Tunic’s PS5 exclusive feature turns Game Hub into a ‘couch friend’

By Lee Brady,

Tunic on PS5 introduces an exclusive feature using the PS5 Game Hub to give the player hints without spoiling any secrets. Tunic developer Andrew Shouldice compared the new feature to having a "couch friend" play along with you.

Tunic developer Andrew Shouldice sat down with TrueTrophies at Gamescom 2022 to talk about his game's upcoming September 27th, 2022 release on PS5 and PS4. Having discussed the joys of secret trophies, we asked Shouldice if there was any Tunic PS5 exclusive feature he was personally excited about, and his response explored an interesting reinterpretation of the PS5's Game Hub feature.

tunicCuteness overload. We regret making this image.

Developer Andrew Shouldice on Tunic's PS5 exclusive feature

We've been excited about Tunic coming to PlayStation consoles since it was first announced at Sony's State of Play earlier this year, but we hadn't heard whether the game would support any PS5 exclusive features upon release. So, when we chatted with developer Andrew Shouldice, we asked whether there was a PlayStation-exclusive feature coming to Tunic that excited him, and the developer was quick to bring up the PS5's Game Hub.

"On PS5, in particular, you have Game Hub, which you can access to give you hints and clues," Shouldice said. "Here's this game, [Tunic], that's all about secrets. [We thought] what if we included a guy that solves all of the secrets for you? But, that doesn't really work in a game about secrets."

TunicAll optional as well, so it's not like we have a potential Navi problem here.

"I thought about [Game Hub] for more than five seconds and realized what [it] allows us to do is to simulate the couch friend," Shouldice continued. "The couch friend is the person who's like, 'Hey, have you tried going here? Oh, I noticed that you haven't done this? Have you looked at page 21 yet?' That's the ideal experience, having someone who maybe knows a little bit about a game and pushing you in the right direction, especially when it's a game centred around secrets."

Here at TrueTrophies, we absolutely fell in love with this idea. It brought back memories of playing classic PS1 games like Crash Bandicoot 2: The Wrath of Cortex and hearing from friends at school or down the road about the fake wall in the sewer level or a trick to get the blue gem at the start of the game. These hints would be enough to make you think — 'well, if they can figure it out, why can't I?'

TunicWe'll never tell you how to get this, though.

Shouldice explains the nuance here, and how this differs tangibly from reading a walkthrough: "If you just go to a guide you're probably not gonna get a gentle nudge, you're probably gonna be told exactly what to do, or you're going to read too far into the game and [stumble upon] spoilers. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to have a gentle nudge whilst also having the possibility of fully disclosing stuff if you don't want to deal with the secrets? That's what Game Hub is — it's ideal."

While perhaps not something we would want for every game — when we're hunting down those The Last of Us Part 1 trophies, we probably just want to know exactly where each collectible is — it's definitely something we think would work great for a game that leans as heavy on exploration and mystery as Tunic.
Shouldice goes on to describe how to use the feature a little further here: "What we have is this structure where at any point in the game — maybe you haven't got the sword yet — you press the Hub button, which pops up saying: 'Have you noticed any signs pointing you towards these forests? That might be a good place to look.' Then, if you still need more information, you can ask for more from the Game Hub system. It's perfect for a game all about secrets and that's the thing I'm most excited to see people engage with when Tunic comes to PlayStation."

We're definitely excited to engage with the Game Hub system too when Tunic releases later this month. For more of our Gamescom coverage, make sure to check out our System Shock gameplay impressions, Wanted Dead preview, and read all about The Callisto Protocol's PS5 audio, its PS Plus problem, and it's upcoming DLC. Let us know in the comments whether you'll be taking advantage of the couch friend system too!
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium, recent Sony news), and his secret third eye on the junk he really likes (Sonic Superstars, Final Fantasy XVI). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
Hide ads
View discussion...
Hide ads