Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ruffled: Feathers Rising - 2.99 (Pixelloop)

Ruffled: Feathers Rising is a free-roam 3D game from Pixelloop. In it, you play a bird set on taking revenge on the humans for invading their land. Just so happens that the only way you can take revenge on them is by covering them in feces, which actually makes for a pretty good game.

You’re given 5 different areas to exact your revenge; Residential, City Park, College Campus, Construction Yard and Downtown. Each is a huge open world in which you get to fly around collecting worms and gold pieces, flying through time circles, and nose-diving down to dump poo on unsuspecting people and cars. You’ll have different amounts of time for each level, starting at 5 minutes, and going up to 10, to rack up as many points and achievements as you can. There’s also practice modes for each level, which let you fly around, getting to know the layout of the level. Collecting worms adds to the amount of poop you get to drop on people and cars, while flying through rings extends your level time. You’ve got a rage meter at the bottom of the screen that rises with each successfully landed poo, and once it’s filled, the time stands still, and your points multiply. Entering Rage Mode is the only real way to get awesome scores.
Each level is filled with pedestrians and cars, and are pretty big. Flying around is done automatically, and you control your flight by pressing and dragging on the left side of the screen. The controls work reasonably well, but adding tilt controls would really help give the player the feeling of flight. The right side of the screen is tapped on when you want to drop one on someone. Each time you do, the camera follows your poop until it hits an object. This makes crashing into random objects in the world a pretty common occurrence unless you can manage to keep steering your bird while the camera is locked on your poop.
The graphics in Ruffled are pretty good. Environments are varied and detailed quite well considering how big they are. Walking and driving animations are a little funny looking, but they work. You can tell that each moving object is following a strict lined out path, but this does make it easier to plan your attacks and follow people around. The game runs relatively smooth, and hasn’t crashed or lagged out on me once. The music and effects fit the game and add to the atmosphere very nicely.
One thing I love about this game is that you can play it one of two ways. You can go achievement hunting, exploring the levels as thoroughly as possible, picking up every item you see. Or you can focus more on pooping on the people and cars, flying around in Rage Mode, and going for a high-score. I also love how each level is progressively longer than the last, and all unlocked from the moment you start up the game. So you can pick a level depending on how much time you want to spend playing the game.
There’s enough replayability to keep Ruffled on your device for some time, but without online leaderboards, you’ll only be able to beat your own previous scores. There’s also no story beyond the first intro images. It’s be great if after you finished a level, you’d get a cut-scene or series of images having the bird flying back to the flock, and telling of his wild escapades and achievements. If animations were cleared up, the story was expanded on, online functionality was added, tilt controls were thrown in, and the performance was cleaned up a tad, this would be one hell of a game. It does have Universal support going for it, so you can experience the great environments on both your iPod and iPad in the same resolution, and $2.99 for this open-world free-roam game is a pretty decent price. I do have high hopes for the game though, as the developers are active on the Touch Arcade Forums, and listening intently to iTunes AppStore reviews.

Ruffled: Feathers Rising is going to get a 3.5 out of 5 stars from me


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