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Copoka Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . I suppose the good news is that the story is interesting, even if the gameplay and world isn't. I like Copoka's bright and colorful graphics, and the political turmoil is genuinely gripping. But this is a painfully repetitive game that never fully marries the gameplay to the open world. It's an interesting twist on the walking simulator genre that left me wanting more depth. And when it comes down to it, this game never manages to take flight. Rating: 57%
Copoka
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
Copoka is being sold as an open world exploration game where you fly around a city picking up twigs and items to build a nest. And while that's technically true, the description is a bit misleading. When it's described it like that, you might get the impression that it's an adventure game where you solve puzzles and defeat enemies. But there are no puzzles or enemies here, and this curious sandbox game is a lot closer to a walking simulator than The Legend of Zelda.

You play a bird that is simply trying to make a home out of Copoka. There's political unrest happening on the streets below, and the city's residents are conflicted on how to deal with the totalitarian leader. At first this seems like this is nothing more than intriguing window-dressing, but you'll quickly realize that it's the story and message that matters more than the paper-thin gameplay.


The goal is simple enough: You fly around the map listening to the conversations of the people on the streets. This will eventually tie into the four items you have to collect in order to build the nest. These twigs and dropped items are usually pretty easy to locate, since they glow a bright light the bird can see from a mile away. You'll want to swoop down and listen to all the conversations, pick up the items and then return back to the nest. Once you've found the four parts of the nest, you'll move on to the next stage and start the process all over again.

Copoka plays out over four moments in time, giving us a chance to see how the political strife unravels. This is certainly the most interesting part of the game, since it directly ties into the conversations and propels the story forward. It also gives the game a chance to play with the colors a bit, offering slight changes to the city as you progress through the levels. I do wish the developer had done more with the concept, such as giving us different seasons and weather effects.

It also would have been nice if the open-world was more interesting. Actually, the city itself looks like it would be a lot of fun to walk around and explore. But from the perspective of a bird, it's pretty boring. It never feels like the environment was created with the bird in mind, so you're basically just flying over buildings the entire time. I can only imagine how much more exciting the game would be if you were flying through mountains and caves, actual locations where you have to think fast and swoop through tight spots. But there's nothing like that in Copoka, unless you count flying under a bridge.

It's also a shame the developer didn't do more with the open world. The various conversations happen all over the place, but most of the twigs and items are found inside the city limits. I'm surprised they didn't make it where you find twigs in the forests and the various items in the factories, business and government buildings that make up Copoka. Everything just feels like it was scattered at random, with absolutely no care put into connecting it with the world they established.

Copoka (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It doesn't help that the game is the very definition of repetitive. The missions never change, you're stuck listening to conversations, picking up items and building the nest in every level. And then it just ends. There's no cinema or credit sequence, just a thank you message and that's it. Obviously it's the story that has the climax, but the way it just concludes out of nowhere left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

I suppose the good news is that the story is interesting, even if the gameplay and world isn't. I like Copoka's bright and colorful graphics, and the political turmoil is genuinely gripping. But this is a painfully repetitive game that never fully marries the gameplay to the open world. It's an interesting twist on the walking simulator genre that left me wanting more depth. And when it comes down to it, this game never manages to take flight.
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