Nintendad

[Review] Feather – Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by @Brett_SevenDaze

  • Developer: Samurai Punk
  • Publisher: Samurai Punk
  • Release Date:  05/04/2019
  • Price: £8.09 / $9.99
  • Review code provided by Samurai Punk

Intro

I’m like a bird I’ll only fly away……. sorry for the obvious Nelly Furtardo pun, I don’t know where my soul is, Stop it Brett…. I don’t know where my home is…. Ahhhhh.
Right, now that I have got that out of my system, I had the pleasure to review a tranquil and relaxing sandbox game named Feather.

As I get older and adulting gets in the way, the time I get to actually sit down and play games is getting less. Even though I miss ploughing endless hours into AAA epics there is something truly special about games like Feather. Here we have a game, well more of an experience, that can let you completely switch off and enjoy the scenery of an open world island as you soar the skies as a bird.

Is it a bird?….. hmmm yes it is

After jumping into my first play through of Feather I was searching for objectives and tasks to complete, flying through portals to see what happens and setting alight the sporadically placed fire pits by tweeting on them in case they unlocked something. Then it hit me there is actually nothing to accomplish here other than to explore every inch of what the island has to offer. From the heights of the snow-capped mountains to the hidden underground caverns with only bright scintillation emitting from the spores floating around to see the path in front of you.

The developers over at Samurai Punk have created a pretty impressive world to delve into and with the use of low poly 3D, the graphics are beautiful. There is definitely a lot going for this game but there are also a couple of issues, the frame rate being the main one which can sometimes hinder the game play. I mainly found it to happen when I was turning quickly and collided into the surroundings. If I veered off and crashed into a rock, the respawn cut scene would be be an unsightly experience due to this problem. My second concern was when the day cycles from night and day, I found the haze from the sun during dusk and dawn to be a bit much and in some angles blurred my vision.

The Dawn Chorus

The soundtrack to Feather compliments the game play perfectly with the soothing sounds of a piano in the forefront of most tracks with hints of elemental sound effects creeping through, from the wind whistling or the crashing of the waves makes for a relaxing experience. There are many portals located around the island. When you fly through them it changes the mood and tempo of the music to match the terrain you are currently in.

Don’t want to be Owl by myself

When navigating through the menus you will find ‘Go Online’ located under options, after clicking on it and being welcomed with a black screen saying connecting I was intrigued what was on offer. At first nothing had changed – I was flying around the island confused by the online functionality. Then it happened, contrails started appearing in the sky. These were left from another bird.
Someone had joined!!
There was something charming about the fact I was racing around the Islet with another player not knowing who they were and with no means of communication other than tweeting at each other.


Conclusion

Feather is unique in the sense that it is more of an experience rather than a game. With no story line to follow and no objectives to complete it can be a short lived one at that. Once you have flown through the portals and navigated the environment there is very little to do, but due to the nature of the game it is definitely one you can revisit over and over again.

The game has so much charm and charisma going for it with the low poly graphics and the impressive soundtrack but there are a few issues that let it down and the main culprit is the frame rate. If this can be improved in a future update then Samurai Punk are onto a winner.

The online features are a fun addition and can add longevity to the game play but I feel it needs a little extra to want you going back for more. Maybe a competitive mode with obstacles and trials would help, but on the other hand, that would change the feeling of the game and what Samurai Punk originally set out to achieve.

***I just want to take the time now to formally apologise for the many unnecessary bird puns that were included in this review***

PROS
• A unique experience
• The soundtrack
• Easy to just pick up and play
• Online functionality

CONS
• Frame rate issues
• With no objectives it can get repetitive
• A Small map that can be explored within 1-2 hours

Verdict
A beautifully crafted world which has no limits as you soar the skies and explore, An experience that is designed to help you relax and unwind but with no tasks to carry out it can get a little repetitive and short lived.
3/5

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