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Demo’d: Owlboy

The future’s air traffic has been bustling, and traveling it in comfort can be rather subjective. It’s probably why the occasional touch down on retro runways is met with little turbulence. The next stop on this flight is D-Pad Studio’s Owlboy.

The Owlboy in question is a young, quiet, lad named Otus. His floating village of Vellie has suffered numerous attacks from sky pirates and enough is enough. Donning the Owl Cape, which grants him free flight, and accompanied by his gun toting pal, Geddy, Otus takes to the skies to save the day.

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Aside from its delectable Nintendo DS-esque graphics upon steampunk, what certainly stands out about Owlboy is its exhibition of numerous influences. When you consider its choice in art and music, Miyazaki definitely comes to mind. When you take in its elaborate sidescrolling action, puzzles, and light RPG elements, you’ll be pleasantly reminded of blockbuster hits such as Castlevania, Commander Keen, and even Zelda.

But that doesn’t mean Owlboy isn’t without its own prestige. Given flying’s versatility and convenience, this is a sidescroller where you’ll actually spend very little time on the ground, even when you dungeon crawl. Though Otus can bat away foes with his cape, Geddy is needed to make the kills – you’ll have to carry him during flight, using your mouse to take aim. There are areas where you’ll have to travel by foot, and given your gunman’s lack of mobile motivations, you’ll have to leave him behind on occasion. But thankfully, you can teleport him to your location at any time.

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Otus certainly is unique amongst the menagerie or today’s superheroes, and the same can be said of his adversaries. From fire-breathing cave salamanders, hungry near-sighted gnomes, and insane plus sized bosses, Otus definitely has his work cut out for him. While fighting the forces of evil, you’ll also interact amongst a bevy of illustrious personas, providing sidequests, and alluding that there’s indeed a grander scheme at work than just pirate busting.

For a small demo led by a small protagonist, the demonstration certainly leaves a massive impression – a travel brochure that will have you desiring to fully experience its world of machinery, mysticism, and people carrying soup in canteens. As of now, D-Pad Studios has not provided a concrete release date, only that it’ll be during the upcoming Q4 2011. Stay tuned owlets, your window seat awaits on PC and Xbox360.

You can check out the Owlboy PC demo for free here.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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