Barnstormer: Owlboy

By Alec Meer on August 9th, 2011 at 2:12 pm.

Aren't we all? In so very many ways.

These are difficult times, and difficult times can only be helped by a short, sharp burst of Owlboy. While we won’t get to sample this apparently rather beautiful tale of a quasi-avian lad and his platforming adventures until August 20th, when a demo is due to land, this does mark the first decent footage we’ve seen of the game since early last year.

I might be prone to grumbling about the apparently endless tide of retro-esque platformers in indie gaming (and especially commercial indie gaming), but the music and art in this one is pure delight. See below, and feel heroic.

I’m all about the robo-frog-thing boss there. But mostly the music. Makes me feel like the Rocketeer.

This comes from Norwegian team D-Pad Studios, who are also working on a game known as Vikings On Trampolines. No idea what that could be about. Perhaps this trailer will answer that most oblique of riddles?

Ah! Now I understand. The clue was in the name all along!

Thanks Pixel Prospector and Fuggles.

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40 Comments »

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  1. Drake Sigar says:

    Looks like a hoot.

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    Anthile says:

    This looks a lot like the Konjak games. Which is good.

    • googoogjoob says:

      konjak’s games are much more fluid than this, but it still looks pretty awesome

  3. Nemon says:

    I am disappoint.

  4. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Finally, for faen!

    • Theon says:

      Du skal ikke selge skinnet før bjørnen er skutt.
      It’s not out just yet…

  5. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    The site is white, suddenly.

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    BathroomCitizen says:

    Vikings on Trampolines seems pretty funny.

    But I want Niddhogg.

  7. LionsPhil says:

    I have to say the latter of these videos looks considerably more entertaining a game.

  8. noodlecake says:

    Can’t wait for Owlboy. I’m a sucker for beautiful pixel art (and a good platformer!)

  9. ColOfNature says:

    Vikings, trampolines and a blatant disregard for Newtonian dynamics: three of my favourite things, together at last!

  10. Kollega says:

    As soon as i saw the giant robot frog boss, i had an idea. And here’s the result.

    But harder soundtrack aside, this does look promising. The art style has this lovely painterly look, the design smacks of steampunk anime (the only kind of anime that i seem to fancy), the music is indeed rather heroic, and there’s going to be a demo too! Worth checking out at the very least. Can the RPS people run a story when the demo comes out for all us forgetful types?

  11. Giaddon says:

    As someone who loves retro-style platformers, I approve of this trend.

  12. TheGameSquid says:

    I actually thought this had disappeared completely until 2 days ago when I saw that they had simply moved to a new website and Blog-thing etc. and that the game was still going strong. I couldn’t have been happier!

  13. Vagrant says:

    As a product of the SNES, I can definitely say there is not enough (good/classical) 2d platformers in the indie space.

  14. Wulf says:

    I’ve been looking forward to Owlboy for ages now. I’m an art person. I like art. That does not necessarily mean that I’m all about art games, but I do like games where the art direction is there, in which there are people who clearly know how to art. Owlboy is one such game. And it reminds me of the most beautifully rendered 2D games on the Saturn. (This is a cut above the 16-bit stuff.)

    It’s nice that it has interesting mechanics and I’ll be all for that, but that doesn’t make for a compelling game in an of itself, for me. Art matters, so does setting, and a mild degree of absurdity just to invite those things we so easily forget, those things I spoke of elsewhere today – imagination and wonder. I’m big on both. Having both in a game matters to me.

    And I like flying islands. I remember flying islands as a kid, seeing Laputa (the Redline translation) on ITV in its original airing. And all those airships. It just struck something in me that’s never gone away, a vision of a reality unbounded by Earth-like physics where the compellingly strange, and the encouragingly wondrous can happen. Essentially: The stuff of dreams for a youth of the time. I’ll be the first to admit that I probably never grew up, as I never lost my sense of wonder, so bring on the flying islands and the beautiful arts. My mind is ready for them! I am ready!

    I’d honestly love to see more like this. I mean, it wouldn’t hurt. Sure, it’s not for the sort of people who have problems understanding why in another reality people may move faster through water than we do in our reality (GW2 complainants, I’m looking at you), but it was never meant for them.

    I’m just glad that my particular demographic hasn’t been forgotten. I want this, too.

    There are actually a number of games I’m looking forward to, now. What’s going on? I’m mildly scared and confused by this, because it seems like gaming is actually branching out from match-three games (that are match-three games and nothing else), hidden object games (which I admittedly do like), mainstream pseudo-RPGs, and manshoots.

    We could be on the verge of interesting times. I hope this is a sign of things to come.

  15. Hatsworth says:

    Was afraid it was dead. I’m glad there’s something like this coming out of Norway. Funcom’s adventure games are ok, but their endless stream of MMOs is wholly uninteresting to me. Between this and Jamestown (and Monster Tale on the DS for us heretics) there’s been some really nice spritework lately. Most of the 2d indie titles I see look lazy, or like they’re using very basic graphics to hide artistic deficiency. That’s clearly not the case here.

  16. Isometric says:

    This is coming out in August too? Geez! I’ve been waiting for Owlboy since it was announced. Theres way too many games coming out aaaaaaaaaaarghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
    Reassuringly, It looks even better than I thought it was

    • gwathdring says:

      Me too. I’ve been following this little project for AGES.

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    shoptroll says:

    Nice. Looks like something you’d see on the Nintendo systems.

    What’s with all the SNES nostalgia chain yanking indie games today?

    • Wulf says:

      Being a fan of emulation I have to say that this is a huge step up over SNES and more analogous to the Sega Saturn in regards to graphical fidelity. Nostalgia does funny things.

      Though yes, older 2D stuff is the in-thing lately. But I’m happy about it!

  18. ZIGS says:

    The art style reminds me of Chrono Trigger

  19. gwathdring says:

    Holy crap, I want to play Vikings on Trampolines.

  20. Navagon says:

    That owl thing looks good. Sounds good too. But you can’t go wrong with a Viking on a trampoline. Well, you can. But that’s what’s fun about it.

  21. Wulf says:

    Also, anyone notice the original Famicom in the first screenshot, there?