Game: A Bird Story
Time Played: 1.2 hours
A Bird Story is an experimental interactive story brought to us by the same folks who did To the Moon. Both are successful games built on the RPG Maker platform, and focus more on telling a story than the RPG elements.
In fact, 100% of A Bird Story is… story. The whole experience unfolds without a single word. The times you do have control over the main character – a young boy who seems more fascinated with nature and art than his day-to-day world – it’s just to move him from one story point to the next.
This is a very short game-story. It was meant to be. But it does what it sets out to do, which is give the player an emotional, and sometimes trippy, look into this boy’s life and a specific incident that became the center of his existence for a time.
It’s hard to tell how much of this is real and how much represents the imagination of a child’s fantasy. These elements blend together seamlessly, and the player must just set aside expectations and go with it. This is a good thing, though, as nothing in the story is so unbelievable as to detract from the story’s goal.
My one beef was that pressing the F12 key, which usually produces a screenshot of a game in Steam, instead paused the game. So that kept me from screenshotting my experience along the way. Instead, I’ve provided screens from the promotional materials on the net.
The story itself was solid. It had sad moments. It had funny moments, including a Benny Hill run through the doors scene. And while it was touching and well-crafted, it’s not unlike other stories where a child has to grow and make a hard choice to set something he loves free. It ends pretty much how you’d expect.
It does seem that this story has a connection of sorts for another upcoming story, Finding Paradise. From the screens, it seems to be more along the lines of To The Moon.
So, the big question to ask yourself is… is 1 hour of endearing story worth the price of the game (I admit, I got mine during a sale)? I won’t discount the time and effort that went into making it, but this certainly won’t be a game-story for everyone. And it doesn’t look like it’s a requirement for understanding the story of their next game.
However, if you just want to support Freebird, and you enjoyed their previous game, please do! As someone who has dabbled with RPG Maker, it’s neat to see story experiments like this. I hope they continue to do well!