A few weeks ago, we were granted a review copy of an eccentrically titled game called Featherpunk Prime. Intrigued, I dove into the game and was soon immersed into a eclectic, dystopian world of cyber flamingos, hawks, and amphibians. This is a strange setting for a tough as nails side-scrolling twin stick action game. And you know what, it all kind of works.
I have always had a soft spot for vaguely biorobotics characters and settings. Featherpunk Prime makes me think of Philosoma, Darius, and other shooters with biorobotics, but the game has its own take with its bright neon colors and clean, smooth graphics. When the camera zooms in for short cinematic scenes, the art and animation really pop, and I find myself anticipating the next game from developers, Super Hatch Games.
Featherpunk Prime has precise controls and action that you would expect of its ilk, but that is not a knock on this well-made shooter. It is methodical and deliberate like Cybernator or even the old classic, Thexder. Featherpunk Prime is action-packed, hectic, and difficult. Death can come in quick unexpected ways, and checkpoints are few and far between. After several boss runs took me through the same batch of levels over and over, I wondered if the game was being too punishing. However, with procedurally generated levels and upgrade system, death was another avenue for self-improvement.
The soundtrack is a pleasure. Indie games feature some of the best music, and Featherpunk Prime is no exception. From the driving tablesetting, "Featherpunk", the soundtrack is a great blend of Euro club bangers and a shmup. I particularly like the beat in "Tekno Shootout".