Have You Played… The Secrets Of Raetikon

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I bet you haven’t, you naughty scamp. And you really ought. Secrets Of Raetikon is an incredibly beautiful, peculiarly peaceful game about being a bird. And building weird statue things. And avoiding mean birds. And collecting magic glowy things. It’s the sort of game you remember absolutely adoring on your friend’s Sega Megadrive but not being able to remember what it was called.

What’s most crucial here is the flying, and it’s wonderful. Swooping, diving, fluttering, all nailed. It’s ambient movement, a real pleasure to experience, meaning everything else in the game is that much more enjoyable too. And everything else is a rather splendid time of exploring the 2D gorgeous world, finding “slivers” and releasing shards. As you go you discover lots of lovely little details, like ways your pretty-much defenceless bird can improve her chances in a scrap with a jackal.

You can get it for £7/$10 from Steam, or $10 directly from developers Broken Rules.

12 Comments

  1. e-dog says:

    The game is good, the ending is terrible. I wish there was an alternative one.

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      basilisk says:

      Exactly what I thought. It’s one of those endings that retroactively spoiled my enjoyment of the whole thing.

      There were other things I disliked, but the utter nonsense of an ending trumps them all.

      • Rae says:

        That’s disappointing as I liked the game’s summary but I’m not a fan of bad endings…

        Maybe it’ll go on sale someday.

    • neoncat says:

      ^That. The ending felt like the devs giving me the finger.

  2. LTK says:

    I played it, yes, but I found the reported joy of flying to be almost totally absent for me. I could see the different species of birds and other animals maybe forming some kind of dynamic ecosystem but hatching eggs and killing predators turned out to be without any consequence. Using those flight controls for combat was a right pain in the ass as well, and I didn’t appreciate how more and more animals were being introduced whose sole purpose was to make your life miserable. I never wanted to return to it after having to spend way too much time wrestling an important item away from a bunch of magpies only for them to steal it back again and again.

    • Beefsurgeon says:

      The only problem I have with the flight is the constraints of the level design. You never really feel like you’re *above* everything. This isn’t necessarily a flaw, it’s just that I expected playing as a bird to come with more navigational freedom.

  3. SuddenSight says:

    I like this game for many reasons:

    1) The flight controls are unique and enjoyable.
    2) The enemies are not easily killed as you have no offensive attacks. Some enemies can be killed through cleverness, but by and large you must simply avoid enemies.
    3) The art style is distinctive – I like it.

    However, I should warn any would-be players that, at least last time I played, this is another game with an overly-punitive lives system that I found rather grating.

    Still, interesting and fun.

  4. Kempston Wiggler says:

    Oh god, the ending’s not Riker and Troi playing this on the Holodeck, is it?