Tuesday, April 16, 2019
More of an elegant and visually striking proof of concept or meditative experience than a game, "Feather" has you take control of a bird that soars through a lavish environment.
And that's about it.
Slim on content but loaded with emergent gameplay, the project from developer Samurai Punk stretches the arthouse game concept to its limit.
Its experimental, ephemeral nature of the gameplay is meant to entrance and relax you. There are sights and experiences to seek out and explore, but there's little structure to progression.
Then again, progression isn't the point. You can adjust your speed, pitch and altitude, and the effect truly allows you to lose yourself in the flow. Like one of the early PC flight simulators, "Feather" is all about granting you the virtual gift of flight, letting you take to the skies in a way with a sense of control you could never approach in real life.
Unlike the endless blue skies in which it frolics, a title like this does have its limits though. Working best in short burts or meandering wind-downs at the end of the day, "Feather" ends up being the gaming equivalent of a stress ball.
It will be interesting to see if Samurai Punk -- or another developer -- takes the controls and visual style here and expands it into something grander and with more focus. Even when enjoyed on its chosen level, "Feather" is as light, aimless and adrift in the wind. The question of whether you see something like that as worthy of a landing spot on your Switch is up in the air.
Publisher provided review code.