IFComp 2010: Flight of the Hummingbird

Ares I-X Rocket Takes Off (NASA, 10/28/09)

“Flight of the Hummingbird: An Interactive Costumed Caper” by Michael Martin

Dr. Sinister is at it again! The Concordance of Powered Response isn’t entirely clear on what it is he’s planning, but it’s big. This is clearly a task for one of the world’s mightiest champions!

Hooray! This sounds light and fun, which is exactly what I’m in the mood for. Please let there be no zombies involved. Spoilers abound – proceed with caution.

The blurb continues in-game…

Unfortunately, they’ve had to send you instead; the world’s mightiest champions have otheremergencies to deal with. New Year’s Eve is always rough.

I haven’t even hit the prompt and already the game is going exactly the direction I was hoping for. The premise of the game is that I’m a half-baked superhero who can fly by waving my arms very fast with the power of energy drinks. Of course, my flight time is limited; Every five turns or so I must take a sip of energy drink while plummeting toward the ground!

You’re particularly proud of the fact that unlike most of your heroic comrades-in-arms, you have a proper excuse for your ridiculously overdeveloped pectoral muscles.

I haven’t smiled this much all comp. Okay, okay, I’ll stop just quoting the game.

Just kidding… I love this:

To the west you can see a fancy desk and an enormous pit taking up most of the room. Looks like the boss had an open-floor policy to go with his open-door one.

This is a short, fun game that’s tongue-in-cheek from start to finish. Navigation puzzles play a major part in this game, which isn’t always exciting but it works well enough. Everything is well-paced and well-hinted. The only time I need to consult hints was at the very beginning, when I left the mainland before discovering the wreckage with the crowbar.

It’s a bit short, and a bit sparse, and there are times when my objective isn’t entirely clear. I knew what to do, but I didn’t know why. Hey, when there’s a big rocket on the island, what else are you going to do but launch it? However, I didn’t understand until liftoff why launching the rocket was going to help me stop a villain who had already escaped. Likewise, where did the original rocket come from? There’s no mention of an empty space in the hangar.

So I really liked this – it was a fantastic little diversion, and not much more than that.

Verdict: A


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