Free Game Download: Bennu – An Indie Game Review

Free Game Download: Bennu – An Indie Game Review
3.5

Platforms:

Windows PC, XBOX 360 Indie

Game Name:

Bennu

Developer(s):

Once A Bird

Genre(s):

puzzle, action, platformer

Release Date:

2008

Developer Summary:

Bennu is an innovative physics-based puzzler. The player controls a ball and chain and progresses through the levels by swinging from place to place, all the while destroying the blocks on each level by swinging into them. Bennu features both single and cooperative gameplay.

What We Think:

Bennu is something that is a bit hard to nail down. One part physics puzzler, one part action platformer, or, in this case, swinging platformer.

The object of Bennu is to swing your ball into like-colored bricks which will cause them to cascade away, until all connecting blocks of the same color have closed in on themselves. Sure, it sounds simple, but the levels are designed fiendishly so what would otherwise be a quick burn of about 30 levels, turns into a couple hours long game as you die and retry a level to perfection.

Bennu game screenshot - you want a plot
Here's your plot...

Your ball can shoot out a chain, that once it hits a wall, latches on and will remain the same length until you let go an reattach to a new location. You can hold a button to roll along as well, and sometimes you’ll need to cling to a wall and roll up it. The control scheme is straightforward, and my only complaint about the game is that when swinging, pressing Left always means you’ll swing left…as if you were hanging below your chain, thus, if you fling yourself up high, and shoot down, then pressing left will actually slam you down back to the right. So try to think of it more as a clockwise, counter-clockwise movement.

Bennu game screenshot2 - this level will drive you mad
This level will drive you mad...

Scattered across the levels are energy balls that will change your color so you can make more blocks in the level disappear. Sometimes these objects are used as an obstacle as if you change and there is no way to change back, the level defaults to a loss if there are remaining blocks that can no longer be disposed of. Later in the game these balls are loose, and you can push them along, or catch one as it’s falling and swing with it before it disappears below into the nether.

In final stages, Bennu introduces some new block types that I should leave as a surprise to the player, that demand skill and accuracy to navigate.

Bennu game screenshot - this frog is tougher than it looks patience is needed
The frog boss is hard if you try to rush it...

Despite the fact that Bennu is graphically quite simple, it uses its Egyptian theme and setting well and even puts a bit of stylization into the opening cut scene by placing the characters on marionette strings. They’re right where they need to be for a game like this, functional, and pleasing.

As for replayability, you will probably want to shelf it when you’re done. That said, if you enjoyed your time with it, it’s certainly a social virus as you’re going to want to have your friends try it.

The last thing I want to point out, is that the music is a shining star in this game. Done by a band called The Guilty Ones, they nail a great sound for the game, and for some of the tracks, have a bit of Pink Floyd influence to it. Even if you don’t like puzzle games, you should check out the band, at least.

Bennu game screenshot - oops
Oops.

Get Bennu at the official Once A Bird site absolutely free

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

HappyWulf

[USA] Gaming since he was 3, most main stream titles have become a 'been there, done that' feel. Indie gaming is where the innovation is at these days, and even in some tired old genres, a developer with a dream can breathe some fresh life into an old formula.

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