Something to Watch: “Fear of Flying”

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As I said in my last post, I have been combing through the interwebs for short films based on the holiday season and winter in general. In my quest, I’ve found this fun, award-winning short film about what happens when the birds fly south for winter. It’s two years old and didn’t have enough to do with the holidays to make my “Jingle Things” series. But if you haven’t seen it already, you should definitely watch Fear of Flying.

I love this one! I love the simple-but-clever premise. I love the combination of puppetry and animation. I love the character designs and the coloring. It’s a very pretty looking piece.

If you’re looking for a little more, there’s also this brief behind-the-scenes clip below. You can also check out animator Conor Finnegan’s other work on Vimeo, here. He’s a talented guy and his work is very much worth checking out.

You can find Conor Finnegan on Tumblr, here.

Something to Play: “Secrets of Raetikon” Review

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So I stumbled upon this one by complete accident. Digging through it’s history, I found out that it got most of it’s funding through an indiegogo campaign, and didn’t seem to receive very much attention from the video game press upon it’s release, back in January. So let’s dive in and check out Secrets of Raetikon.

Story’s pretty simple on this one. You’re a bird flying through a forest that houses what appear to be ruins of an ancient civilization. You come across a huge mechanism of some sort, and then set out to find and collect the artifacts necessary to power it.

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Gameplay-wise, it’s a side-scrolling open exploration game. Kinda like Metroid… but with more nature! Apart from collecting the main artifacts, you’ll face off against hostile predatorial animals, solve environmental puzzles, collect glowing blue things called rhinestones (I’m still not sure what they do) and collect letters of an ancient language that allow you to decipher mysterious messages hidden all over the place.

The game has a really cool look, using minimalistic artwork to assemble an endless amount of triangles into an beautiful forest. The controls are simple, but fun to play around with. And there’s an air of mystery that’s constantly tempting you to see all the world has to offer.

On the down side, It’s short, and I mean really short. You’ll beat it in two, maybe three hours. And without giving anything away plot-wise, the ending, in what I assume is an attempt to be funny, is brief, makes no sense, and is far from satisfying.

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I still like it, though. At the end of the day, it’s ten dollars for a small but unique world and a fun bird mechanic. If that sounds like a good deal to you, then look it up on Steam and hop on-board. However, if you’re just looking for a really good exploration game, you’re better off looking elsewhere.