Hands-on with Apsis - a beautiful, terrifying journey with a flock of birds
Apsis is much better than I thought it would be.
True, I have a penchant for arty games, but Apsis isn't esoteric. It has the same sort of appeal as thatgamecompany's Journey, so I think a lot of people will be able to enjoy it.
Using your finger, you start off by guiding a single bird out of a cul-de-sac in the air. The start isn't all that impressive, as the art looks discordant, and being funnelled through corridors doesn't really feel like flying.
But this changes as soon as you collect a bird for your flock and leave the corridors behind.
The sky opens up just as the uplifting chords of a piano kick in. You're flying past fluffy clouds, swerving through air currents, and spotting red houses far below.
The moment that you glide into the vaulting daylight is fantastically uplifting, and developer A Stranger Gravity continues to deliver with each 'world' you fly through. The introduction of the eagle actually gave me goosebumps, thanks in part to the ominous piano notes.
You hear the eagle cry out into the air before you see it. Then, SWOOSH, the eagle dives through your flock, clawing at your tiny birds.
Should you survive the eagle, you'll then have a brief moment to regroup by chasing the glowing orbs that add to your numbers when you catch them. You can also find stray birds to join you along the way.
The birds of prey aren't your only threat. Later you'll head straight into a storm. This level is very dark, so the flashes of lightning provide temporary guidance, but also threaten to cook you.
What strikes me most about Apsis is how well the piano score depicts the mood of each world. Whether you're enjoying the liberation of speedy flight or flying through the rumbles of thunder, the music sets the tone.
Apsis surprised me both with its beauty and with its capacity to induce panicked terror. The journey you go on with your flock is memorable and well worth experiencing.Apsis will be coming to Android, as well as PC, Mac, and Linux, very soon. You can vote for it to come to Steam on Greenlight.