Feather

Samurai Punk‘s game Feather relaxes players with smoothing, serene bird simulation gameplay anchored by an ambient music soundtrack. The environments, sounds, and mechanics are the stars here and they don’t disappoint. The additional online play option for up to eight players is a great addition to this largely one-player PlayStation 4 game.

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Players take flight with birds in a beautiful, flat-shaded world without enemies, combat, or objectives. The open-world navigation contains several pass-through objects including obvious “gates” and “portals.” The speeds are peaceful or thrilling plus the underwater dive-bombs are exhilarating.

Designers have a “back-up” feature that automatically activates when players get stuck for another chance to right the course. The light learning curve mainly involves navigation as players can really enjoy the experience that also includes a dynamic weather system that provides some challenge.

Sound cues indicate unlocked materials. The soundtrack can also change as you pass through certain objects.

The day and night changes along with the soundtracks and sound effects by Mitchell Pasmans (Skeletone Audio). Players can unlock several unique songs on the island.

The control mechanics include the square button to caw, triangle button to reverse course, R2 button to boost, and L2 button to slow. The R1 and L1 buttons spin. Landing can be a bit tricky but is easy to master.

Soak in the sights by recording stills and/or video, which pauses the gameplay when you start.

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Control options are plentiful and resemble most flight simulation games.

Also available on Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox One. The PC (Steam), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions will contain the Explorer Update by September 30. The Nintendo Switch version will be updated soon. This update includes full capabilities for cross-play where players from all platforms can play together as well as new songs, new birds, new weather conditions, graphic improvements, perch points, and a brand new area.

    Definitely a game for the birds, but in a good way as there’s always something to discover, thrill, and excite. Highly recommended (***1/2 out of four stars) and rated E for everyone. Communities at http://www.discord.gg.samuraipunk also add more to the experience.

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