Note: I received this as part of a Humble Monthly Bundle. In recent months they’ve added “Humble Original” games to the bundle. Which are games that are games that haven’t been released yet, and are often borderline experimental. This is one of those. I’m not sure you could actually buy it if you wanted. Visit their Steam Greenlight page to check it out.
Copoka is a game where you are a bird. That is it. Go play it if you want to be a bird.
You want more?
Okay. Let’s see…
You are a magpie. You have eggs in your nest. But what is missing from your nest? Why, shiny things of course! Magpies are alls about the bling. You should fly around the city of Copoka and collect some bling.
There really isn’t any challenge to it. Nothing is going to stop you from getting the bling. This is a straight up exploration toy. You fly around the city of Copoka and environs to see what you can see. Your reward is seeing pretty things rather than any traditional game rewards. Like, you don’t get a laser-beak upgrade or laser-eyes or nothing. You are just a bird. You occasionally find power ups that let you fly faster. And that’s fun, I guess?
The flying controls are standard, but well implemented. Your pretty little bird avatar controls like pretty much every other flying thing in video games ever. But the simplicity is kind of the point here. You want complicated? With wind resistance gauges and elaborate HUDs and everything? Not happy if you don’t need a keyboard overlay to figure out how to fly a thing? Then Copoka isn’t for you. Go play Microsoft Flight Simulator/Insomnia Cure. Or just have some wizard cast flight and sleep on you.
So, why play? Two reasons:
1) The graphics are lovely. Copoka is essentially an interactive digital painting of a small European city. You have complete freedom of movement from the start so no part of it is unavailable to you. Fly around the forest. Look at a waterfall. Land on a balcony and gaze at the people below. Listen to the lovely music. Relax.
2) No one notices a bird, so you are able to overhear snippets of conversation from the people of Copoka. Copoka is a totalitarian state and the inhabitants will speak of their plight when you are nearby. It’s a pretty basic JRPG storytelling technique with the mute protagonist being introduced to the story because people in the town will just say anything to a mute with spiky hair and a sword. Except in this case you aren’t an angsty young farm boy, you are a bird. You can tweet back at them. There is a tweet button. But people don’t really respond to tweets. They do not even give you bread.
I suppose the greater point here is the contrast between the limitations the humans face living in a fascist state and the unfettered nature of your avatar. Some of the conversations you overhear are of potential rebellion. Some of quiet desperation. And some are just silly. But, none of them really matter, after a few sentences your back in the air exploring and living your bird life.
The only drawback is the complete lack of wizards. It is, one supposes, possible the your avatar is a wizard who failed his save against a polymorph spell. But, I doubt it. No self respecting wizard would let themselves get polymorphed into a magpie. Magpies are thieves, dawg. Wizards would be all, like, ravens. Caw caw.