March 11, 2015 5:00 AM | Joel Couture
Nest is quite a simple game. You fly around a small map and land on the various nests scattered there. If you stay on a nest for a few seconds, it becomes yours, and the player with the most captured nests at the end of the match is the winner. What makes this gameplay special is the felted wool creatures that The Hand Dye Company have hand-crafted and stop-motion animated for the game, giving it a playful, soft visual style. It's not often that I want to curl up and take a nap with the things that I'm fighting in a game, but Nest is that rare instance.
That fuzzy, silly art style still has a fun game to play along with it. Flying around and grabbing nests makes for some fast gameplay, especially when you add some simple ways of fighting off your opponents. You can spit out small blobs that will knock the other birds and creatures back, and they can do the same to you as well, sending players spinning all over the map as you fight for who can own the most nests. It can get quite competitive, which was something I didn't expect when I saw the visuals during a quick playthrough at Indie Games Live in Boston last week. Once I had that fuzzy bird under my control, though, I wasn't letting any of the other creatures take my nests!
Still, it's the style, used to great effect in their previous game, Voyager, that really makes the game shine. With an array of googly-eyed stuffed creatures to play as, all of whom look like they escaped from your grandmother's yarn bag, it's easy to lose yourself in a few fun rounds playfully grabbing at nests. Competitive and exciting in playful ways, The Hand Dye Company is hoping to make you go "Awwww" with Nest's oncoming release on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.