Review: A Bird Story – in a world after To The Moon

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A Bird Sto­ry is the next chap­ter of the uni­ver­se that To The Moon craf­ted. It’s a game in simi­li­ar style and takes place in the same uni­ver­se, yet it is an “ani­ma­ted pixela­ted 1 hour short”. We take a look at it and this review on today’s release day.

A Bird Story

The­re­fo­re it is not the To the Moon 2 that some might expect. For what it wants to be it’s per­fect. If you lik­ed To The Moon, this 1 hour short is made of the same ingre­dients: a calm pacing, a simp­le sto­ry full of emo­ti­ons, humor, melan­cho­ly and things to inter­pret into, won­der­ful 2D art and a fan­tastic sound­track.

What’s the sto­ry about? It’s as simp­le as it gets. There’s a lone­ly boy who­se par­ents doesn’t seem to par­ti­cu­lar­ly care about him and he doesn’t have many fri­ends at school. One day he finds a bird who is atta­cked by a wild ani­mal and he saves the bird. The sto­ry is about both con­nec­ting while he codd­les the bird up.

A Bird StoryAs in the pre­vious game most of the game is made of cuts­ce­nes. In this one there’s no dia­lo­gue incor­po­ra­ted but the way the game deli­vers the sto­ry is even more satis­fy­ing this way, it comes real­ly well across. Even though the game could be very ste­ri­le with it’s simp­le pixel­art look and iso­metric view, it never does becau­se the came­ra is always in moti­on and almost acts as ano­t­her cha­rac­ter. With no dia­lo­gue the cha­rac­ters have to express a lot more fee­lings than in To The Moon and the ani­ma­ti­ons make the world feel lively, espe­ci­al­ly the way the paper moves in the wind – sto­ry­wi­se an important aspect which we won’t spoil for you.

Game­play wasn’t a big part of To The Moon and in this one it seems a bit more inter­ac­tive in that regard. It starts out with simp­le move­ment sec­tions but later on the­re are some real­ly fun inter­ac­tive moments which aren’t chal­len­ging but let expe­ri­ence the emo­ti­ons the cha­rac­ter goes through at the time, even if it’s just jum­ping in water pudd­les with your new best fri­end. There’s even a ver­ti­cal sho­ter-esque fly­ing sec­tion on a giant paper pla­ne but we won’t spoil the fun for you.

A Bird StoryA Bird StoryA Bird Story

As alrea­dy poin­ted out the sound­track, com­po­sed and play­ed by Kan Gao, the man behind the fran­chise him­s­elf, is once again mar­ve­lous. The pia­no arran­ge­ments are just beau­ti­ful and sup­port each sce­ne, even give some sce­nes a weird litt­le note which point to the next game in the saga.

Speaking of the future, you’ll have a nice teaser of what’s to come on that front aswell in this one. Hope to go Fin­ding Para­di­se soon in the cor­re­spon­dent sequel to To The Moon.

XTvideo: Full Playthrough


A Bird Sto­ry is an emo­tio­nal 1 hour short that is both a nice teaser of things to come for To The Moon fans but also a good ent­ry for tho­se unfa­mi­li­ar with Kan Gao’s work. As it packs only one memo­ry of “the boy” (the­re seem to be 7 more in the next game) it’s not as con­fu­sing and part­ly over­whel­ming as the pre­vious ite­ra­ti­on, it has this pace whe­re you real­ly can dive right into this beau­ti­ful­ly craf­ted world. It’s joy­ful, remorse­ful, despe­ra­te and peace­ful, a lot of emo­ti­ons are lived through in this one hour and adven­ture fans are urged to take a look at this fine pie­ce of bits and bytes.

A Bird Sto­ry
Gen­re: Adven­ture
Sys­tem: PC
Pri­ce: €3.64/$4.24/£3.39 (Steam)
Deve­lo­per: Free­bird Games (To The Moon)
Publisher: Free­bird Games

All screen­shots have been made by us using the review Steam copy of the game. This game was pro­vi­ded by the publisher for review pur­po­ses, check our review poli­cy for details.

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