I am always one to volunteer when it comes to playing a game that puts scenic visuals and ambient, peaceful gameplay on display. As a huge fan of Journey and Abzu, I have an appreciation for titles in the field that can tell a story without words, and make its players aghast at the beauty conveyed through both the audio and visual reception. Having reviewed Screen Cheat in the past, I was excited to see that Samurai Punk had a title that seemingly fit the bill. That title is Feather, and while the audio/visual aspects are pretty fitting, there is not much past that sadly. This is a short but sweet review of Feather, the relaxing flight simulator from Samurai Punk.
“No enemies, no combat, no threats.” The store description is pretty transparent on the titles lack of action per say, which I had no problems with. I have played passive games like this before. So I dove in, almost literally, as your bird takes flight and you are quickly introduced to the games controls. They are fairly simple, offering a speed up and slow down, in addition to a flip and barrel rolls. After that, you are free to explore the islands. And that, that is pretty much it. No trials, no goals, just flight and music. I would had hoped there would have been some sort of collectible to entice discovery, but only the discovery of music awaits players. There is a variety of these obelisks scattered around the island that, when flown through, change the song. That is all though, aside from passive online multiplayer (I was unable to find another player.) While I understand concept, there still needs to be a reason to warrant something outside of a 10 minute play session.
Visually, the game is pleasing to the pallet. Bright colors pave the way for a simplistic, polygonal look for most of the games landscapes. The game’s performance can sometimes show a struggle in handheld mode, causing frames to drop during deep dives from the sky and other fast transitions. The game’s music, which seems to be in large part a primary selling point, is definitely relaxing as intended. A specific, piano heavy track fondly reminded me of Sigur Rós, which helps the build the case of the music being the focal point.
Feather is a pretty sound buildup of a game, but without objective, it feels like a hard sell. It feels more like a tech demo as opposed to a fully realized title, which may be fine with some players at only $10, but for me personally, it lacks any substance that would bring some back to it outside of an hour or so worth of total game time. While pretty and pleasing to the pallet, Feather does not quite take flight as a full-fledged game, which it is mostly open about. But for me, and maybe others, it might have enough to offer general audiences. Feather has the intention of freedom, but as it stands, the experience feels pretty caged.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final sCore: 6.5/10
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