Birth Summer Game Fest Hands on Mini-Preview
I love indie games. They're often unique, creative and full of heart. The fact that there's usually no corporate overlord ruling down on things helps with that.
Over the last couple of years, games like Unpacking, Inscryption, The Forgotten City and Spiritfarer have told me fantastic stories in ways I’m not usually accustomed to receiving them.
During the Day of the Devs tenth-anniversary live stream, another game caught my eye. Another game that looks like it wants to tell its story in a unique and interesting way. That game is Birth.
Luckily, I got a few minutes to go hands-on with Birth during Summer Game Fest in Los Angeles and let me tell you, it’s full of as much weird charm as I’d hoped.
The game brushes across many themes, but at its crux is the feeling of crippling loneliness when moving to a new city. It’s your job then, throughout your playthrough of Birth, to gather up bones and organs to create a creature of your design to help you through your time alone.
These bones and organs can be found throughout a city by completing a range of traditional point-and-click puzzles. During my playtime, I had to try and fill a bunch of jars with pebbles. While it sounds relatively easy, it required an abstract way of thinking to fill the jars and I imagine all puzzles will follow a similar vein. There was a level of lateral thinking and some physics-based stuff that really clicked.
In the trailer, it’s stated that the puzzles may be physics-based, pattern-based and some more abstract, with no instructions and hardly any repetition. All very exciting stuff, and with what little time I’ve had with the game, I don’t doubt this will be executed well.
After completing the puzzle, I was free to explore the city a little more and I was completely struck by its beautiful, hand-drawn art style. Every environment is extremely pretty and well designed and is juxtaposed with the city’s unusual-looking inhabitants. However, despite their unnatural looks, these characters are still full of charm and personality.
I got the chance to speak to the game’s sole developer, Madison Karrh, during my brief playthrough of Birth and she stated that she was a “programmer first” so the art side of things didn’t come as naturally to her. It’s genuinely hard to see this.
I was excited for Birth after I saw its debut trailer. I’m even more excited now I’ve had a chance to play a little. It has clever puzzles, a bunch of charm and ticks all of the boxes I look for in an indie title. Roll on this Autumn.
Birth will release later this year and is available to wishlist right now on Steam.