Cheap Shot: Aves

Aves is a strange little game that fails to capitalize on its clever use of directional sounds. You’ll hear the haunting cries of a birdlike creature, and although you’re stationary, you’ll be able to tilt the screen up, down, and to the sides to try to locate the animal.

Although you get a pretty good feel for where the bird is by merely listening to the audio clues (headphones required), actually targeting it is a mighty chore. The controls here are lackluster, especially when trying to aim up and down.

Mystical or not, this bird is going down.

It quickly becomes tedious to find the animal, and once you get a shot in it will cry out and flail pathetically to get away, requiring more shots. We once pinned one to the wall with the first shot, and the bird flapped miserably with its free wing as we tried to line up additional shots for the kill.

If that sounds disturbing, well, that’s because it is. We don’t really understand the setting here, what with the angels on the title screen and strange artwork on some of the levels. The creatures come across as something mystical or godlike, and it’s strange to shoot them down for no apparent reason. With its lackluster controls and disturbing premise, we wouldn’t recommend this puzzling shooter to anyone looking for a good time.

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