza Kosugi in the first one, and his daughter Limisa in the sequel. They explore the ruins left by an ancient civilization predating humanity… except things aren’t quite so simple, and the ruins are filled with traps, puzzles, and enemies older than human history. Quite a challenge.

Key features
  • Two fantastic old-school metroidvanias
  • Investigate the remnants of pre-human civilizations
  • Little to no handholding: figure it out on your own
  • Follow the adventures of the Kosugi family of archaeologists and adventurers

The Witness

Release date:2016-01-26
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Thekla, Inc

The Witness is in a completely different style, but perhaps what you want is some chill exploration of a lovely location and solving some low-stakes brain teasers?

In The Witness you explore an open-world island filled with puzzles which theoretically are all in the “find the path” line of design, but quickly start running with the idea towards complex rules and abstract presentation.

Most mazes are on easy-to-identify panels, but others might also require some spatial awareness to identify. Your exploration and puzzle-solving is embellished with numerous audio logs offering theme-reinforcing quotes from famous people, giving the game a certain introspective, insightful tone. No combat, just a gorgeous island, engaging puzzles, and trying to find a way home.

Key features
  • Hundreds of maze-like puzzles to solve
  • Spatial awareness is important: some things need to be lined in a 3D space
  • Many audiologs with insightful quotes
  • Beautiful open world opening up as you complete more puzzles

To adventure!

From The Legend of Zelda adventures, to a serene puzzle game, our list of games similar to Tunic is concluded. Several fancy isometric options, a fair share of platforming side-scrollers, and one first-person perspective game just to offer a completely different, but somehow still relevant, experience.

Hopefully, you found something that interested you among our recommendations and that whatever you choose, you’re going to have a great time.