Every now and then it’s nice to fire up a video game that doesn’t require any skill or even much thought to get into. That’s exactly the type of game Feather is from developer Samurai Punk, the same team that brought us Screencheat and The American Dream.
It’s hard for me to call Feather much of a video game because there isn’t a lot to do in it. To me, it came across as much more of an experience rather than a game with objectives. Upon starting up Feather you take control of a bird and are free to fly around the island set before you. You are given a quick on-screen tutorial teaching you how to move the camera, fly faster, do a barrel roll, and more and after that anything else you do is up to you. Controlling the bird on the Dualshock 4 felt good and it’s simple enough that you can hand the controller off to anyone to play it.
The island has lots of trees scattered about some of which has fruit hanging from it that you can fly up to and eat. I didn’t find any point to eating it but you can absolutely do it. You can soar way up into the clouds and then take a dive all the way back down into the ocean if you choose. Caverns are hidden beneath the island and flying through them you can find a portal that will take you to a second island with different scenery. The game also has online multiplayer support for up to eight players and it works in a similar way to something like Journey. Sometimes while flying about you’ll encounter another player and you can chirp at them, fly with them, or just go about your way. It’s a neat concept but seeing another player wasn’t anywhere near as meaningful as it was in something like Journey because this game doesn’t really have a goal to it.
There are also different types of birds you can use like a raven or a seagull and you can change into them by flying through triangular shrines on the island. It’s all just cosmetic as I didn’t notice any differences in how they controlled. There are other shrines you can fly through to change up the music in the game and I noticed there was a pretty good number of tracks to listen to. All of them fit the relaxing mood that this game has going for it. The visuals have a low polygonal look to them which was fine as they are quite pretty. The bird is also animated quite well which shows that quite a bit of thought went into it. The island also features a full day/night cycle which further enhances the visual experience. Trophy hunters out there will absolutely want Feather on their radar as it has 12 in total including a Platinum. You can easily get all of them in probably twenty minutes or so if you know what you’re doing.
I enjoyed my short time with Feather but there isn’t enough here really to make me want to go back to it. Flying around, seeing the sights, and listening to the different music was relaxing but that’s all I can really say about it. It’s priced pretty fairly though so if you’re looking to spend a little while just soaring around as a bird this might be for you.
*Feather is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.