A Bird Story – Short Film Feelings

A Bird Story

When the loud November releases are already ringing in your ears, and your eyes are tired of the abundance of “farkraev” and “colofduty”, you desperately want to find a small warm game to hide and wait out the traditional AAA disaster. You desperately want something like A Bird Story, a cozy hour-long novella from Freebird Games, the creators of To the Moon. You just need to put aside all your tasks – and get ready to pay attention.

A Bird Story won’t torture you with long prologues and getting to know the characters. It’s the story of a boy, a young dreamer in a gray world. He’s not interested in school material, nor in his faceless peers, and it seems like his parents are always at work, and each of his days is a copy of the previous one. Only a wounded bird found on the way home changes the boy’s melancholic weekdays and becomes his best friend. This is a story about an unusual but strong friendship.

A Bird Story Rain

The plot itself is simple and predictable, but what makes it special is the presentation. At first, we wake up, brush our teeth, get ready for school – and experience the whole cycle until the next alarm clock rings. But soon, the monotonous routine loses its details, blurring and merging into a single abstract path. Home interiors flow into a forest path, and it’s easy to steer straight into the classroom. As the protagonist’s perception of the world changes, the influence of a vivid child’s imagination intensifies, blurring the line between reality and fairy tale.

The abstractness is further supported by the complete wordlessness of the narrative. The characters only communicate through expressive pantomimes, the schoolyard is filled with indistinct noise, and even the notes on the refrigerator from mom are unreadable. When emotions cannot be contained in a small cloud above the head, an excellent soundtrack comes to the rescue. Like in “To the Moon,” the music here is often more important than the modest graphics.

Together, these techniques evoke the perfect mood – as if someone’s long-lost memories, dear to the heart, are flying across the screen.

Silently jumping on the parental bed. Everyone did that, right?

We secretly jump on the parents’ bed. Everyone did that, right?

I must say, it’s touching. The oppressive loneliness is literally felt on oneself, once again bypassing the shadows of classmates in the school corridor, which is why the joy of finding a kindred soul is felt as one’s own. Even a skeptical player will surely be filled with sympathy – and will hastily gather to go outside to splash in puddles with a feathered friend.

If you really want to nitpick, the only thing you can criticize is the interactivity of the short film. The thing is, A Bird Story is a visual novel in the truest sense of the word. The viewer is only occasionally prompted to guide the boy from one point to another and press the action button a couple of times. Sometimes our participation is truly needed, but more often than not, interacting with what is happening only disrupts the smoothness of the plot. There is no traditional gameplay, nor is there a challenge. But is it really necessary here?

A Bird Story Flying

Most likely not. The charm of such indie games is precisely that the storyline can easily overshadow the gameplay, rendering the latter insignificant without any visible consequences. In these games, emotions are much more important than complex mechanics.

And yet, in terms of depth of experience, A Bird Story is far from its predecessor. If To the Moon told a monumental story of an entire human life, here the focus is on a small episode from childhood. Serving as a beautiful prelude to a full-fledged sequel, it is much lighter emotionally and simpler in its essence. This is by no means a disadvantage – it is simply how it was originally intended.

A Bird Story
Freebird Games
Freebird Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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