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A flight simulator about relaxing birds that takes an unfortunate nosedive.

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Feather is a relaxing exploration game where you get to be a bird soaring through the sky, looking down at the beautiful landscape of trees, mountains, and lakes. Or a “meditative bird exploration” game as developers Samurai Punk put it. There are hoops and tunnels you can fly through that change the music you hear. You can dive into the water and fly back out. You can fly through clouds and trees. You can fly through geysers…

You see where I’m going with this. You’re a bird. You can fly. That’s pretty much the whole game. There are no goals to achieve, no objectives. The main purpose is to just explore the landscape and find the hoops to fly through to discover different songs (which you have to figure out yourself, because the game never tells you what the hoops are for.) The issue is that there really isn’t much to explore. Once you’ve combed through the landscape once, there’s no incentive to do it again. It quickly became boring, and I found myself putting it down after only about thirty minutes of playing (and that was mostly out of being generous.)

Feather does have an online co-op feature that allows you to fly with friends on any platform, whether it be Steam, PS4, Xbox One or Switch. However, it’s a passive multiplayer setting, and there is no way to communicate in-game, other than making your bird tweet (which is great if you speak bird, but not so great if you want to have conversations while you explore). Also, multiplayer isn’t especially interesting, because it’s exactly the same as single-player. Taking flight online doesn’t add any new goals or exciting things to make it worth playing.

The game’s best qualities are its graphics and music, which are gorgeous, and I enjoyed looking at the scenery, which is done in a pretty, simplistic, geometrical style. One of my favorite areas was a cave full of crystals I discovered and spent a while in. As I said before, every time you fly through a hoop, the music changes, which is very calming, full of piano and drums and chimes, and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat because it’s so pleasing. With how great these two things are, it’s unfortunate that the game is so short and suffers from occasional framerate dips. The whole thing can be explored in about an hour, and I had really hoped to keep enjoying the beautiful scenery for a while longer.

Feather has gorgeous landscapes and a fantastic soundtrack, but there’s a lack of places to explore in a game that places heavy emphasis on exploring. The whole world can be discovered in a short amount of time, and there is no incentive to keep playing after that. The multiplayer is underwhelming and no different than playing alone, which is unfortunate, because exploring with friends would make the game a lot more fun. If you’re looking for something relaxing, this may be the game for you. But be warned: it will quickly cause your attention to take a nosedive.

About the Author: Sebastian Stoddard