|A Bird Story is all about a young boy and a bird he befriends
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Freebird Games
- Publisher: Freebird Games
- Release Date: 5 November 2014
- Time played: 1 hour
What is itFreebird Games is a Canadian indie development studio that was formed in 2007. They've developed 6 games so far including the critically acclaimed To the Moon (which I've played but sadly forgot to review): released in 2011, the game was nominated for a Best Writing and Innovation Award at the Canadian Videogame Awards and currently holds a Metascore of 81% as well as a Metacritic User Rating of 8.9. On Steam, it's a similar story with an "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating due to 96% of the 30,804 reviews being positive. The game has been so successful that it's been ported to other platforms including the Nintendo Switch this year; apparently the game is even being made into an animated film.
Anyway, how about this game I'm reviewing today: A Bird Story? Well, A Bird Story, released in 2014, is meant to be a bridging episode between To the Moon and its sequel Finding Paradise. The story revolves around a boy meeting an injured bird and the highs and lows of nursing it back to health. A Bird Story didn't rate as well as To the Moon with a Metascore of 66 and a Metacritic User Rating of 6.9. On Steam it's a different story though with a rating of "Very Positive" based off 4,968 Steam User Reviews.
How I got itLast Christmas, I gave you my heart… no, wait, let's start that again. Last Christmas, I purchased a bundle which included To the Moon, A Bird Story and Finding Paradise because I really enjoyed To the Moon and was keen to try out their other games. The reason I've only finally played the game is because I needed some quick games to play and HowLongToBeat.com claims it doesn't take long at all to complete a A Bird Story.
|One of the funniest parts in the game occurs in this school corridor
What I like:
Heart-warming storyThe game's story is an endearing one about a young, lonely, daydreamer that finds an injured bird and nurses it back to health. I can't really say more than that without introducing any spoilers 😊.
Communicated without wordsThe game overcomes any language barriers by representing conversation through pictures within speech bubbles. Definitely a good way to save on translation costs but also telling in that love and friendship transcends language and culture.
Kid friendlyBesides the story being somewhat surreal, the plot is probably suitable for younger kids as well as the control scheme. Since everything is communicated through pictures as well, you don't need to be able to read either to understand what's going on.
Beautiful soundtrackKan Gao does a splendid job in creating a beautiful and emotional soundtrack that syncs with the on-screen action perfectly.
Benny Hill referenceA very thinly veiled reference to Benny Hill actually occurs in this game and is probably the only laugh-out-loud moment I had while playing it. There's also a reference to Super Mario in there too.
Steam Achievements and Trading CardsThe game has only one (very easy) Steam Achievement to earn (i.e. finishing the game) and has 5 Steam Trading Cards to collect.
|It only takes an hour to complete A Bird Story, so you can finish it in one sitting
What I dislike:
PredictableYes, the story is heart-warming and yes, it's probably suitable for kids, but the plot is also very predictable and for adults, you've probably seen all the tropes in this kind of story before.
No puzzlesI know that the predecessor to this game, To the Moon was never about the puzzles but there's even less gameplay in A Bird Story: there's not much interaction at all, save for moving your character with the arrow keys and occasionally tapping some other keys like the space bar in order to perform actions like throwing paper aeroplanes or jumping in muddy puddles (what is this? Peppa Pig?). A Bird Story is basically a walking simulator made in RPG Maker.
ShortIt only takes one hour to complete this game.
Score – 7/10 (Good)A short, heart-warming story about a lonely young boy that nurses a bird back to health. Despite the plot being somewhat predictable and the game feeling like an RPG Maker version of a walking simulator, I can still see A Bird Story appealing to many, especially with Kan Gao's beautiful soundtrack as an accompaniment.
Is the game worth $5.95 AUD?: Yes, if you're a fan of Kan Gao's work or you're just looking for a quality, heart-warming RPG Maker adventure, it's worth it. If you think it's a bit much for 1 hour of entertainment though, it often goes on sale for 75% off nowadays.
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[ LINK: Official A Bird Story Website ]