Run, jump, fight, die…die…die.
Side scrolling platform games used to be something that would typically invoke cute, colorful graphics and light hearted adventure. There have been a few that have taken that essence and put a darker spin on it. Games like Flashback, Out of this World, and Heart of Darkness. More recently, games like Inside and Limbo have come and truly created darker versions of this genre. Suffice to say, it’s no wonder we have other developers that aim to create similar experiences. FEIST is one of those, but can it stack up?
I’m not exactly sure what it is that player’s control, but it appears to be a hairy creature with two appendages. Progressing through levels in a forest of dark, silhouette like foregrounds, combined with a visual splash of color in the background, creates a nice environment to traverse. It’s an interesting design and art style, but one that truly seems to wear out its welcome.
Price I’d Pay: $5
How long to beat: 2-3 hours
Gameplay consists of physics based platforming and even some minor combat. The platforming feels a bit floaty in design, but that wasn’t what I had issues with. The combat and avoiding of enemies really seemed to rub me the wrong way and lead to frustration. For example, there is a scene where these fly-like enemies, which can shoot long barbs at the player, come in mass volumes. At this point, swatting at the enemy leads to knocking it down for use as a weapon. This allows players to shoot barbs back at the enemies. Sadly, the timing has to be perfect, as aiming isn’t really an option aside from left and right.
Boss battles consist of fighting these huge hedgehog looking creatures, but again, fighting them leads to frustration. The first one I encountered, I picked up everything I could to throw at it, and couldn’t seem to take it down. Later I discovered there was a trap I could lure it too, but it’s was a weird mix of not knowing what I was supposed to do and lack of direction that just made me feel irritated.
Been there, done that
That’s not to say that everything is bad about FEIST. For players that enjoy this type of genre, it’s interesting enough, yet I don’t think it takes its subtle story elements far enough. Also, things seemed to repeat more often than I’d hoped, leading to an experience that I wished was ending sooner rather than later. The world itself is pretty and the art style, featuring colorful backdrops along with weird and odd designed creatures, offers a nice contrast to each other.
I just found the experience couldn’t really ever pull me in or hold my attention. In a lot of ways it feels like it’s taking from the genres that it obviously grew inspiration from. There is a unique vision here for the world at play, but the design decisions, along with frustration, just didn’t leave me with a great experience. It won’t last players more than a few hours, but maybe that’s for the best.
Favorite moment: The colorful backgrounds mixed with the dark creature design.
Worst moment: Fighting enemies can prove more difficult than necessary.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.