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The King’s Bird review

The precision-platformer arrives on console.

The King's Bird
Credit: Serenity Forge

The King’s Bird flies to us from Serenity Forge, an independent studio based in Colorado, U.S. that prides themselves into creating ‘meaningful and value-driven experiences’. With a handful of games, it very much appears that they’re doing just that: giving heart and soul into each game they release. The King’s Bird lands beautifully, being a perfect example of just that.

The story in The King’s Bird is told almost completely non-verbally, aside from sounds each character makes. This means everything you gather about this rich world has to be told through inflections, body language and how the environment around you responds. The beyond-this-world feeling that comes from it, almost like the entire universe is celestial, comes in from every corner. Even the music plays a factor in the storytelling–the drama and suspense of incidental actions is paired with the appropriate soundtrack…something to truly push that immersion further.

Watch The King’s Bird console trailer below:

If the art style in The King’s Bird is the tempter, then the controls are what will get you to stay. Footed in a uniquely built system of momentum based movements, your adventure will be based around the grace of a ribbon dancer. Elements of parkour seep through with the platforming–every wall jump looks light as a feather as you fling yourself around the each level with ease.

The showcase in all of this though is the gliding physic…for better or for worse. Instead of the glide commencing from the point of launch, you can opt to allow yourself to drop, gaining falling momentum before opening up to glide it out. This will cause your glide to have more force behind it, which adds greatly to the complexity of using this mechanic. There’s no way to get out of the game anticipating that you know, and have mastered this skill; you will be using it to traverse dangerous canyons and reach tricky heights quite frequently.

View some screenshots from The King’s Bird in our gallery:

The King’s Bird does a fantastic job at making the impossible look far too easy. When you execute one of many maneuvers to progress, you look like poetry floating through the air. Your character lands delicately on tip toes, as the roses look on and sing. The reality beyond the screen is a different story. As lovely and wonderful as The King’s Bird appears on screen, it can be truly difficult to make your way through. Some of the platforming demands are so steep, with a real flair for combining all that you know in one swoop. There are many times that completing one jump feels like an entire level within itself. There’s an appreciation for the challenge, but also much frustration with the relentlessness of it.

The King’s Bird is no doubt a spellbinding experience. It’s gorgeous visually, compelling in it’s sound and truly unique with it’s gameplay. I can fully recommend it if you have a lust for challenge as well as all these wonderful details. If you’re looking for a breezy fly-by though, I think it’s best to just glide on.

The King’s Bird was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the publisher.

Publisher: Graffiti Games Developer: Serenity Forge Release Date: August 23rd, 2018 Reviewed On: PC/Steam Also Available On: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch


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