Sunday, October 03, 2010

[IF Comp] Flight of the Hummingbird

Flight of the Hummingbird is a super heroes game. Now you should know that I hate superheroes. Not that I've ever read any super hero comics (these seem to be a predominantly American phenomenon), but I have seen some super hero movies. I tried two of those recent Spiderman movies, but stopped both long before the end. A couple of years ago, friends made me watch all of X-men 2, which gets a respectable 7.8 at the IMDB. I found it incomprehensible and utterly boring.*

Does that mean I hate Flight of the Hummingbird? No. Sure, it has a really bad story, as predictable as possible with characters made out of the thinnest cardboard the author could buy. But while this would be fatal to a movie (although as far as I could tell X-men 2 didn't even have a plot), it isn't much of a problem when you are playing a short and polished puzzle game. That is what this game is, and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. The story and the characters are so obviously only there to provide a backdrop for the puzzles that it would be infelicitous to complain about them.

How are the puzzles? The key word here is "friendly". It's unlikely that you will get stuck, since the game always makes quite clear what obstacles you need to overcome and often points you into the general direction of the solution as well. Every object that looks significant for solving a puzzle will be significant for solving a puzzle, often quite quickly after you have encountered it, and the world is quite sparse. The only puzzle that is perhaps a little less friendly is the navigation puzzle, but even that worked better than I expected -- it was far less confusing than the navigation sequences in Seastalker, for instance.

Add to this a sprinkling of light comedic touches, and you've gotten yourself an enjoyable and easy puzzle romp. Flight of the Hummingbird is not great, and is not even aiming for greatness, but it achieves its humble aims very well.


* However, Kenneth Branagh is apparently directing a super heroes movie called Thor. I love Branagh. His Hamlet is among my favourite movies -- I can watch its entire 4+ hours without a moment of boredom. So that's one super heroes movie I might try.

6 comments:

  1. Have you seen "The Dark Knight"?

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  2. No, I haven't, but I think I have seen Batman Forever (not 100% sure, it was a long time ago, but it had the Penguin in it) as well as the final 30 minutes of another Batman film (I cannot remember which one), neither of which left me eager for more.

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  3. You've got 2 Tim Burton Batmans (1989, 1992), which I view as genius. Then you've got 2 huge stinkers, Batman and Robin, and Batman Forever. Then for a long time, nothing happened. Then you've got Chris Nolan's reboot of Batman Begins, followed by The Dark Knight.

    Almost nobody in the world likes Batman and Robin and Batman Forever, but everyone else tends to like either the original 2 films or the recent 2, all of undoubted quality. So there's about 3 aesthetics in there (Burton, CRAP, and Nolan) and if we accept a basic interest in Batman and movies, it's advisable to sample all 3 (or at least the 2 good aesthetics) to know if you really dig any particular one or not.

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  4. Ok, I'll keep that in mind. No promises, but perhaps I'll watch The Dark Knight. At least I won't hold Batman Forever against it. :)

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  5. There's also the Adam West Batman movie, but, uh, if you're not a fan of superheroes you definitely won't be a fan of it.

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  6. "I love Branagh. His Hamlet is among my favourite movies -- I can watch its entire 4+ hours without a moment of boredom. So that's one super heroes movie I might try."

    Pshaw. Branagh's only any good when he plays Claudius.

    The Ethan Hawke _Hamlet_ is nearly perfect, IMHO. Sadly, the Russian one _is_ perfect... and it's in Russian.

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