Developer & Publisher: Madison Karth, Wings
Released: February 7, 2023
Requirements: OS: Windows 7
Processor: 1.8 Ghtz processor
Graphics: DirectX 9.0c
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 2 GB available space
This is the third and most recent game from this independent maker, and while I played the other two not that long ago, this was too hard to resist.
A game about living alone, Birth has you scouring the shops and buildings on your street looking for bones and organs to create a companion. The grocery store, the library, a post office and the pub, even other peoples apartments, are just some of the hand-drawn places you can look to find the bits and pieces that you seek.
While the game is the most elaborate of the three, taking me nearly three hours as a result, it retains the same charmingly macabre art style, and the same approach to puzzle design. Physics puzzles, logic puzzles, pattern recognition, little jigsaws and a plethora of other types of conundrums will lead you to a delightful conclusion.
My use of the word plethora has never been more apt. I reckon there could be in the vicinity of 100 puzzles in order to get to the end, plus a few more non-essential ones.
A little written narrative will precede your endeavours, and before you leave your apartment there is time to Ďcheckí your appearance. Make a change or a few more should it take your fancy.
As in the other games there is no spoken word Ė or many words of any kind for that matter - but it matters not. Itís a singular objective, and you donít need to converse to find the things you need. The few characters you might interact with can also say a whole lot through gestures. A soundtrack and relevant ambient sounds provide an auditory palette.
Apart from the street-scape, which you drag left and right to access other buildings and doorways, each screen is a single scene, although you might drill down two or three times within that scene. Moving your mouse around the scene will tell you when there is something to interact with, usually by a little bounce of the items you are pointing at. Click to interact, which might take you to the puzzle, or another scene to investigate, or perhaps a clue to a puzzle somewhere else. Think and try and drag and click and eventually move on.
You will collect items, and these will appear in a ribbon bottom of screen. They will all be used within the particular location, but not necessarily within the same screen in which you find them. You drag items from the ribbon to try and utilise them somewhere.
Once completed, each location will reward you with a bone or an organ. A little satchel that sits in the inventory ribbon keeps track of those you have found. You can leave and go elsewhere without completing all the puzzles in a particular location, but donít be surprised when your collected items donít go with you; when you come back any you had collected and not utilised will be again be available. You will though have to complete the five or so locations in one part of the street in order to open the gates that will progressively give you access to another set of locations.
The non-essential puzzles are like little Easter Eggs; find a coin and then find where to spend it, and access somewhere hidden just because you can. There arenít puzzles to do there, they are just places to enjoy, and you can come back and look for any you didnít find when the game is over.
Like its earlier brethren, Birth is in no way difficult, which doesnít make it any less pleasurable. In a different environment the puzzles would be too easy, but all of its parts work together to produce a satisfying whole. It knows what it wants to be, and hits its mark.
I liked it a lot.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-9700K 3.7GHz
RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB DDR4 32GB
Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB