PAX West 2017: Soar Through a Mysterious Kingdom in The King’s Bird

When players need a break from more high-intensity games, sometimes it’s best to look for something with an overall more calming atmosphere. The King’s Bird puts players in a silhouetted world that at first looks as though it may be a gentle trip through the forest. The King’s Bird is a welcoming title for players of many skill levels, but will progressively challenge those looking to make their way through the kingdom presented before them.

The King’s Bird follows a young girl in her journey to discover what is going on in this mysteriously quiet kingdom. The dangerous terrain has tons of bramble and pits in the way trying to stop her, but fortunately she can glide and dash her way past these to make it towards her destination. Levels flow in a linear progression, gently guiding players where to go as it teaches the basic mechanics and how to use them to her advantage in order to keep moving forward. The gameplay is forgiving, setting occasional checkpoints players can return to if they happen to die on their current run and quickly continue where they left off.

There are two main abilities players can use. Aside from a fairly familiar wall jump frequently seen in platformers players can make use a dash that allows them to move quickly along the ground, ceiling and any other flat platform she touches. These dashes are fairly short, but allow her to make quick work over pits with a ceiling, gain quick momentum and even help climb walls. She is also capable of gliding over long distances, determined by the amount of momentum she has managed to build up. A white cape-like trail behind the character will alert players as to how much longer they can glide and can be regained by touching down on solid ground. While getting used to the momentum can take some time, it becomes increasingly satisfying when pulling off long segments of fast movement that keeps players on their toes and alert to what is coming next.

The King’s Bird finds inspiration from games based around speed, while also being a title with simple controls that new players can easily get used to. It may take a while to become a true master, but it welcomes people of all levels in gaming by being very forgiving of mistakes while learning. For more advanced players, The King’s Bird offers opportunities to become a master with planned scoreboards on time taken to complete levels, death counts and even a replay feature to examine gameplay.

Whether interested in being the fastest or just looking for a lovely title to make way through, The King’s Bird is a delightful looking game with mechanics that have a flow to them. While it won’t take long to understand, for those truly up to the challenge, it will take time to master the momentum-based gameplay and quick reflexes needed to stay on course without getting hurt. Although it has no set release date at this time, players should keep an eye out for the silhouette of The King’s Bird when it releases for a simply enjoyable platformer setting itself up to be a title that truly stands out.