October 15, 2012 12:00 PM | John Polson
Ladder-intensive puzzle-platformer Flightless will be Nitrome's first commercial PC release, and it looks and plays likes its most ambitious. Abandoning conventional platforming and biology, the ducks here cannot jump or fly. Actually, the truth is more gruesome: these kleptomaniatic ducks had their wings clipped as punishment for stealing.
However, their magic ladders can smash enemies, activate switches, bend around corners, go through teleporters, and even collect gems. As the ducks explore, they must find specified numbers of gems to unlock deeper areas of the dungeons.
Fortunately, Flightless supports a drop-in two-player mode. This works rather brilliantly even in its current beta state in browsers. As the screen splits, so too can each player split and explore separately or work together to solve puzzles. It even feels a little bit Metroid, in that there are secret rooms to find and a huge map to fill.
While the chunky pixels of Nitrome's recent Turnament and J-J-Jump are gone, fans of those games can rest happily knowing Aaron Steed had a strong hand in clever mechanics of Flightless.
Anyone interested in superb puzzle platforming should play the Flightless demo now and vote for it on Steam Greenlight.