Top Critic Average
After around one and a half hours the game is over. Nothing much changed for me in those final thirty minutes - finishing the game was almost like a chore. The scenes and the interactive aspects didn’t add much to the overall story, which was pretty much done by the hour mark.
It's only £4, and I'm in no doubt that what felt to me like a cynical result didn't come from a cynical place. My guess is it came from too small an idea, too ambiguously delivered, created with a passion that doesn't reach the player.
A Bird Story is not a particularly good game in the traditional sense, but it is essential for anyone who enjoyed To The Moon, or indeed is simply looking for a beautiful way to spend an hour of their time.
And yet beneath the mis-steps and the schmaltz, and beneath the dictatorial heft of the soundtrack - gorgeous and emotive, but laid on a little too heavily throughout - there's still that fascinating glimpse of a boy making the best of a lonely childhood. A boy in search of escape - escape from the empty world he's been granted and, perhaps, from the predictable narrative that's been imposed on it.
In a nod to the post-credits gimmick of comic book blockbusters, A Bird Story reveals itself as foreplay for Gao's next game. This shameless preview raises the question of why anyone should take the game's human-animal bonding as anything more than a tease. Earlier in the game, the boy and the bird are launched into space for a close-up of the moon, a shoehorned reference to Gao's To the Moon. Despite its well-meaning qualities, A Bird Story doesn't have the maturity or confidence to inspire much more than crying and buying.