Free Bird: Beluah & The Hundred Birds

By Kieron Gillen on February 1st, 2010 at 9:41 am.

I started the week by playing the experimental gameplay game that Jake Elliot sent us – Beluah & The Hundred Birds. The current theme is 100 things – Jake’s is a dream-like platformer, which externalises the inevitable collectibles to tiny birds which follow you around. While the main platform levels are a little uninteresting – I suspect an attempt to work a frustration/euphoria sort of dynamic between the flying and platforming bits, but while it does works like that, it doesn’t quite work well enough to justify it – I kept playing due to some lovely crystalline music and the simple joy of building this flock behind me. It’s like Syndicate, without miniguns. It also put me in the mind to listen to Grandaddy’s The Crystal Lake…

…Which is another good way to start a week.

How are you starting the week, readers?

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36 Comments »

  1. Bhazor says:

    As others have said, neat idea shame about the platforming.

    Still 15 minutes well spent though.

  2. Rosti says:

    Oi! Gillen! You’ve borked the (marvellously enlightening) alt-text on this bad boy, loosing the first sentence and link to boot. May I suggest closing your tags?

    • Rosti says:

      (And obviously I meant “losing”, here. Curses – this is the day I create a forum account for edit-o-privileges, then.)

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Clearly, I *do* need more tea.

      KG

    • AndrewC says:

      Speaking of tea – does anyone else think that tea gets colder slower than coffee?

    • duel says:

      @Andrew C: Depends how much milk you put in your tea and coffee, but my tea normally stays much warmer for longer than my coffee.

      Also, its good practice to make your coffee with ‘off the boil’ water as to not burn it, maybe that makes a difference too….

    • AndrewC says:

      Yeah – it’s an interesting one that. Like coffee gets all ‘Nooo! I’m burning!’ but tea is all ‘Gimme moar heat! I can take it!’. Tea is, officially, harder than coffee.

  3. Ian says:

    It’s a new RPS game. It’s called:

    “Fine the game yourself, bastards. IT’S CALLED GOOGLE.”

  4. Daversan says:

    <3 Grandaddy

  5. CMaster says:

    Hmm. Think I expect more from the experimental gameplay project than tedious platforming and collection challenges.

  6. Supraliminal says:

    The sound and music design is splendid, just like in Capt. Forever the music gets more complicated when you gather more birds (las cannons in Capt Forevers case, anyways)

    Gameplay wise there is a better flock gathering game around.
    http://www.kongregate.com/games/HotAirRaccoon/endless-migration

  7. espy says:

    The idea is neat, but the underground platforming parts are simply tedious, dull and annoying.

  8. MadMatty says:

    I need something a bit more whallop than grandaddies to wake me up…..

  9. Brumisator says:

    I don’t understand why this game has screen scrolling AND abrupt screen changes. It’s disorienting and feels cheap.
    Also, the platforming feels clunky, to say nothing of the overall ugliness.

    Dammit, what is it with me? I can’t seem to enjoy anything anymore.

  10. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    @MadMatty – to airy for me. try this instead:

  11. Lemon scented apocalypse says:

    “too” even

  12. mcshed says:

    Really lovely way of dealing with a hangover, even the slightly clunky platforming caves suited my state of mind. Bit of an odd question Kieron but is (“Snip” – Ed) still your girlfriend? I used to work with her(Blackwell’s) and have rediscovered you which is strange.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      mcshed: No, we’re not. Just snipped out her name, but we split in 2006. I bumped into her at ATP late last year, and she’s well. Working at a charity, which strikes me as great for her. Retail drove her understandably insane.

      Small world and all that.

      KG

  13. terry says:

    The only way to play Syndicate is without miniguns otherwise it’s too easy <:(

    • Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

      ONE AGENT
      NO MODS
      NO PERSUADERTRON
      PISTOL ONLY
      FINAL DESTINATION

    • Tom O'Bedlam says:

      two agents with gauss guns two with miniguns. persuadertrons for all!

      I pine for a new syndicate game. Oi! Molyneaux stop pissing about with Fable and make more syndicate!

  14. skizelo says:

    So… It’s Flicky then?
    Yes I know that the mechanics are different, but it’s a sad day if we have to rediscover that gamse are radically better if they include a queue of birds following you.

  15. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Grandaddy is a good way to start a week.

  16. Brulleks says:

    …but if ‘It’s The Weekend’ you’re better off with Jason Lytle :D

    *groan*

  17. MinisterofDOOM says:

    Ugh. The platforming segments are horrible and excessive and not at all helped by the edge transitions. The bird gathering part is fun but not worth suffering through the horrible platforming for. Interesting concept, terrible execution.

  18. Kieran says:

    I remember a much better game following this theme, something about being a diver and fish following you. It was sad. The end.

  19. Mrmistofales says:

    The ending is the most adorable thing ever. That is all.

  20. Thirith says:

    Am I stupid? I follow the link and get a comments page, but no game. For the record, I’m using Firefox. Could Adblock Plus be wreaking havok with the actual game?

  21. Matt says:

    While Grandaddy are indeed lovely, this game failed to engage me. Flying a bird. Confusing navigation. Tedious platforming… Am I missing something here? Surely experimental game design means more than this.

  22. fam says:

    that was shit, don’t waste your time.

    they could have cut the key finding sequences by about 90% and kept the same effect.

    also what happens when you get 100 birds and make it to the end isnt worth the hassle.

    “experimental” isnt a liscense to do boring and inane nonsense and call it “art”

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