A Bird Story
Gameplay 6
Graphics 7
Sound 9

While it is set in the same universe as To The Moon, A Bird Story is a standalone narrative with its own beginning and end. It is a very short experience with minimal interaction and no dialogue, but the beautiful music and thought-provoking scenes make it worthwhile. It’s definitely not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, though, so don’t expect it to be a To The Moon sequel.

Gameplay: Short and linear with very little interaction.

Graphics: The same 16-bit style as To The Moon.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is beautiful

Summary 7.3 Great
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A Bird Story

Developer: Freebird Games | Publisher: Freebird Games | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: RPG / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

To The Moon was always going to be a tough game to follow, but while A Bird Story is set in the same universe, it is not a sequel. Instead, Freebird Games describes it as a one-hour interactive animation, which simply tells the story of a boy and an injured bird. The entire game is told without any dialogue, but there is never any doubt about what is happening.

A Bird Story uses the same engine and style as To The Moon, so it looks like an RPG from the 16-bit era. However, this experimental short game doesn’t last much longer than an hour, and very little of that time is spent controlling the character. Instead, players get a glimpse into the lonely world of a boy who appears to be a latchkey kid. His time at home is mainly spent scribbling at his desk, while at school, his classmates are just shadows who rarely interact with him.

Things change when the boy wanders through the woods one day and rescues a little bird from a badger. Since the bird has a broken wing, the boy takes it home, where it lives on the balcony of his apartment as he nurses it back to health. As the boy begins to bond with the bird, it influences his outlook on life, and he becomes less of a loner. But, unfortunately, the bird is still a wild animal, and not everyone is pleased to see it being kept as a pet.

To The Moon had an absolutely beautiful soundtrack, and A Bird Story continues this fine tradition. The are plenty of tracks, and it is evident that Freebird Games made a lot of effort to match the compositions to the scenes in the game.

Visually, A Bird Story uses the same low-resolution pixel art as To The Moon. The story mainly shifts from the empty apartment where the boy lives and the school, with a short walk through a forest to travel between the two. While it could have been a tedious slog to watch the boy move between these locations, Freebird Games instead turned it into something visually interesting by blurring reality with imagination. Areas will blend together like half-remembered memories, and some of the trips that the boy makes are surreal, to say the least. Overall, the visuals are decent enough, but apart from a few lovely panoramas, the graphics won’t win over anyone who is not already a fan of the art style.

Since the game doesn’t have any dialogue, the music works extra hard to convey the message of each scene. The game is quite serious for the most part, but there are also a few humorous moments, such as a Benny Hill style chase sequences, complete with matching music. On the few occasions that the game hands over control to players, they can move the boy in four directions and press a button to interact with things. These interactions are often just simple things, like jumping into puddles or tearing bread into pieces to feed the bird. Because A Bird Story is such a linear experience, players are not given much room to explore, though.

There is no doubt that A Bird Story is a very polarising experience as some players will enjoy the game while others will undoubtedly find it pointless. The game still has a few emotional moments, but players expecting anything with the scope or scale of To The Moon will be disappointed. As short as it is, there were still a few scenes that dragged on too much and others that felt a bit out of place. Nevertheless, it is great to see developers take risks and release titles that try something new or unique.

System Requirements

  • OS: XP, Vista, 7, 8
  • Processor: > Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1024×768 High Color +
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Usually runs on anything more than a baked potato.
  • OS: OS X 10.6.8
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 2400 or comparable
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Usually runs on anything more than a baked potato.
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or higher
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 2400 or comparable
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: This too usually runs on anything more than a baked potato; but one that you’d have to do the baking yourself and potentially tasting better afterwards.

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