Walk around and interact with the next thing that will advance the story.
A Bird Story is the newest game by Freebird Games, headed by Kan Gao. For anyone that doesn’t know, Freebird Games are the people that made To the Moon, which I happened to enjoy massively. Going into this I thought it was going to be a sequel to To the Moon, but I guess it’s more a prequel to the next game in the series which is going to be a sequel to To the Moon. Basically, it’s establishing the character that will be the subject of the sequel, which is fine I just wish I had done more research so I’d have known that going in.
Is this game as good as To the Moon? No. However, not being a main series game, I don’t think it’s supposed to be. The gameplay was very simple. Walk around and interact with the next thing that will advance the story. Exploration is not really incentivized at all from what I could grasp and through most of it I was wondering if this even had to be interactive, but as the story progressed and I got drawn in that element really did enhance my feelings about some of the things that were happening so I guess that it being interactive did serve a purpose, if only to make you feel more attached to the character and his emotions. There was also some really clever stuff done near the end using character agency that explaining would certainly involve entering into spoiler territory.
The narrative itself starts really slow but I really did get invested with a little patience. The story itself was not the most original thing, it was pretty predictable as far as the actual narrative goes. And while I wasn’t a fan of the no dialogue way that the story was told at first, once I started figuring out exactly what the game was doing, I liked it a bit better. It’s seen through a combination of dreams and reality with not much indication of exactly which is which and it’s all jumbled together and filtered through a child’s whimsical perspective. The first thing that comes to mind for me is movie “The Red Balloon” which seems to be a direct influence on, at very least, the presentation of this game. I’m also reminded of Jon Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, except instead of asking people to watch it (play it) through the eyes of a child, it kind of just places the player in the mind of a child and just expects them to accept it, which I did with relative ease.
I think that if you have a little bit of patience this game is worth checking out. I mean, if you loved To the Moon you’re probably already planning on getting this, but if you’re expecting it to be like To the Moon you might be a bit disappointed. It kind of is but there is a bit less agency and no dialogue. It’s not the most fun you’re going to have playing something, and it’s not the best narrative in the world but it’s a very interesting game so if what I’ve said sounds interesting to you this game should be on steam, and if it’s not I know for sure it’s in the Humble Bundle store for 5 dollars.