Top Critic Average
Black Bird is an excellent shoot ’em up and a landmark release for Onion Games. As this is their first release on proper gaming platforms, it makes sense they went all out and produced an exceptional game within a shiny package. It really is a fun time, and can get legit challenging.
There's really nothing left I can write to get across just how much I enjoy Black Bird. In fact, looking at the word count for what is a relatively short game, I've probably written too much. A more succinct version of this review would simply state “Onion Games has done it again.” For fans of the developer, that's pretty much all I'd have to say to convince them it's worth it. For anybody who hasn't had the good fortune of experiencing the studio's previous offerings, well, there are over 1,000 words above to tell you whether or not Black Bird is worth a shot.
I really liked the 8-bit sepia-toned pixelated art style mixed in with some bright colors here and there. The game's visuals are top-notch with a lot of attention to detail. Same goes for the game's music which is a weird, quirky and eccentric soundtrack that perfectly complements the experience.
Black Bird is a unique little shooter that only gets better as you play it more and uncover its secrets. Its vintage-style art direction is charmingly melancholy, and its strange soundtrack only adds an extra layer of quirkiness to proceedings. It's very much a score challenge game, though, meaning players expecting a wealth of things to see and do may be left feeling underwhelmed by its meagre four stages - especially when you consider the rather high price tag. This is very much a case of quality over quantity, and as long as you're up for repeat playthroughs, you're in for a wonderfully bizarre treat.
I wish there was more to it, or at the very least that it was a little more forgiving. The style of Black Bird is masterful as the mixture of the peculiar soundtrack, dour pixel art, and elegantly simple gameplay makes for a fun yet fleeting experience. It's just over too soon for everyone except shoot-'em-up savants.