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A Bird Story is a Classic and Influential Indie

A Bird Story is an indie game title from Freebird Games, a game studio that is led by Kan (Reives) Gao. This game came out in 2014, but it laid a lot groundwork for solo dev RPG’s. It’s the first in a roster of game titles from FreeBird that encapsulates pleasant illustration and crafty story.

This one in particular is about a young boy who rescues an injured bird in the forest near his school. More specifically, he fends off a badger that tries to catch the bird in a forest clearing. The rest of the story flows naturally from this incident and it is the primary purpose of the narrative. About midway through, your fantastical travel abilities range from parachuting with an umbrella to flying around with the bird on a paper plane.

A Bird Story: Some Nice Things About A Bird Story

A Bird Story interactive fiction balcony

Lately, I’ve been running into this idea of less is more with games. Not in a negligent sort of way. I mean people play games with stories because they want to go somewhere. Like space or the ocean or anywhere really. The more efficient that experience is, the better the game. I’m not sure, but as a writer, I know that I want to be enthralled by the third act. Some would consider that classical storytelling.

The pixel art is absolutely beautiful. The game was created on RPG Maker from what I’ve learned, which is not the first time I’ve heard of this empowering game development software. The art reminds me somewhat of the NRS classic Earthbound, or Mother as it is also known. When you interact with the environment there are neat little experiences everywhere you go that make this an immersive RPG.

A Bird Story Sidewalk
rpg maker forest

Something I found interesting in this game is that all the non-protagonist characters have a transparent shadow silhouette as opposed to complex appearances. This may have been in the effort of time-saving, but it’s not bad really. In fact, it reminds me a lot of childhood where strangers are more like elements of life instead of the case studies I work them up to be sometimes.

The bird interactions are so darn cute. I really laughed out loud at the bird. I’ve always loved birds too. I’ve seen many species in my backyard and traveling, and I try to keep track. Despite what you think, birds can be very expressive if you give them the chance. I am currently on hold with pet ownership, so sometimes I think of them like pets. I think they appreciate that and I think this game would too.

A Bird Story indie game vet

It’s A Thoughtful Game

Okay, one other major thing about this game. There is no dialogue! Not verbal at least. It really is no problem though. The music is simply delightful, and there are enough character gags that you’ll know perfectly well what’s going on. The music was composed by Reives himself if I’m right.

If you want to check this game out it’s on Steam. I got it for $3.99. It doesn’t have a lot of replays after you run the game, but at that price, it’s cheaper than a movie.

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