Games used to be simple. Bounce the ball. Escape the ghosts. Shoot the asteroids. As technology and the “language” of gaming evolved, we now have entire worlds operating with physics, weather, finite resources, crafting systems, combat systems, in fact, all kinds of systems. While open world games like Breath of The Wild or Red Dead Redemption provide rich rewarding experiences, sometimes a player may yearn for a return to pure simple experience.
Feather is such a simple game. You are a bird flying serene and beautiful landscape, accompanied by calm music. There are no enemies. No objectives. You can’t “die”. That’s really it.
That might be all some of you need to know about the game. If you are looking for a game with story, or challenging combat, or puzzles, or resource management, look elsewhere. But if you are the type of player who enjoys a zen-like experience soaring over lovely scenery with some nice music, this might be just what you’re looking for.
Flight feels smooth in Feather. Everything from the camera to the directional inputs has the correct sensitivity so you can fly without fighting the controls You can slow down, speed up by flapping or speed up even faster by diving down. One stick controls your flight direction, and the other controls the camera. You can dip underwater, and if you brush through a tree, leaves will fly out. If you crash into something, the game simply rewinds you far enough back to correct your mistake. You can chirp to other players that drop into your island if you’re online. And yes, you can even do a barrel roll.
The most natural feeling flight will be pretty boring without some ambiance, and fortunately, Feather delivers this. There is a variety of features to fly over from mountains to rushing streams, and there are even some intriguing ruins around the island. The scenery is all very diverse and colorful, rendered in a blocky polygonal fashion instead of being photo realistic. There’s a fair amount to explore around the island, including a few mysterious secrets from a lost civilization, but you’ll see everything in under an hour.
A day and night cycle gives a bit of variety to the small island’s scenery but the feature that prolonged my play beyond the initial half hour of discovery was the music. Scattered throughout the island are nine rings, and flying through those rings starts another ambient music track by Mitchell Pasmans. His tracks are great for creating a chill vibe to soar to, and really enhanced my enjoyment and length of time I spent playing the game.
Feather is a game that some will love and some would walk away from in five minutes. If you’re seeking a flight game for your Switch with competition or objectives, maybe check out Pilot Sports instead. But if you’re looking for a relaxing experience celebrating the beauty and freedom of flight, Feather will be the wind beneath your wings.
Feather is available on Nintendo Switch and Steam. A copy of the game was provided by Samurai Punk for the purpose of this review.
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