Revenge of the Bird King: You can do worse for a penny

While checking out switch sales yet again, I found a game for a penny (one Nintendo point) and that’s a deal even the cheapest person in the world couldn’t pass up. The cover invoked the overally serious buff covers from the NES era. Considering the NES was my first gaming console, I’m extremely nostalgic for the aesthetic and was immediately on board. Heck it could have been Barbie’s Horse Adventure and for a penny I would have snagged it. So was this game worth the download? It’s a penny so yes. But should you check it out?

The story is as basic as any NES game. You’re the last of a race of bird people. You have the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the head of an eagle. You live on a planet where guns grow on trees and your knife is bigger than your body. You land on a planet where six intergalactic heroes were destined to meet. They spout complete nonsense, but if you want to preserve your legacy, you better defeat the robot masters—I mean the heroes.

This game is apparently the third in the Gun World Series. A series I had no idea existed until I was looking more into the game. Whether you need to know anything about them or not is anyone’s guess. The game says it’s a load of nonsense from the get go. Knowing that doesn’t detract from the gameplay which is the main feature here.

The game has you go through a brief level to learn the basics. Grow gun plants, shoot guns, swing your knife, climb walls, slide through tight spaces, jump, platform, and so forth. Once you finish, you meet the ghosts of games I didn’t realize existed, save, and then enter Zelda 2: Link’s Adventure. The overworld works exactly the same as there. There’s castles on the map, caves, different types of terrain, and enemy shadows will wander around the map as you walk around. Run into them and you’ll enter into an enemy laden area. The map isn’t as fun to explore as Zelda’s, but it’s perfectly serviceable and I’m not about to nitpick a game that cost me pocket change I found in the parking lot.

The bread and butter are the action segments inside the castles and caves. Many of the caves you can’t do anything with just yet, teasing future unlocks. The castles have you portal into Megaman as you go through easily repeatable and sometimes frustratingly tedious levels. There’s no lives so you can learn and die as much as you want. It’ll cost you coins, but those are easy enough to get back. You can use coins in the vending machine in the save area to buy a variety of things to help you in these action platforming sections. The gun shooting works just like mega man’s gun except when you run out of ammo, you have to grow a new tree to get another gun. While this is usually not too much of an issue, certain segments will need you to plan your gun growth out in advance.

The graphics are your typical indie 8-bit fare. They’re not as good as Shovel Knight, but they’re not awful either. In green levels, things can get a little hard to see, but I have no major complaints about the aesthetic. It’s bland but serviceable.

There’s really not much more to say. Try it out if you like NES games or megaman. While you’re better off playing Shovel Knight any day, this game is still cheap even when it’s not on sale and you’ll find some enjoyment in it if you want a challenging game that reminds you of yesteryear.

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