Monday, February 4

Review: Avenger Bird [Nintendo Switch eShop]

As a big fan of indies in general I’m well aware of the fact that they come in all sorts of forms from titles that are shooting for the stars down to ones intended to kick around for a little while as a budget title. While carrying a low price should certainly excuse deficiencies in areas involving presentation and perhaps polish, taking a hard look at the gameplay in terms of the fun as well as the controls needs to be a constant. With that in mind while Avenger Bird may be appealing to people in search of something a bit simple that’s well within impulse-buy range its floatiness and lackluster level design let it down.

Getting down to the basics, which are roughly all the game has, the base controls are pretty simple. You can move left and right, fly to gain altitude, and glide to slow your descent. Both of those controls do have a gauge and deplete themselves pretty carefully so you’ll always need to be mindful of them as you plot out your plan of attack. The goal is also pretty simple, to collect enough coins in each level so that you’ll be able to exit. Mailboxes along the way act as checkpoints and if you want to go for an added challenge treasure chests offer up an extra life if you’re able to get to them without losing all of your lives in the process.

The simplicity of it all keeps things light most of the time but on top of being able to glide to slow your descent I really could have dealt with an option to fall faster. In tougher levels where you need to avoid projectiles or enemies in the air it isn’t unusual to be flying up and then need to get underneath something. Your upward momentum lets off slowly though so getting things like this just right can be a bit of a chore. Mix that with many level layouts having coins in odd spots that, once you miss them on a pass, you’ll need to backtrack through a substantial portion of the level to get back to and it begins to get a bit irritating.

If you’re seeking out something light that you can enjoy for a little while on the cheap Avenger Bird may not be a bad option. Even though the gameplay is relatively simple you’ll get a decent challenge thrown at you and even though it can be irksome in places it’s at least generally relaxing, if a bit dull. While there are better options out there on a budget in this space it’s at least a fair effort.

Score: 5.5

  • Simple mechanics
  • A budget price

  • The level design is sometimes a bit annoying and forces you to go back through sections
  • In general, not very inspired play