Fantastic Arcade: Feist


Posted October 21, 2010 - By Kevin Kelly

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Fantastic Arcade: Feist

Recently, we spent time in Austin, Texas at Fantastic Fest. In addition to being the country's best genre film festival (read: geek/horror/sci-fi/Asian/shock), they've added a Fantastic Arcade element that highlights the weird and wacky games out there, particularly in the independent games arena. We'll be presenting those for you right here.

It's impossible to look at Feist and not think Limbo, but rest assured that it's not a ripoff. Feist was in development at the same time as Limbo, but the game was developed by a different team who just happened to explore a similar art style. But where Limbo has a voiceless boy as the protagonist, Feist's star is a fuzzy little puffball who leaps and glides across the screen, complete with a motion trail that he leaves in the air behind him.

Feist originally began developed as a senior thesis project in 2008 by Adrian Stutz and Florian Faller, two students at the Zurich University of Arts. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own as it has moved from a student project to an indie game, and one that looks like it has the potential be released by a major publisher. The game is being developed using the Unity 3D Engine, just like Limbo, and it already feels polished and looks beautiful, with gorgeous ambient music provided by Podington Bear.

The game plays a lot "floatier" than Limbo, as your little puffball character easily glides through the air, with that trial behind him. According to Stutz, they put the trail-tail in because, "Movement should be enjoyed by itself. It's like painting in the air." It doesn't add anything to the play mechanics, it's just fun to watch. Feist loses fuzz when he gets hurt, and when he eats things the fur grows back. He get pick up and hurl objects at other items/creatures, or he can push and roll things along the ground. That's the basic package, and they are creating the game with no GUI, and no abstract elements.

There will be plenty of puzzle solving in the game, and you face off against "Fenlights," the basic enemies several times. They look like fat, ravenous weasels, much bigger then the puffball that is Feist. Whose name was chosen because "feist" means "fat" or "cheeky" in German, and in English it means scrappy and tough. Which is what you're supposed to be throughout this game. Originally developed on the Mac, the game is now running on the PC, and looks like a no-brainer to bring to XBLA and PSN. It's a beautiful looking game that deserves to be played, and we'll let you know as we hear more about it.

Fantastic Arcade: Feist


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