A Bird Story is the next installment in the game series created by Kan Gao, that started with the amazing To the Moon. At first glance you’ll see the two games are incredibly similar. The graphics still have the same simple yet artful elegance as before. The music is very similar, yet still delightful. ABS is a sort of sequel to TtM, acting as a prequel for the official sequel (hopefully coming out soon, titled Finding Paradise). The game introduces a young boy who will be the focus of that next game, making it a prequel sequel kind of deal. As with TtM, it’s better to not be spoiled so as to enjoy the game yourself, but here is a nice summary of its features.
From the get-go the game boasts an unusual feature: there is entirely no dialogue. None. There is communication between several of the characters, but it takes place through pictures. There is also limited input the player actually needs to do, making this more of an interactive story than a game. Fans of TtM will remember this sort of deal, but those who were hoping for a very player-involved game will be disappointed.
Another feature advertised is that the game takes place in both the real world and dreams. This makes for a fun story where the boy’s imaginations are fully incorporated. This isn’t like Alan Wake where you’re not sure if the protagonist is crazy and the whole game could just be the result of a crazy nightmare; it is more like seeing the perspective from someone merged with their thoughts. This is a huge plus in my opinion, adding a depth not previously seen in stories.
A downside is the game is at most just over an hour in length. This wouldn’t be a huge deal, but I loved the story and really wanted more. The current list price also is a bit steep for the length, but being a Kan Gao fanboy I of course bought it and the soundtrack. Replayability is also limited due to the shortness and the linear nature of the story. But these downsides pale in comparison to the beauty of the story, despite the simplicity.
For those familiar with To the Moon, you won’t have those strange heart pangs with A Bird Story like you did before, but you’ll feel something here. Mostly it’s just made me excited for the next chapter. This game series is very underrated and I hope Finding Paradise fulfills all my wild expectations.
More story than game, but oh what a story
A Bird Story is worth playing for fans of engaging storytelling, serving as a short but moving bridge between To The Moon and Finding Paradise.