Game: Bird Game +
Genre: Adventure, Simulation, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4)
Developer: Bryan Tabor
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Age Rating: 3+ (UK & EU) | E (US)
Price: £4.99 | €4,99| $4.99
Release Date: 3rd May 2019
Review Code kindly provided by Ratalaika Games
Time to Leave the Nest
In a colourless world, filled with dangerous objects and creatures; one little bird bravely flies on, trying to survive against all odds!
Gameplay & Controls
Bird Game + is a simplistic but rather challenging game, where the player controls a little bird flying through hostile terrain. There is no story or dialogue to scroll through; you simply fly until you can’t fly anymore.
The main goal is to survive the levels, typically by dodging objects and creatures that are in the way. It’s an on rails experience, so you can’t slow down/stop and can only move around on screen to avoid anything that’s about to hit the bird.
Speed and Timing
Flying around as a bird is nice, but sometimes some extra speed is needed to stay alive. You can increase the bird’s speed by collecting floating tokens, catching fish from the water, and flying through the rings.
To make progressing more challenging; there are moving objects to avoid and doors that need opening. The doors open for a short period of time after pulling a cord – so good timing is required to pass safely. It sounds simple enough, but sometimes there are logs rolling in from the sides to make it even more difficult for the little bird.
Watch Out; The Bosses Are About!
To fully finish a level, our little bird friend must get past bosses. Why do these boss creatures attack? No one knows, but our friend is a fierce little bird that wont go down without a fight!
The bosses can be tricky and will likely require multiple attempts to get past – especially if the player doesn’t realise what they need to do to defeat the big baddies.
A Lone Bird Against the World
Bird Game + is a solo experience, but there is an online leaderboard that lists the finishing times of other players. So if you’re competitive, then seeing the times of others may spur you to try and be the best!
If online leaderboards aren’t your thing; there is an endless mode that is different every time you play or re-spawn. The longer you survive and the more you collect, the higher the score will be.
Additionally there are multiple difficulty settings, challenges to complete and some hidden secrets to find. So there are a number of aspects that could add to the replay value of the game.
To control the bird: players use the analogs (on joy cons or pro controller) to move around, or they can use motion controls. It’s really easy to switch to one method then back to the other, and it can be done mid game without the need to go into the options – a nice feature to have!
Graphics, Designs & Soundtrack
Bird Game + has a rather minimalist graphic style and is devoid of colour, only using shades of grey with white and black. It’s not the first game to use such a graphical style, but it makes it stand out more when put next to other eShop titles.
The main soundtrack for the game is very light, happy and peaceful, fitting brilliantly with the calmness of flying as the bird. Of course, when coming up against a boss, the music changes gears and becomes more dramatic – certainly gets you to focus!
The original Bird Game is available on Steam for £2.09, however; it lacks motion controls, an online leaderboard and there is no Endless mode – so less game length/replay value.
I admit, initially I wasn’t too sure about Bird Game + as there were elements that I liked/enjoyed, but others that I felt were lacking.
I found that the game was best played in short bursts and once you got to know the controls,etc and have a good idea of what to expect; it becomes rather nice to play.
After some time I felt the bird needed a name, although the game doesn’t give you the option to name the bird, I started called it Billy. Yes, Billy the bird, such a glorious name I know (lol).
I liked flying around as Billy – especially with motion controls. The controls aren’t perfect, but motion controls are a nice aspect and makes it a little more fun to play.
The challenge of making it to the end certainly kept me entertained, while the bosses changed things up quite a bit – making the game more than just a flying experience.
I felt the soundtrack was a great choice, as it kept the game lighthearted throughout – definitely needed during the challenging moments that required multiple attempts.
Unfortunately it’s not always clear what exactly needs to be done to defeat a boss or to avoid an object. I can imagine some players having to replay a section more than a few times to try and work it out – which may taint the experience for some.
Due to the colourless style, there are times when there are so many lines on screen that you can’t really distinguish what is on screen (besides lines). Also, depth perception becomes a little tricky because of the style and angle.
I did like the colourless look to begin with, but after a few hours of play; I started wishing there was some colour, or at least an option to turn colour on (there is only an option to invert the whites with blacks,etc). I may be alone with that thought, but it would have been nice to have that as something to unlock – would make the world feel all the more alive and fresh to play through again.
Would I recommend the game?
I find it difficult to recommend Bird Game + with a £4.99 price tag. The game does offer more than the original on Steam, but there are only 3 levels in the main game and the additions aren’t likely to add a lot to the game for some players.
I will say though: Bird Game + is a nice little game to play for a few minutes here and there and I do rather like it.
If you like the graphic style, are looking for something a bit different to play in short bursts and want a good challenge; Bird Game + may be worth giving a go – but it’s probably best to wait for a sale if you aren’t in a rush to play it.
Note: The youtube video below is for the PS4 version, but all trailers of the game use the exact same footage from the original Bird Game (just with different titles/logos).