Title: Avenger Bird
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Genre: Adventure, Platformer, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 05/02/19
Price: £1.79 – Rapid Reviews UK were kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Oh No! Someone had kidnapped your little birds! You must go on an epic adventure to rescue them!
Avenger Bird is a platform side-scroller game with pixel-art graphics, but your hero isn’t just a regular hero. You are playing a bird that can flap its tiny wings to fly and glide for a limited distances. It’s retro inspired 16-bit era game with innovative and challenging fly/glide mechanic”
Playing as a small red bird with the ability to flap and glide your way across the platforming elements of each stage, you’re on a mission to rescue your three young hatchlings from some angrier looking birds (think I’m onto something there) who’ve locked them in a cage far, far away. You play through four different worlds with some pretty sub-standard themes; forest, arctic, desert etc. The aim is to collect a specified amount of gold rings to unlock the exit door with each stage having varying amounts, and the difficulty increases as you progress with new enemies and harder to reach platforms. Unfortunately, the platforming aspect is mainly where the game lets itself down. I’ll talk a little more about that further in my review.
Audio and Visual
Ultimate Games decided to go with the 16-bit approach in terms of presentation for Avenger Bird. It’s not the prettiest game to look at by any stretch, and some of the enemy designs are pretty lazy looking, giant ants look like some deformed dog from the Resident Evil series, and the less said about the bears, the better. Playing in handheld mode or docked there’s no graphical differences, with its quick pick up and play feel I opted to play handheld a lot of the time, but I can see the benefit of playing on a larger screen for some of the smaller enemies. The backgrounds can feel a little busy at times with the enemies either being the same colour, or the collectables are so you can imagine there were a few unexpected deaths. The music didn’t particularly stand out, and I didn’t hear anything that could be classed as memorable; you could play with or without the audio, and I think you’d have the same experience.
Gameplay and Replayability
Your bird can either flap twice which is the equivalent of a double jump or glide across the screen for further distance. You tap the A button to flap and hold the B button to glide. It can feel a little clunky remembering to move your thumb down as naturally, you want to be able to hold the A button to glide. There’s a treasure box containing a red gem on each level, and these are usually in harder to reach areas; they act as additional collectables to the standard gold rings so if you miss any you can always come back later for them.
As you progress through to the arctic and desert environments you’ll notice some of the positionings of the gold rings seem almost impossible to get without dying and with only 3 lives per level before you have to start again; this gets incredibly frustrating. There are no boss battles except right at the very end so playing through every stage can begin to feel more of a chore, especially given that the platforming and jumping mechanic feel less than smooth.
Sometimes you’ll come across a plinth, or a platform which is just an inch or so higher than your double jump capabilities allow; hug the edge of the platform you’re trying to reach, and you’ll likely find you can reach up. This makes the control aspects feel counter-intuitive when it’s unclear whether you can reach a platform from a higher or further distance. Avoiding the enemies requires you to jump over them, the squirrels can be a little tricky but are one of the easier enemy designs to avoid. If you want to go back and collect any of the red gems you’ve missed, then there’s a little deployability in that aspect, but once you’ve finished and moved on from one stage, you’ll likely not have any other reason to come back.
Avenger Bird is for want of a better word; broken. I found little enjoyment while playing, and the only silver lining for me is its lower price of £1.79, there’s a good amount of stages on offer, but it’s just not fun to play through. The platforming and jumping/gliding mechanic is rage inducing to the point of wanting to throw your tv out the window (or Switch depending on how you’re playing!). Then you’ve got the hideous enemy designs and collectable coins in awkward locations which spell out instant death for your feathered friend. This one doesn’t have much place in your Switch library unless you’re a glutton for punishment.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Avenger Bird at the Nintendo eShop on the following link,https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Avenger-Bird-1504998.html