Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I didn’t have to go out searching for a Time Waster. Instead, it came to me. The guys at Super Hatch Games sent me a code for their new game Featherpunk Prime, and I was more than happy to give it a look.
Featherpunk Prime puts players in control of a robotic flamingo that is out to save its friends from an evil organization. This group captures robotic flamingos from their homes and transforms them into evil robots of varying different designs. It’s a simple premise that provides players with a solid reason for their adventure.
Featherpunk Prime is a twin stick shooter, but it’s also more. The game has some heavy platforming and a bit of rouge-like elements to it as well. It’s really a unique mix that helps the gameplay standout.
Our flamingo friends’s movement is controlled with the left analog stick. The right analog stick allows it to aim. Pressing the left bumper lets the player jump and the right one handles shooting. Both of the triggers also let the player boost to the left or the right. It takes a bit to get used to the control scheme, but it’s much better than trying to play Featherpunk Prime on a mouse and keyboard.
After players have finally gotten used to Featherpunk Prime’s strange control scheme. They’ll find that the game is quite deep. Players can jump up, and stick to, walls. An extra upgrade will also let them boost up them later in the game. Running and pressing down will allow them to slide a short distance. The robotic flamingo can also crouch to crawl under small spaces. It’s a lot to get used to and can be a bit overwhelming at first, but mastery of the flamingo’s different abilities is a necessity for moving forward in the game.
The rouge-like elements of Featherpunk Prime are related to the levels. Players are tasked with climbing a tower to get their friends back. However, the tower changes each time it’s entered. This keeps players from having to experience the same floors over and over again as they progress up the tower.
Featherpunk Prime likes to challenge its players, sometimes. There are checkpoints on the way up the tower, but they are far and few between. boss floors also act as checkpoints, but only after the boss is defeated. This means that if players lose to the boss, they’ll have to climb back up to them from the previous checkpoint. That’s six floors just to get back to the boss. It really messes with the pacing of the game and kills that momentum of good feelings that players get when they progress up the tower.
The bosses in Featherpunk Prime are dang challenging. It actually comes as a bit of a shock after climbing through the normal levels of the tower. Normal enemies are really easy to defeat and there’s not much variety among them. It’s a bit of a bummer and makes the grind through the tower much less interesting.
Featherpunk Prime also features an upgrade system. Players will collect Tekcells during their adventures and these can be used to buy new abilities or upgrade the flamingo. That wall booster ability I mentioned above is one of these upgrades. Aspects of the flamingo that can be upgraded include health, damage, reload speed, crit chance, crit damage and more.
Players have to bank Tekcells before they can use them. The only way to do this is to progress to the next level of the tower. If players leave the tower before this or die, they’ll lose all of the Tekcells that they’ve been collecting on the current floor.
I really enjoy when games add this type of upgrade system. It lets players create their own play style. Personally, I always build my characters for crits, if the option is available. I did that this time around and it really did change how I played. This is due to the multiple different weapons available in Featherpunk Prime.
Our flamingo friend can carry two different weapons at once. Players start out with the basic pistol, but they can also get a machine gun, bounce gun, crossbow and much more. As players progress, more options become available. This includes explosive weapons. Each level has a random weapons at the start and players will have to deal with what their given until they can find one that works better for them.
The big difference between normal and explosive weapons has to do with ammo. Normal weapons have unlimited ammo, but players will still have to reload them. Explosive weapons have very limited ammo. However, more can be found during the levels and it automatically replenishes every time the player moves to the next floor. There are also upgrades for the flamingo that are just for explosive weapons.
Featherpunk Prime is a treat for the eyes. The game has a very cyberpunk feel to it with its robotic flamingo. Everything is covered in bright neon colors and it looks dang great. The machine-based environments and enemies fit very well into the game. Seriously, the developers understand what it takes to build an atmosphere, and it’s not just the art that does it.
The music that accompanies players on their journey through the tower is wonderful. It’s techno and electronic music combined together for a great soundtrack. There’s also a decent variety in the number of tracks, which means players won’t be stuck listening to the same beat over and over again. There are also specific tracks for some special levels in Featherpunk Prime. These help change the mode in a very appropriate way. The other aspects of the audio, meaning sound effects, also match up well with the game.
Overall, Featherpunk Prime is an above average game. It’s gameplay is solid, it has wonderful visuals and the audio perfectly matches the theme. The game does have some pacing issues with its checkpoints and the grind against incredibly easy minions is a bit depressing at times. Still, it’s a fun experience and the bosses are a great challenge.
Featherpunk Prime earns 3.5 GiN Gems out of 5!