Blazing Beaks – Review
Follow Genre: Rogue Action Survival
Developer: Applava
Publisher: Applava
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Blazing Beaks – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Good bursts of short, fun action
Bad: Controls not as nice on Switch, repeating same rogue levels
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

A duck, a chicken, a penguin, and some other birds walk into a forest. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s actually the premise of Blazing Beaks, a game by Applava. Only instead of a conclusion for your joke, you get an utter rampage with birds shooting around them to survive in dangerous worlds. 

Story

There is a story mode in Blazing Beaks, but no real story actually. You just get dropped into the game without cutscenes or tutorials, and you will have to figure out how to play and the difference between good and bad items. You can do the main game in co-op mode, and there are also other modes for you to play with your friends such as classic Deathmatch, and it’s gathered together under ”Tournament mode”. But other than that, the story is only the adventure you are experiencing while playing.

Graphics

Very cute pixelated creatures and environments fill up your screen as you try to slaughter everything. The ”boxed” levels that you get placed in take a bit of time to get used to maybe, but eventually it works to the game’s favor. Everything is made tight and works well. It’s a tiled grid but you won’t notice it that much because of the freedom of A.I. and characters to move in all directions. The way the entire level is presented on one screen is giving you a good view of everything that’s going on but at the same time limits your movement options and can make you a bit trapped. That being said, apart from some sneaky traps or creatures that are sometimes easy to lose your vision of, the animations and every aspect of Blazing Beaks is communicating well and in its own, cute little style.

Sound

The sound in Blazing Beaks is fitting, but also a bit monotone. Not only does it not really have memorable background music, even though it fits a pixelated style of game with themed music for each type of world, but the sound effects are also a bit bland. Yes, the creatures make their own sounds, but they do this a thousand times. And if you shoot your gun, which you will do most of the time, it overshadows most of the sounds by a continuous pew, pew, pew, pew or anything of the sort.

Gameplay

In Blazing Beaks you go into randomly generated levels with a lot of other random factors to shoot things up, making it a rogue action survival game. You first choose a bird-type character such as a duck, penguin, chicken, bluebird, and more. Every character has its own advantages. The chicken as an example has more range and marked enemies, which are randomly selected enemies that get a mark above their heads for a few seconds, can be killed with a single shot. Now, Blazing Beaks is not a big game but it’s so well balanced that it will take you a bit of time to get through the ”story” mode and it also has some replay value.

Basically, you go from screen to screen as you try to clear all the enemies while also trying to work towards the best item build possible. Enemies drop either keys to unlock possible doors, hearts to refill your health, coins to buy stuff in stores, or artifacts that will likely give you a debuff rather than a positive buff. Why would you pick up those artifacts you ask? Well, that’s where the originality of Blazing Beaks kicks in. It adds a risk factor where you can trade in your debuff-cursed items for positive buff items in the store if you can find one. This means that you can try to keep picking up debuffs to, later on, get a bigger reward from the Raven at the store that will trade them for you. Yet, if you are not careful your arrogance will cost you your life because you destroy the sustain you need to complete an entire run through an increasingly difficult game.

There are multiple enemies that each come with their themed levels, about six different worlds where the last four are choices of two (so you will run through four worlds), and the game racks up the difficulty quite fast. To counter this, you need to either trust in random factors by mainly picking up debuffs and trading them, by buying weapons with earned money, hunting for secrets, or most likely, a combination of all the previously mentioned. If you die, the game generally stays fun thanks to the randomized levels unless you click ”retry” upon dying, teleporting you back to the exact same run you just did. A weird design choice, because other than that it’s completely randomized and you require a combination of skill and luck which works in the game’s advantage.

The gameplay and design itself are balanced and smooth. However, the first few worlds can get repetitive to grind through to get further, and the Switch’s version of Blazing Beaks doesn’t feel as natural as aiming with your mouse towards a spot you want to hit and click to shoot something into that direction. Instead, the Switch has one analog stick to walk around while with the other one you aim around you in a (small) radial fashion. This makes it so that you have to do a lot more effort to draw the imaginary lines towards your enemies before you pull the right trigger to shoot, simply making it feel less smooth and maybe even a bit clunky compared to the PC version. Perhaps it would have been smarter to make the game a twin-stick shooter on the Switch to compensate, instantly making you shoot as you aim.

Conclusion

Blazing Beaks is one of those randomly generated games that might suck up some of your time before you know it. Each round you try to win is balanced, increasingly difficult, and well designed, even though you probably won’t want to admit it as you die by an unforeseen explosion. There’s enough to do for you solo to figure out what’s going on, and enough for multiple players as well. It’s too bad the Switch’s version doesn’t give the same smooth experience as on the PC version, and the game could use a little bit more variation early on. But those critiques aside, it’s a well-crafted game that offers you some classic rogue action.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Blazing Beaks - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen


Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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