Owlboy

Owlboy

Remember passion? That thing game developers were allowed to have before publishers decided that focus groups and 100-hour workweeks were acceptable substitutes for genuine creativity and drive? Owlboy remembers, and the joy that went into its creation is infectious. Its lush soundtrack and pixel artwork are a wonder to behold and contribute to a powerful atmosphere of adventure and mystery. The idea of a flying protagonist who carries his multifaceted allies around is a clever one that makes even mundane tasks feel more interesting. Most unexpectedly, the narrative is fantastic; it includes a rich cast of characters, it’s adeptly woven into the gameplay, and it’s not afraid to have some gravity to it. With all of that said, the game’s notorious nine-year development cycle still isn’t totally justified. There are a lot of little control issues, the difficulty wavers throughout the campaign, and the gameplay is unable to reach its potential depth. But for a few hours, it made me feel like a kid again without explicitly copying older titles, and that’s worth a lot to me.

7/10
7/10

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