TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Foregone’

This one dropped just a wee bit too late to be in last week’s new games round-up, so yes, technically this week’s Game of the Week is a game that came out LAST week. But you know what? That just means I’ve had that much extra time to enjoy Big Blue Bubble’s Foregone, and feel just that much more positive that it deserves this Game of the Week recognition. Originally available on PC and consoles since last year, Foregone has made a surprise arrival on iOS, and trust me when I say that if you’re a fan of action platforming then you do not want to sleep on this one.

Are you someone who bounced off of Dead Cells because of its roguelike elements? Or do you love Dead Cells but also sometimes just want a more linear experience while still enjoying a heaping helping of amazing loot and character progression? Foregone is here for you. It is impossible not to notice the Dead Cells inspiration here. The art style, the animations, the enemies, the overall vibe of the game is unmistakably reminiscent of Motion Twin’s classic. This isn’t a bad thing, mind you. The production values in Dead Cells are best in class. But it’s important that people don’t write Foregone off as some poor rip-off or clone.

In fact, despite some of these visual and mechanical similarities, Foregone is quite unlike Dead Cells in most other ways. As I said this is a linear story-driven action game. You will sometimes bounce back to a previous point with the game for one reason or another, and you will definitely die A LOT because this is a heavily skill-based game, but you’re always brought back to your nearest checkpoint and your progress is always moving forward. This isn’t a game that’s designed to be ran through over and over like Dead Cells is, this is a game that’s meant to be conquered from front to back. It’s kind of refreshing given how prevalent roguelike elements are in games nowadays.

The last point of comparison I’ll make between the two games is with difficulty. They are both very hard games, or at least appear to be at first glance. In reality these games reward skill and practice. I remember many points in Dead Cells where I threw my hands up thinking “This is impossible!" only to keep trying and eventually persevere. Then, much later on, I’d simply breeze through those spots that had given me so much trouble before. I learned, I adapted, and I got better. Foregone is cut from this exact same cloth, and will reward you for learning enemy patterns (especially with its epic boss fights) and properly understanding and utilizing its dazzling array of gear and weapons.

I can’t overstate how satisfying this all is. Dead Cells is one of my favorite games of all time, on any platform, and was our 2019 Game of the Year. I’ve often joked that I wish I could give it Game of the Year every year. Well, here we are at the end of the year, and Foregone just happened to show up on iOS… Hmmmm. Ok, I won’t go that far (yet), but I will say that this has served up so much of what I love about Dead Cells but in an almost entirely different manner. It’s like taking all the ingredients of your favorite meal but preparing them in a totally new way to form yet another fantastic meal. If I had some criticism it’s that the text is a bit tiny on iPhones and it could use some more robust virtual button customization, but the controls do work well enough and physical controllers are supported too.

To be honest I hate leaning so hard on comparing one game to another, especially when Foregone stands so well on its own. But like I said, it’s impossible to ignore the similarities to Dead Cells even at very first glance. It is far from a copy though, and plays much more like an homage by a huge fan, and Big Blue Bubble has never been shy about them being inspired by Dead Cells. So if you’re a Dead Cells junkie like me (and so many of us here), I have little doubt that you’ll gobble Foregone right up.

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