Blackthornprod GAME JAM 3: BlackBird

“BlackBird” by Owen Senior & Ellen Senior.

“BlackBird” is an atmospheric platformer, whose protagonist – quite in accordance with the title – is a dark-feathered little birdie. The character literally plummets down from all clouds into a world that is not a shade lighter than its own plumage. Presumably, the fall resulted in an injury to its wings, which is why it cannot fly any longer. However, it still is able to run, jump and glide around in the air. It has to make proper use of these movement modes, because the lad is only alone at first glance.

Voracious bug-eyed monsters and pusating red discs try to make life difficult for the little hero. Fortunately, by resting at white flowers that act as checkpoints, not much can go wrong. After a few minutes of familiarizing with the darkness as well as sliding down into further shallows, you even make an unexpected acquaintance: A blue fish-like figure, but it can fly around without any effort. It even seems to give some of its powers to the black bird, since after the two meet, our character is suddenly able to perform a double jump. This new movement option not only allows you to reach even higher plateaus, but also to move more elegantly.

This is generally one of the greatest strengths of “BlackBird”, both gameplay-wise and audiovisually: Everything just seems so incredibly smooth, even soft. The peacefulness of our hero is made clear with every single step, because there is not one frantic moment in its appearance. The only thing that disturbs this tranquility is the outside world: The roar of the disc packs as well as the murmur of the gobblers are the acoustic characteristics of the lurking dangers. This is the kind of world that must be escaped in order to unfold together with a new friend – and it is now up to you to be their guide. [PLAY]