You're a bird in this Early Access voxel sandbox, but sometimes you're a flying monkey

Sometimes we PC gamers need a break from the usual fare of guns, explosions, death, destruction, and maniacal villains. That's when we turn off the news and play a game. I'll give you a moment to recover from that perfectly executed joke, then point out that games, too, are often filled with violence, weapons, and stress, which is why it's nice to play a game that lets you relax a bit.

Fugl, now in Early Access on Steam, is meant just for that. Billed as 'a meditative bird flying game', there are no goals, no guns, no ticking clock, and nothing to kill or to be killed by. Just fly though a lovely and expansive voxel world as a multicolored bird.

There is a bit more to it, though, as you can see above and below. As you soar, you'll see other creatures in the world, like flocks of birds. Glide over and investigate, and if you pass close enough to them, you'll acquire their attributes. 

As I flew through a flock of flamingos, my legs lengthened, my wings darkened, and I took on their color and appearance. Pretty cool. The effect is temporary, and soon you shift back into your original self, but there's something enjoyable about morphing into a different creatures, and it immediately encourages you to drift close to any other creatures you spot.

This doesn't only work with other birds. As you can see above, I brushed past what I assume was a butterfly or moth, and took on its form. I had to pump my new tiny wings a bit harder and I grew some antennae to boot.

There are creatures in Fugl that don't have wings, too. I spotted a collection of screeching, hopping monkeys on a beach below, and flew down to investigate. I crashed like a huge dork, but when I pulled myself out of the voxel shrubbery, I had indeed taken on the properties of the little primates. I could still fly, however.

Fugl is relaxing to explore and glide around in. I wouldn't call it meditative, really, at least not yet. As it's in Early Access, the controls (on keyboard and mouse, at least) are a still a little clunky and it sometimes feels as if you're fighting them. The camera, too, could use a little work, especially while you're on the ground or bobbing in the water (I spied some large fish, and was attempting to morph into them).

It's definitely relaxing and serene, though, an enjoyable getaway from the blood, bullets and brutality of many other games. You'll find Fugl on Steam Early Access for ten bucks, and a current 10% off for the next 24 hours.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.