Freeware Garden: bird song

♪ Grumpy, grumpy bird, grumpy grumpy bird. ♪

Daniel Linssen of Roguelight fame has once again been inspired by a Ludum Dare competition to do wonderful things with the metroidvania formula. Namely, to fit a delicious and beyond hefty platformer into a single screen and call it bird song.

But how is that even possible? How could anyone cram dozens of rooms, intricate levels and deep pits into one screen? Well, have a look at the image above and you’ll probably figure it out. bird song projects the part of the game you’re currently in onto a sphere and enlarges it, while everything else slides to the background.

Not only is this a clever and innovative trick, but it also makes for quite the visual effect and helps keep the delightfully grumpy bird protagonist centre stage at all times.

Other than that, one can only assume that this particular bird’s grumpiness can be attributed to its lack of flying skills and merely modest jumping abilities. Should you manage to navigate this challenging, expertly designed and downright solid game, collect all seven gems, build nests and fully upgrade your avatar, chances are you’ll end up with a way jollier avian protagonist and a lovely freebie you’ll want to tell everyone about.

10 Comments

  1. GameCat says:

    Nice idea, but it gave me a bluescreen after closing. :x

  2. Canazza says:

    How are you finding these games? The LD site is woefully inadequate for finding ‘good’ games until the judging is over (during voting it either shows you games in need of votes, or games whose users have done a lot of voting). I’ve rated just shy of 100 games and found maybe *two* games I’d consider really good. (Loads I’d consider cute or ‘nice for first attempt’-y, and loads that are just terrible).

    I found a lot more good, or at least imaginative, games in the last LD (Connected worlds). The theme this time was perhaps a wee bitty bland and seems to have produced a lot of pacman, pong and space invaders clones.

    For those wondering, I’d recommend Cell #327 ( link to ludumdare.com ) and for the pure daww cuteness factor, Snowbert ( link to ludumdare.com )

    • mukuste says:

      It’s pretty obvious that the system is designed in such a way as to encourage people to vote on entries with few votes. Making the already popular entries even more visible would be counterproductive as it would turn everything into a popularity contest and deny many entrants of valuable feedback. Does this really even need explaining? You can find the top-rated entries easily after voting is over.

      • Canazza says:

        I know this. I’m not arguing it should be changed. I’m just wondering how RPS are finding the good ones *now* :)

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      Hey,

      First of all thanks for the recommendations :)

      Secondly, on how at least I find the games. Well, it’s a combination of things: some developers email me their games to try out, I keep tabs on certain devs like Daniel, I also search via itch.io and gamejolt, people suggest games of other to me and in the case of ludum dares I play through many and hope to stumble into something nice. Must have tried over a hundred games from ld 31.

      Cheers!

  3. grom.5 says:

    It’s a bit hurtful for your eyes this kind of view, but it’s also pretty nice for a metroidvania. You know more or less where to go thanks to that.

    Speaking of which, I liked how, the more powers you get, the more you try to have a “bird view” of the level to find the hidden gems. It’s like your world is getting bigger and bigger, as the same rate your bird jump higher and higher.

    I would like to have an “end”, but well. That will do.

    • Rae says:

      Agreed and I didn’t realize that the entire game would look like this which is a shame as I like the concept. FWIW:It gives me a mild headache and negatively affects my enjoyability a bit.

    • SirBryghtside says:

      A lack of closure is something that seems to happen in Linssen’s games a lot, actually. Haemo and Bird Song both have dissatisfying endings, just text on a screen after you complete a certain challenge, and Roguelight has an odd, ambiguous ending. Given the consistency, I’m not sure if this is a flaw in his design skills or a deliberate stylistic choice – the idea of certain types of ending messages being dissatisfying for these minor reasons is certainly interesting.

      As for the rest of the game, I really liked it – the core mechanic was a fantastic map implementation, and I found it really fun to trace a path through the world before heading off. Between this and Roguelight, Linssen’s definitely on my list of developers to keep an eye on :)

  4. hjd_uk says:

    Nice game but the central FOV could do with being made bigger, maybe lessen the lensing and live with a smaller scaled centre but have more of the play-area visible.