Are you thinking about bird-based video games, for some reason? Here are some you may not have heard of. (And obviously the one you definitely have.)
The world has, rightly, been losing its mind over Untitled Goose Game. It’s a mixture of charming presentation and stealth sandbox fun that deserves all the praise it is receiving.
And it is receiving much. In what has become a perfect storm of marketing, expectation, and actually delivering on the promise of the premise, the goose has sold bucket loads, stormed Twitter, become a superset of almost every other meme you can think of, and even picked up a few celebrity fans. (Including Chrissy Teigen and Blink-182, among others.)
Untitled Goose Game isn’t the only game in town when it comes to bird-based video game entertainment, however. If you need more digital birds in your life, here’s where you need to look.
A Short Hike
Untitled Goose Game may shine a spotlight on bad bird behaviour, but A Short Hike is a very different sort of avian experience. Adam Robinson-Yu’s short adventure centres on a young bird who goes out on a hike to the top of a mountain, to try and forget her worries for a day, but you might just find yourself forgetting your own.
A Short Hike is just as cute and as the goose, but unlike the untitled goose, focuses on self-care and positive actions, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face for different reasons. A Short Hike is genuinely one of the best games of 2019.
Like Untitled Goose Game, Falcon Age is another very successful bird-based video game released in 2019.
Available in both VR and non-VR flavours, Falcon Age sees the player engaged in falconry in an adventure game setting. You’ll train, fight, and bond with your bird over the course of Falcon Age (but you’ll probably have the most fun doing the optional stuff, like teaching it tricks and dressing it up in little hats).
If the goose game is all about being a loud, obnoxious jerk, then Feather is about as far in the opposite direction as you can get. A meditative, zen-like experience, you’ll soar around gorgeous environments, nibbling away at a peaceful, chillout activity in short bursts.
The biggest complaint in our review was that there wasn’t more of the world to enjoy, but if you find the experience calming, against the din of modern life? This is one you’ll keep coming back to.
Pekken was borne of one of those ill-advised Twitter bets. “Get this tweet to 10k RTs and we will make Pekken,” wrote Jon McKellan of NoCode, the studio behind narrative adventures Stories Untold and Observation. Accompanying those words was a short video of PS1-era, polygonal pigeons pecking at one another in mortal combat.
Get this tweet to 10k RTs and we will make Pekken after Observation drops. That's a promise.
— Jon McKellan (@jon_NoCode) January 27, 2019
Sometimes this nonsense just writes itself, and Pekken was born. (Though we’re not sure when it will see the light of day.)
When a game like Untitled Goose Game captures public imagination, people undoubtedly start thinking about what comes next. After the inevitable cries of “Put the goose in Smash!” (no, don’t do that, I don’t want to see the goose harmed) thoughts turn to a sequel. More goose, but in a different setting, perhaps? Or maybe other birds being jerks, like seagulls or pigeons?
Ah. Well. Someone’s actually working on that last one. That someone is Bossa Studios, the team behind I am Bread and Surgeon Simulator, which seems like a great fit.
Piawk is a monochromatic, simplistic-looking bird-based platform adventure. The best way to describe it would be a cross between Box-Boy! And, well, being a bird, Piawk is a short, single-player experience that – like Untitled Goose Game – allows you to call on your bird powers of pecking and tweeting to solve puzzles and navigate an adorable pocket universe.
Piawk is currently in development by HiWarp and is expected to release some time in 2020.
Recently funded on Kickstarter, Skatebird does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a skateboarding game. About a skateboarding bird. A Skatebird, if you will.
Developed by Glass Bottom Games and set in a Micro Machines-like tabletop world, Skatebird sees you grinding on pencils and jumping on, well, kickers and ramps (but they’re made out of cardboard and sticky tape, naturally). Skatebird is an adorable game about doing your best, busting out some tricks, and – in a concession to modern gaming – decking your bird out in hats and other outfits.
Discovery is our semi-regular round-up of irregular video games and indie gems.