Video game birds are having a good year

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Video games have few famous birds. A scant number of our feathered friends have headlined their own games: Flicky, Kazooie, Flappy. A few have served in well-known supporting roles: Falco Lombardi in the Star Fox series, Senu in Assassin’s Creed Origins. And, of course, we have the Angry Birds. But 2019 is quickly becoming stuffed with intriguing and great looking games about birds, ranging from cute birds to deadly birds to birds that are unapologetic assholes.

In April alone, we have the release of at least three bird-centric games. While Polygon already has a comprehensive list of 2019’s most anticipated games, here’s a more segmented look at just the bird games out now and still to come.

Falcon Age

Outer Loop’s Falcon Age is out Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR. In it, players fight against planet-colonizing, culture-destroying machines with the aid of a falcon. As Ara, players can train and dress up their falcon, and feed it crafted snacks. They can also shake hands and fist-bump with their bird bud, thanks to a dedicated pet button, and even put a little cowboy hat on ’em. The single-player adventure is available from the PlayStation Store and costs $19.99.

Feather

Samurai Punk’s new game Feather is also out now on Nintendo Switch and Windows PC through Steam. Feather offers the most chill birding experience of this year’s lot. You become a bird, fly around “in zen-like flow” to an ambient soundtrack, and just kind of … check things out. Passive multiplayer lets you join a flock and fly around as a team peacefully. There are no enemies to fight, but there is new music to unlock as you explore Feather’s island.

A Short Hike

Adam Robinson-Yu’s A Short Hike is available through Humble, so if you’re a Humble Monthly subscriber, you can play the PC game right now. It’s coming to Steam and Itch.io this summer. According to its creator, A Short Hike is “about exploring the wilderness, meeting other hikers, and getting to the top of a mountain.” It has a charming look and stars a bird who can hike, swim, and fly, as well as hang out with other non-bird mountain climbers in a way that evokes Animal Crossing.

Skatebird

Glass Bottom Games’ Skatebird poses the question: What if Tony Hawk were actually a bird (and not a hawk, but, like, a finch)? The “coming soon-ish” skateboarding game is trick skating on a small scale. You grind rails and jump ramps on a desktop, pulling off tricks using button-based combos, all while trying to earn followers on Tweeter. Skatebird is bound for Linux, Mac, and Windows PC.

Toripon

We just wrote about Toripon, which takes the photography fun of Pokémon Snap and applies it to cute birds. As with Skatebird, there’s a faux social media element to it in that you share your pics of birds with people online to make their day brighter. Like Feather, it’s chill, promising “relaxing, no-pressure gameplay.” Follow along with the game’s development on Itch.io.

Untitled Goose Game

For a zero-chill experience, there’s House House’s Untitled Goose Game. You are a “horrible goose” who must harass a quiet village where people are just trying to go about their day and not be honked at relentlessly. Its creators describe it as a “slapstick-stealth-sandbox” in which you steal hats, honk constantly, and ruin people’s days. Untitled Goose Game is coming to Mac, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC.

The Pathless

Abzû developer Giant Squid is making The Pathless, a game about an archer and their eagle. As the Hunter, players will bond with their feathered companion and battle mystical beasts “to dispel a curse of darkness that grips the world.” Movement looks fast and fluid, like a speedy, stylized Shadow of the Colossus-meets-Journey. The Pathless is coming to PlayStation 4 and PC via the Epic Games Store.

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