Feather – Needs More Lasers

Five things that should be done to improve Feather from Samurai Punk:

1. More Lasers – I was disappointed to find out that there are no advanced bird mounted lasers in Feather. No weapons of any kind really. No assault rifles. No shotguns. Not even any pistols. You are just a bird flying around and just… *looking* at things. Who would want to just spend some peaceful times looking at things when they could be blowing up a fully destructible environment with rockets and bombs. More lasers in the update please!

Needs more napalm.

2. Heavy Metal Soundtrack – The music in feather is far too calming and relaxing. Why would anyone listen to the dulcet ambient tones of Mitchell Pasman when they could listen to real manly music from groups such as Corroded Funeral, Screams of Chaos, or Deathspell Omega? I mean, it’s like Samurai Punk wants us to relax and enjoy life a bit instead of maintaining in a constant state of PUMPED UP RAGE! Who has time for not being angry all the time?

Needs more metal.

3. Brutal Death Animations – You can’t die in this game. When you crash the game just rewinds time a bit so that you can take a different path through the scenery. I tried repeatedly to kill my bird by crashing it into to everything that I could find in the world. There were beautiful water falls that didn’t kill me. Lovely forests that didn’t kill me. And majestic snowy mountaintops that also failed the murder my bird. When a bird dies it should have a really gory animation where it explodes in a giant puddle of bird goo. I tested this by taping birdseed to the inside of the windows in my apartment and documenting the results when the birds smacked into it. It’s super gross.

4. More Missions and Achievements – I don’t know about you, but having no structure in a game is really frustrating. I mean, Feather just expects you to fly around and explore the world. You can find hidden underground caves leading to grottoes of musical mushrooms. But really this game needs a rigid quest and achievement system to keep the player on track. If we don’t have quest markers, how will me know what to do?

What is the point of beauty if you can’t destroy it?

5. Multiplayer Death-match Battle Royale Mode – There is a multiplayer component to Feather. You can see other birds that are online with you at the same time. You can even may bird noise at them and follow their paths as if you were free as a… um… bird. But real gamers don’t want to be free as a bird. They want to be free as Americans. Which are the freest things in the world. And that includes the freedom to destroy weaker players with your elite skills. Other people shouldn’t be allowed to play this game without being instantly slaughters by my rocket laser bird (see point 1). That is true freedom. Git gud.

Also, loot crates.


Roombo: First Blood – Stains on the Carpet

Back in the 8 and 16-bit eras there were a whole bunch of terrible jank-ass games based on the hot movies of the time. They were pretty much all terrible. Made with no doubt limited budgets and seriously limited time frames they were generally just cheap-skate cruddy platformers. Occasionally though, there were the outlines of good ideas in these games mired in the half-assed execution.

One such game was Home Alone, based on the hit movie starring that kid we all liked for a brief minute and Donald Trump. It was developed by some jank-ass little no-name studio from Maryland, and was a jank-ass garbage game. However, the game had some good ideas that I always thought would be worth stealing by an indie dev sometime in the future. The innovative part of Home Alone was that it was a trap setting game. You had to maneuver little Donny around a house and set traps for the crooks so they didn’t brutally murder you. The execution was jank and ass, but the idea was sound and worth developing.

You’re not hunting it. It’s hunting you.

Samurai Punk has developed that idea into Roombo: First Blood. Created for a Game Jam, you control a brave little Roomba as you defend the home of your owners from a stream of crooks. You do this with the power of Bluetooth! You’re connected to other systems in the house and can use them to stop the thieves. Drop a ceiling fan on their heads! Blow up an electrical socket and electrocute them! Blow up some windows in their vicinity! Do all the things at once! Make them bleed! Hoover up enough blood and you can just charge at them and kill them that way. Then you have to dispose of their corpses and clean up.

You control your blood-thirsty roomba with WASD tank controls and activate household appliances by clicking on them with yer trusty mouse. There are six levels with a corresponding number of criminals in each. I found the difficulty curve to be in a real sweet spot. In the early levels I was simply amused and allowed to wander around and try things without too much worry that the crooks would destroy me. The middle levels were the hardest as I was forced to really learn which traps were the most effective and which escape routes worked best when they came for me. I died a lot. However, I persevered, and once I got to the later levels I felt like a bad ass. Killing off five or six crooks at a time made me feel really good about myself. Just… so much blood. Everywhere. So, kudos to Samurai Punk for laying out a really good and satisfying difficulty curve.

They drew first blood. Not me.

It’s not a perfect game by any means. It’s a small scale Game Jam game at its core, so it’s limited in scope. The controls felt a bit unresponsive to me at times, and there’s only one home layout with six levels. I played through it in just over an hour, and wasn’t really feeling the urge to go back and master it. But that’s okay. Not everything has to be a jank-ass mega game like Skyrim. You do get maybe the best reward I ever seen when you complete all six levels. You unlock a gallery of pictures of buff sexy roombos. It’s amazing. I’m glad I have those in my life now.

And hey, here’s the inaugural Burpy Fresh Happy Fun Time Stream Hour with your host Curtis the Inverted. Tuesdays late night, after Leno.