Platformers have been making a return to old school formats, from the passionate Kick Starter attempts such as Yooka-Layliey, to outright returns to form in Super Mario Odyssey. However, I want to draw your attention to a game called Wings of Glass, currently under the name Glass Wing Capstone from what is an interesting history.
This game started off as a Game Jam in 2014 made by Sayuri Artsy, the person behind games such as the Bullet Life, the first 3D Bullet hell game, and founder of the now defunct From Soy Sauce. The game is a physiological horror platformer, and was going to get a remake in the form of the game Glass Wing Retold, which was going to be a new game that would tell the story in a different way, and expand on some characters.
But Sayuri-Sensei, as she and her fans often refer to her, was in college at the time, and with her final coursework project looming, she wanted at first to remake Bullet Life. However, in the end she decided to make a remake of the original game, under the name Glass Wing Capstone, which is the basis for Wings Of Glass.
Anyways, I have played the demo, and for me it seems to be a mix of old styled gameplay, with how Mayfly moves like she was ripped right out from Super Mario Sunshine, with more modern elements inserted in, such as Ferace, the antagonist of the game, talking to Mayfly, our protagonist and playable character, in a mix of both game play and cutscenes. This may have been something used by Uncharted and the Tomb Raider reboot, but what makes it unique here the art style and ambience. Furthermore, Mayfly is referred to as a demon, which is clearly contrasted by her design, which, to paraphrase Sayuri-Sensei herself, is meant to be cute and huggable.
And it works. I keep thinking in my mind that there is no way that Mayfly is a demon, who Ferace takes an interest in because of her Glass Wings.but I keep having to remind myself that she is. Ferace I find unique as a villain, because of the fact that seems both powerful and cunning, which I hope is expanded on the full game. However, it also excels as a game by being able to give you new abilities and platforming challenges that are admittedly a bit brain-racking, but also make it feel like it wouldn’t be out of place on N64.
Sayuri’s normal brand of physiological horror is also present here. From the opening monologue to the heavy breathing of Mayfly when she is low on health. However, this also makes the game rely on Gotcha moments, where the only way you know something is there, is if you… know it’s there, and it can be annoying at times. The game also immerses you into the environment in different ways, as there is no Heads Up Display, and Mayfly’s health and different modes are tied to her wings, making the game more immersive. Though there is a hint mode if you struggling, so put it on if and when you need help.
Overall, I can say that the demo for Wings of Glass is worth checking out on itch.io. There is a lot of fun to be had in what I think is an old meets new styled platformer, not to mention the fact that this is just a taste of what’s to come.