A Tour of a Beautiful, Maddening Game, Thanks to Beautiful, Maddening GIFs


It’s difficult to convey why a game “feels” good. A combination of factors, knowable and instinctual, results in a game where the act of doing feels good, whether it’s swinging an axe, climbing a wall, or flying through the air. And while 2018 has delivered us all sorts of feel-good games—Dead Cells, God of War, Monster Hunter: World—the latest to grab my attention is The King’s Bird, a platformer I’m almost sure you haven’t heard of.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/mb4zqv/a-tour-of-a-beautiful-maddening-game-thanks-to-beautiful-maddening-gifs


I refunded this game, and watching those GIFs still makes me angry that a game supposedly about the freedom of flying is trapped in a game about spikes. Like … put that mechanic in an exploration game, not a game that throws you straight into platformer hell from the very first level.


Obviously, you should refund a game if you don’t like it. But I don’t really know if it’s fair to complain that the game shouldn’t be a masocore platformer? Like… that’s just the game they wanted to make?


It may be the game they wanted to make, but it’s not the game it’s being sold as. The difference between how it looks in GIF and trailers, and how it plays is kind of unbelievable. The tagline is “Flight - Flow - Freedom”, but masocore platformers are, by definition, the opposite of all of that – they’re about finding the one precise way to beat a level, because all the others result in instant death.

The current trend of indie games being riffs on roguelikes and brutally difficult old-school platformers is just exhausting to me. Like, wake me up when fun starts being a popular design choice again.