The treat behind the next door on our calendar gives you wings and lets you soar. Day sixteen of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, brings…
RPS Feature Fight and flight
RPS Feature A real hoot
Oh gosh, it is a splendid thing when a game like Owlboy [official site] comes around. Big, smart, involved, silly, gorgeous, aurally stunning, and with a compelling story. It’s got flaws, a couple of big ones, but it also has the wit of a Mario & Luigi game, and the professional delivery of a classic 90s big-studio platforming production, despite coming from a five-man indie team. This is something very lovely. Here’s wot I think:
The elusive Owlboy [official site]! For the past decade, tales of his hooting and platforming have delighted all. Believers insist that he’s real, that he loves us and he’ll be with us soon. (I can’t help but note most of their “evidence” is blurry photographs obscured by clumsy thumbs.) Our Alec even swears blind he’s met Owlboy and stroked his feathers. Yeah, while off your tits on Lucozade tablets down one of those Brighton all-night silent discos, I bet. Well, all shall be known come November 1st. That’s Owlboy’s release date, developers D-Pad Studio have announced with a new trailer:
RPS Feature Hands on with the beautiful, flight-based platformer
To borrow a line from Graham, there’s a parallel reality where Owlboy [official site] came out before Braid, earned mega-bucks and now Norwegian devs D-Pad are making elaborate and beautiful 3D follow-ups. But now, eight years later, there’s a seething, pixellated mass of neo-retro-platformers and Owlboy is no longer the slam dunk it might have been.
Whatever its fortunes now might be, it’s almost unbelievable that I now actually get to play Owlboy, a game I can remember posting about on RPS back in our earliest months. It is not a disappointment.
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Owlboy is not out yet and doesn’t have a release date. That is the bad news. And by that, I mean that it’s the bad news – the news by which all upsetting and otherwise unfortunate events are judged. Developer D-Pad Studio’s been bending over backward and probably turning its head upside-down to get the gorgeous side-scroller out the door, but it’s only (composed of) human(s). Everyone needs a vacation and nope actually D-Pad is just insane so it’s spent its “holiday” making a different game. This one’s called Savant, and it’s a lushly gothic bite of, er, elevator action. If dictionaries were organized by distance between meanings of words, those two would be at opposite ends (and also dictionaries would be useless), but the game actually looks kinda great! Watch the trailer below and see for yourself.
The guys over at IndieGames noticed that the previously available demo of side-scroller Owlboy has been pulled from their site, due to being “out of date”. The reason for this seems to be that the game has been radically overhauled, and is now looking fabulous. (The old demo is still here.)
It’s been a couple of years since we first reported on this, but it now looks as if developers D-Pad are closing in on something really special. We can’t wait. Take a look at the OST video below, it’s really something.
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Due to post-Germany exhaustion and racing to get Deus Ex Human Revolution finished before the embargo lifts later today, I’ve not had a chance to take lovely-lookin’ indie platformer/roleplayer Owlboy for a test flight myself yet, but it only seems right to advise you that a demonstration version of this much-anticipated pixel-art slice of steampunkery is now available. 80MB of avian lad await you here. Set to it, chums.