In Vane… it’s uhh, a ummm, exploration puzzle game. You play as a crow? Raven? I don’t know, but you seem to be magical, because sometimes you become a boy? Girl? Fuck if I know. The devs made this game fucking confusing. You’re objective is to… to uhhh, I have no idea. You just do one thing then the next til you’ve done all the things. God this review is going straight to shit already, oh man.
Okay so you start off as a person, carrying a big fucking egg in this giant storm with lighting striking everywhere, and you’re running over a bunch of metal, and the storm is ripping parts of it off, you’re trying to get to… something, with this egg. Then you’re a black bird and you’re in a desert area. Now you fly, fly birdy fllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyy. At that point you’re trying to make these little sparkly things go to a giant weather vane, which is where I assume Vane’s name come from. If not then I have no fucking clue. Anyways other crows or ravens or whatever the fuck you are, follow the shiny thing, woot. After you deal with the vane, you push around some golden orby things and to do that you become human… maybe or something close to it at least. At that point you often switch between pushing large golden orbs which create new spaces out of nothingness, and turning into a bird to fly around. That’s the story, I don’t get it.
The puzzles aren’t particularly hard. The first bunch of them are really just as a bird make this thing turn to get stuff to the weather vane to topple it, there’s a bunch of them and none of them are particularly hard, sometimes you need to open cages storing birds to free your buddies, which are all either shove something to break the cages or push a button and open them, it’s easy peasy. Then later puzzles are to push these giant orbs around to create pathways to move around to collect more human bird things to make the orb stronger. None of it is all that hard, it’s just in large areas where you have to figure out where to go to get to the puzzles to solve in like ten seconds or so.
The game doesn’t have any talking to it, cause you’re all birds. But there are caws, there are environmental noises, etc. As such you still have a fairly auditory game here. To me, where it really shined was the first two areas you are in. The first is the very opening which is extremely short, but you’re just dropped into the game, there’s not tutorial at this point. You just running around with lighting striking all around you, with the very floor around you being ripped out of the metal frame by the strength of the wind, it’s very impressive, it gives a sense of urgency, it’s just fantastic. And the second area is where the game starts proper and you’re all ready and like, “I wonder what this kid is going to do, is it going to skip ahead to them been an adult or what?” Then, then you’re a fucking bird, and it’s like wait, what the fuck? At first I assumed as a bird I’d fly to the kid, but no. Game really threw me for a fucking loop.
There’s not much more to say about it, the story didn’t make much sense to me cause it’s very alien, the game doesn’t have a lot to it, for half the game almost you’re flying around collecting orby things, for the rest of it you’re pushing orbs around. It’s a very simple game but that doesn’t detract from the fun. I rather enjoyed flying around as a bird and the simple puzzles make ya feel a bit smart, seeing things happen is cool especially as the environment changes slowly but surely.
Overall I enjoyed it even if there’s not much to it. Audio and gameplay were both interesting the immediate twist that spanned all of like 3 seconds was really interesting even if it didn’t last long. I guess that’s kind of the concept of the game, nothing lasts long but it’s interesting while it’s there. My only issue is the crow-person thing is often fairly slow especially when pushing orbs, which I mean makes sense since they’re huge but still I hate slow.
Vane was developed and published by Friend and Foe Games.
Point of Sale: PS4, Steam.
Price: $25 on PS4, $20 on Steam.
A review copy of the game was provided by IndieGamerChick.
darkmikasonfire awards Vane the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.