Bird Of Passage is a ghost story. It’s not especially creepy, though, because you’re the ghost and you’re not at all interested in snekaing up on people to ruin their days. Instead, you flit between nighttime taxis and converse with their different drivers, sort of like a reverse Glitchhikers. It’s also a bit of a puzzle: where, exactly, are you trying to go?
It might take a while to figure that out, but you’re in no rush. Just being driven aimlessly around Tokyo after sundown and chatting is meditative. It’s also a gorgeous ride, all neon lights fading into the dark and gentle synth chords spurring you through the rain.
The game’s story parcels out bits and pieces of Japanese history with writing that feels simultaneously conversational and lyrical. And between this and Like Roots In The Soil, Space Backyard might be making the best games about the concept of plants. While you might not be directly growing anything the way you would in a farming sim, the theme grounds both stories in similar but separate ways.
To say too much would verge on spoiler territory, and both games are available for free, so you should probably just dig in yourself. Both aren’t especially long, though this latest entry in the dev’s catalogue can vary in length depending on what dialogue options you choose as you cycle through its taxi carousel. But though you might not see it, every turn is getting you closer to your ultimate destination.
Bird of Passage is available to download for pay what you want with no minimum cost at itch.io.