The big budget, melancholic triple-A blockbusters may be dominating the gaming world at E3 this week, but the App Store serves as its own detached utopia where anything can happen – including owls firing rockets out of their butts. We first caught a glimpse of Fowlst ($0.99) at the start of this month, and while CatCup Games’ latest release was full of eclectic power-ups and an eccentric sense of humor, there looked to be a solid arcade game beneath the comical retro exterior. Right on time, Fowlst has released on the App Store today for $1.99, and even though it’s difficult to pin down exactly what the gameplay consists of, it’s definitely one of the more unique titles I’ve played on the iPhone in recent weeks.
Genre labels transcend something as unconventional as Fowlst, and while there are a lot of elements that are taken from other prominent iOS classics, the resulting amalgam is particularly distinctive from its peers. Through tapping either side of the touch screen, you can make your owl protagonist flap in the designated direction, and within the confines of each level you must hit red demons head-on while dodging the lasers they may fire. The physics of Fowlst’s flapping feel somewhat reminiscent of Flappy Bird, and the addition of water elements as well as numerous hazards such as buzz-saws and flames keep the game feeling diverse and fresh through its infinite randomly generated levels. Power-ups can be taken from vanquished foes, and money is used to purchase the aforementioned butt cannons that will allow you to unleash a rectal rampage of rockets onto any demons sneaking up from behind. A Downwell-esque retro aesthetic tops off a really solid arcade package, and emphasises the game’s frantic and unforgiving edge. First impressions of the game on our forums are extremely positive, and if you think Fowlst looks like a hoot, download it on the App Store now.