Entering Our Orbit: Apsis

I’m so thrilled that explorey games are becoming a bigger thing of late. Low pressure, relaxing games about discovering, as a calming interlude between the DEFEATING. Yes, I’m an old, old man. Apsis looks like it could be a lovely entry into that field – a game about guiding a flock of birds across a landscape, flowing through airstreams, and having a generally floaty flying time.

Kudos to another game following my new Rule that all games must be about playing a flying bird, group of students from Cornell University under the name Stranger Gravity. Because this one looks like it has you playing as dozens of flying birds. Take a look:

Oh gosh, I hope that cello music stays in there. Here’s another video showing a bit more of how you play:

Pretty music, but where did the cello go?! That aside, yes please, I’d like to be playing this now. I have to wait until February though, as that’s when the beta launches. Then come July they’re hoping to release it proper. I haven’t spotted it in Greenlight yet, which I imagine they should probably do. Meanwhile, you can sign up to the newsletter/beta here.

Which all reminds me, have you ever seen those epic moments when birds like sparrows mass flock? I saw it a few years ago somewhere near Devon, and it’s breathtaking. My very amateur footage:

I don’t think Apsis is going anywhere near that far, but it has made me want to see a game that will – it’d be extraordinary to see that modelled in a game, perhaps as the basis for some epic puzzle solving. Someone, make that too. Thanks.


  1. Alien.Nated says:

    I dislike the cursor icon but other than that … definitiely gives me a Flower kinda vibe which is an exceedingly good thing. Beautifuly to look at, calming to listen to and hopefully relaxing to play :-D

    • caff says:

      Yes, it’d be nice to see the cursor made up of birds itself to give it more of an ebb and flow.

      It looks rather chilled but could also get a bit repetitive.

  2. Danopian says:

    Pretty. Reminds me of the long flying scenes in the first part of Kiki’s Delivery Service.

  3. Freud says:

    If you can’t fly them into an engine of a Boeing plane, I will be disappointed.

  4. Emeraude says:

    Base concept reminds me of Tori no Hoshi – one of those wonderfully personal and quirky games the middle-sized studio of the PS2 era could still offer.

    I was wondering what to play this week end, I guess I’ll repop that oldie.

    This one saved for later, it looks really nice.

  5. SuddenSight says:

    Reminds me of Endless Migration:
    link to kongregate.com

    PS, I apologize for anyone who was waiting for the obligatory flash game comparison, I had to look the game up to remember the name, only to realize my info had been cleared. Then I had to unlock everything again. Then I realized there were only two achievements I hadn’t yet gotten, so I had to get those too. So this post was a little delayed. My bad.

  6. TaylanK says:

    Good ol’ Boids algorithm. I was working on a 3D implementation of this in Unity just last month. Looks well implemented.

  7. Muzman says:

    Looks cute. Although the name sounds like some sort of chronic malady. As in, “I must sit down. My Apsis is playing up again”

  8. Smi says:

    Tis called a murmuration, when starlings flock like that. It’s a nice word! Murmuration. It’s a nice game, too – looks quite charming.

  9. Zorn says:

    Firefly(-like) banjo music of the second video works for me too.
    In fact, that would be great sound modes to choose from.

  10. Urthman says:

    Someone needs to tell those birds about the aerodynamic benefits of flying in the V formation.