Most platformers revolve around jumping and/or shooting bad guys, but in Flightless, you take on the role of a duck who’s had his wings clipped as punishment for stealing. Exactly what it is that you’ve stolen isn’t clear, but this means you can’t jump – at all. So how are you going to reach those shiny diamonds that’ll pay for your freedom? Why with a magical ladder of course!
What? No I haven’t been drinking, you really do have a magical ladder in Flightless and this thing packs quite a punch too – just try raising/lowering one into an enemy and watch the carnage unfold. While the main purpose of the ladder is to help you navigate the many treacherous rooms to get every last diamond, while avoiding landing on spikes or getting crushed, you can also use it to grab the diamonds (yay, I get to be lazy in a platformer!). In certain rooms, it’ll also act as leverage for pressure plates, some of which (kinda) run on a timer, so be quick or be dead.
Even though the controls – left/right/up/down/activate ladder – are easy to get the hang of, the difficulty is anything but, and I’d recommend preparing yourself for frequent deaths. Fortunately, you respawn at the beginning of the room where you died, so the loss of progress is minimal and according to Nitrome, you don’t even have to collect every last gem – that’s just for the hardcore crowd.
But since it’s dangerous to go alone, why don’t you bring along a friend? Just like the upcoming full version, the demo features drop-in/drop-out co-op, which means a second player can join at any time. There’s no invisible string forcing you to stick to the same area either, so players are free to either explore different rooms or work on the same one – it’s up to you (and your co-op buddy).
No matter how you choose to go about gathering those diamonds – alone or with a friend – Flightless looks like it’ll be fun, with plenty of brainteasers and (somewhat) tricky platforming, so how about taking that demo for a spin? And if you like it, remember to show its Greenlight page some appreciation too.