The 2D Action title is nothing new and has been done in gaming for a very long time. But taking this and blending it with new ideas & concepts makes this genre stand out among other game styles for the past few years. When former Sony developers at Super Hatch Games, they decided to present there take on this genre of gaming with Featherpunk Prime, a 2D action title blending the dual-stick shooter with a 2D action platformer.
Is this genre blend creating a fun title? Or does the game suffer from too many ideas?
The plot follows our main character, a cybernetic flamingo-like creature and is living peacefully with his fellow species. But after a ship abducts some of his clan, he hops on and lands inside their facility. Using his skills wielding various weapons, he augments himself and goes on an adventure to save his friends.
While the plot is simple, it is enough to help the game create this alien location and the presentation of the games world further helps this. Overall, the set up is solid and a great excuse to explore various floors of shooting action.
Gameplay & Design
Featherpunk Prime’s core gameplay is taking the 2D Action/Platformer but blending in rouge-like elements & the twin stick shooter. What this means, is that we have a lot to talk about with the games mechanics and features.
You move your character with the WASD keys, jump with the space-bar (after some configuration) and use the mouse to aim & shoot your guns. But you also have other abilities like sliding with the Shift key and switching between two guns at a time with the Scroll button on your mouse. This works very well and even if you cannot use a normal controller like the developer suggests, you still will have a great time with the games controls.
What makes this game stand out is its leveling up system, as when you destroy creatures and smash objects in the world, you collect orbs. You can use the orbs to upgrade your character with a comprehensive set of options; larger health, faster slide ability, higher attack power and more. This makes killing everything and exploring every level rewarding, as you are consistently getting upgrades by simply shooting everything you see.
Another great part of the game is that despite the rouge-like element of the level generation, the games levels are tightly designed with your character in mind. Plenty of platforming sections to test your reflexes, usage of mechanics like the wall cling to great effect and the really rewarding boss fights make the game a treat to play. More so once you upgrade yourself enough, giving you a strong sense of power.
With any game with shooting elements, the weapons are key and the tools you have to play with here are really fun to use. The pistol is rapid fire depending on how much you press the Left Button on the mouse while the Crossbow having interesting mechanics (you can launch a simple shot or charge it up then release it for a more powerful blast). The shotgun is also a treat to use, as its blast radius hits many foes at once making it a go-to gun to have at your disposal.
Overall, the gameplay and progression in Featherpunk Prime is very tight and responsive.
Lasting Appeal & Replay Value
The game offers a lot of content to play around with, as playing through the game with various difficulties opens up new challenges to complete. You also have a lot of Steam Achievements to complete as well, giving you incentive to complete special challenges to get them. The game lasts a good while too, taking about 5-7 hours to fully play through the game and even longer to fully upgrade my character.
Overall, the game has a sizable amount of content with all the achievements and difficulties to play through.
Featherpunk Prime is a great looking title, with it creating this techno but alien setting. You have various creatures, alien plant life growing and really bright colors overtaking the screen at various points in the game. What makes it really stand out is the animations for the different creatures, as due to the creative designs, everyone looks quite unique from one another.
Music in the game is also something to take note of, with its techno-like tracks matching the setting perfectly. This also applies to the sound effects, as the guns all sound great when fired and used. I personally love the animations of the main character, as due to his creative design he really looks like nothing I’ve seen in any action/platformer.
The game runs very well on all PC set ups, as even my low-end laptop ran the game with little issue and the game has a lot of configurations if you want to get higher fidelity visuals and more effects on screen. The frame rate never stuttered for me and everything felt smooth. Optimization for this game was very solid and well done, which is very important in an action/platformer like this title.
Story: 4 out of 5 / Gameplay & Design: 4.5 out of 5 / Lasting Appeal & Replay Value: 4 out of 5 / Presentation: 4.5 out of 5
Overall, Super Hatch Games Featherpunk Prime is a very well done action/platformer that nails its presentation and has really strong core gameplay systems with a lot of depth. The story is simple but its enough to get you invested in the main character’s plight to save his fellow alien-flamingo people. I really enjoyed my time with this title and highly recommend it to anyone interested in a fun action/platformer on Steam.
Overall: 4 out of 5
This game was reviewed on Steam with a copy provided by the developer. The game is out now on Steam and its currently $9.99.