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Surreal bird 'em up Vane flaps out on July 23rd

Flappy boy

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a bird/child hybrid exploring and shaping a sublime desert. I'm talking about Vane, a surreal explore 'em up with its roots back in 2014, and about that specific flavour of sublime where grand inhospitably makes part of your lizard brain go 'woah' while your more sophisticated brain bits appreciate the aesthetic. It's a whole thing.

Vane now has a PC release date of July 23rd, and a trailer to prove it.

Vane came out as a PlayStation exclusive back in January, to mixed reviews. Everyone agreed it was pretty though, so let's not think about that too much.

You're a bird who is now a boy, because magic. You change between the two, though the Steam blurb doesn't make it clear if you can do that at will or if birding is reserved for specific sections. There's a lot it doesn't make clear, to be honest, but that's fine. It's the kind of Journey-esque wander-tron where clarity could spoil the fun.

Developers Friend & Foe Games do say that your wanderings will set off "a chain of events that will reshape the world itself", presumably like the bit in the trailer where bird in boy-form conjures a set of stairs by squeezing a big golden piping bag.

It's hard to talk about a game where the appeal sits so squarely in the oblique, but I'll eat my overlong 'neat visual nod to Journey' hat-tassle if there isn't a bit where you disguise yourself as one of those culty boys.

Like I said, it comes out July 23rd on Steam.

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Matt Cox


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