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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Bit Assembly - Filly Astray - Hidden Gems!

 Anon Filly Got Lost... Again!

Cute pixel ponies... check! 2D platforming action... check! Unforgiving difficulty... check? Find out more about this adorable game in the full article below!

Introduced for the first time as a demo at GalaCon 2019, Filly Astray is a platforming adventure game where you take on the role of a lost filly, navigating through different locations while encountering numerous monsters (and bosses) along the way. The game received a full release on Steam in November 2023, introducing a new location, a new final boss, and of course, cute socks.
If this doesn't convince you to play the game, I don't know what will.

Featuring cute pixel graphics and fluid animations, Filly Astray quickly became known for its challenging nature and difficult enemy encounters. The game also incorporates a combo system, rewarding you for chaining different attacks by increasing your damage with each hit.
This filly got legs and she's NOT afraid to use them!

Now, let's address the elephant in the room... the game's difficulty: it is HARD! A lack of invincibility frames makes your filly as vulnerable to combos as the enemies themselves (if not more so), and if you're facing two of them simultaneously, there's a high chance you'll be pummeled to death if you let even a single attack land. Because of this, unlocking the Burst Special as soon as possible is highly recommended, as it serves as a great 'get out of jail free' card in these situations.
Filly uses Burst to kindly tell the enemy to stop attacking her.

Another common complaint is how some of the game's mechanics and moves aren't explained in the tutorial section, so here are some quick tips and tricks to aid you in your adventure, starting with what is, in my opinion, the most important one: there's a parry mechanic!
Moments before disaster..."disaster" being a perfect parry of course.

That's right, if you block an attack right before it hits you, you will completely negate the damage you would have taken (the parry window varies with each attack, with projectiles being easier to parry than melee attacks). Mastering this mechanic will make the game significantly easier, as some enemies and bosses can be quite frustrating without it, especially when you find out that some attacks cannot be blocked normally. You'll know when you've successfully parried an attack when you hear a different CLINK sound effect.
Oh, you can also dab if you press the crouch button multiple times...beautiful.

Moving on to another "hidden" move, we have the "Uppercut Kick", which can be executed by pressing down, up, and the attack button in quick succession. If performed correctly, your filly will execute an uppercut attack that propels her upwards. This can help you reach areas that are too high for your regular jumps, as you can perform the uppercut mid-air!
The Uppercut Kick being performed (do not try this at home).

Another useful move is the 'Butt Jump'. Holding either left or right and pressing jump while blocking will prompt your filly to perform a quick jump in that direction. This can be useful when you want to avoid enemy attacks as safely as possible.
Butt Jump, featuring ceiling slime.

With all that being said, I highly recommend that you play the game, as not only will you support its creator, but you'll also get the chance to, ahem, BE A CUTE FILLY. The game has a playtime of around 2-5 hours and offers extra hard difficulties if you're feeling particularly masochistic and want to replay it. You can find Filly Astray's Steam page right sure to give it a try and let us know how long it took you to beat the game! Also, follow Bit Assembly on Twitter and, if you can, support them on Patreon!



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