The King’s Bird is a challenging momentum-based 2D platformer that shines on Nintendo Switch. Find out why in our The King’s Bird review!
The King’ Bird is a stylized and great looking 2D momentum-based skill platformer with physics-based gliding that is easy to understand but challenging and hard to master. The King’s Bird throws you right into the game as soon as the Serenity Forge and Graffiti Games logos fade out. You will get going with a short tutorial that shows you the basics for the game.
You can run left and right with the left analog stick and can jump with the A button. You can also wall jump by pressing your character against the wall and pressing the A button. Holding down the L button while going down a slope will allow you to speed up so that you can gain enough momentum to jump further and fly for a more extended period. Once in the air you can use the left analog stick to soar through the area, while holding down the L button, for as long as your momentum and your cloak energy allows it – you will gain access to the cloak around 10 minutes or so into the game. The R button can be used to dash, a useful ability that can be used on the ground or to go up walls.
The flying gameplay mechanic, which in reality is closer to gliding since you need to use your momentum to go up and down in the air, is an entertaining way of traveling fast through an area and something that changes the feel of the game when compared to other indie precision platformers. I was reminded of my time way back in the day with Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo, as I ran with Mario after collecting the cape power-up to gain enough momentum to go flying upwards before opening up the cape to use it to glide further down the area.
As you explore each area, you will run into lamposts that will light up, letting you know you’ve reached a new checkpoint. If you die from falling down a bottomless pit or from hitting a hazardous surface, you will quickly respawn at the last checkpoint you’ve activated, allowing you to learn from your mistakes so that you can carry on with your adventure. There are also glowing dragonflies in each stage that you can collect to 100% the game. Some are close to the path you need to take to reach the exit, while others are found higher or lower than the main road, so you’ll need to make some trickier jumps and glide around. If you miss any and reach the exit, you can watch a replay of your run from the area hub so that you can try and spot where they are.
The developers have tried to make the game as accessible as possible while still providing a challenge for veterans of the genre, but they understand that some players out there might need some extra help. Because of this l, there is an Assist Mode option in, well, the options menu, which allows you to tailor the experience to make it a whole lot more comfortable so that you can have a shot at completing this adventure. This includes things such as allowing you to glide for an unlimited distance, not losing momentum to air resistance, making it so that you can survive multiple hits from harmful surfaces before per checkpoint before dying, or even slowing down the game for you.
I had a lot of fun playing The King’s Bird on Nintendo Switch for this review. Its minimalist look, tight gameplay mechanics and cleverly designed areas will keep you busy for hours as you learn from your mistakes and make changes to your strategy so that you can clear that one long jump (or ten) that is (are) giving you trouble. If you’re someone who likes to take on challenging precision platformers, and who likes to speedrun games, then you’re going to love this one. And if you’re not as skillful, you don’t need to worry about it since you can use the Assist Mode to tailor your experience just right.
This The King’s Bird review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Serenity Forge.