Songbird Symphony is a rhythm & adventure platformer game about an orphaned hatchling named Birb. Curious about his true origins, Birb sets out on an epic adventure in search of his parents. Along the way, he meets a variety of new feathered friends and learns more about the wider world around him.
The game features breathtaking pixel graphics, chipper tunes, and a charming atmosphere. But are the mechanics simply more of the same, or does this heartwarming tale strike at the right chords? Read on to find out.
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On the Frontlines: Songbird Symphony Gameplay
Out of the blue, a band of evil magpies descends upon Birb. It’s four verse one, with no escape route. The only way through this predicament? I’ve got to beat ‘em in a sing-off.
I pick up the controller, and we launch into a rhythm contest. Notes flash across my screen at a breakneck pace. I struggle to keep the timing as they continue to appear. I miss several notes in a row and nearly botch the entire song. My heart misses a beat.
Then, I remember my mission. I tighten my grip on the controller, and it transforms into a conductor’s baton. I keep pace with the beat as Birb moves and grooves, performing his heart out and dancing across the screen. I finish the last round on a high note. Birb stands victorious as the magpies flutter away.
Embark on an Adventure
The game begins when you assume control of Birb and learn your first note from Uncle Pea. Uncle Pea is an excellent vocalist who’s happy to show you the way of the songbird. And wouldn’t you know it? You’re a natural performer.
Although Uncle Pea treats you like his very own child, something inside you is missing. You don’t feel like you truly belong. So you pack your things and head out on a journey to discover your true origins.
Find Your Rhythm
Songbird Symphony’s rhythm mechanics are relatively simple. As you progress through the adventure, you learn new notes that bind to different controls. To keep up with the beat, timing is everything. You’ve got to press the correct button when the note flashes across your screen. Think Guitar Hero, but for singing.
As you travel across the animal kingdom and encounter all different species of birds, friends and foes alike, you’ll find many chances to sing. Some are fun and lighthearted, while others are far more ominous. The music sets the tone – you’re just along for the ride. But that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing.
Progress further into Birb’s enchanting world, and the game becomes much harder than the simple one-note sing-a-long you encounter at the start of the game. Each new note you learn ramps up the difficulty level substantially. Over time, it can all become quite overwhelming.
Offsetting this difficulty are the controls. They’re incredibly smooth and register your moves and musical notes with the slightest touch. A delightful experience.
My only caveat? Given all the different notes you’re required to press, songs later in the game can become clunky on a controller. In these instances, PC players may find a unique advantage.
Get Lost in the Music
Songbird Symphony features a fantasy setting where anything can happen. From singing spiders to frolicking fireflies, there’s no shortage of magical moments.
In fact, the main guide throughout your journey is a wise owl perched high in the forest. He’ll point you in the right direction and help you find whimsical new areas to explore. These points of interest break the game up into mini stories while maintaining the overarching theme.
Visit the Gallus Palace to rescue Egbert from his chicken tormentors, and bring peace to Precarious Peaks! Strike up a conversation with a local, or complete the puzzle challenges to unlock secret feathers. You never know what you may come across next.
The delightful pixel art and captivating melodies create an enchanting atmosphere that you’ll never want to leave. Songbird Symphony marches to the beat of its own drum, and you couldn’t ask for more.
Rhythm Elements (9/10)
Rhythm games are making a comeback, and Songbird Symphony is one of several new musical titles to launch this year. But it stands out among the crowd.
That’s because Songbird Symphony is filled with sophisticated, yet simple musical mechanics that are incredibly innovative. Just when I thought I’d seen it all, the game introduced another, oftentimes more challenging, musical element that expanded upon a previous iteration. Plus, aiming for straight A grades on every singing encounter adds a unique goal for completionists.
All combined, Songbird Symphony’s rhythm elements provide incredible depth and immersion. The game offers a real challenge that you may be surprised to find in such a cute and polished game.
Adventure Elements (8/10)
In terms of adventure, Songbird Symphony’s got it all.
There’s an immersive platformer world that expands as you travel deeper into the game. Numerous quests with difficult puzzles and challenges. And so much more.
Songbird Symphony is also very newbie-friendly. Aside from the rhythm elements (which become progressively more difficult) there’s only one other button that you’ll need to use. Easy to start; difficult to master. A delightful adventure platformer that’s sure to impress in all areas of play.
The one caveat? Songbird Symphony features a completionist’s log that tracks your ranking in each area. While it’s possible to complete these later in the game, it’s best to complete things as you go, since there’s no quick travel option. For that, you’re stuck using the old fashioned communal forest elevator.
Art Elements (9/10)
Ah, the art elements. I could just gobble up the pixel art and chipper tunes! The gorgeous eye-candy graphics and sweet melodies are sugar for your senses.
The whole game is filled with pixel-perfect 2D platformer graphics, animations, and cut-scenes that will delight even the scroogiest art sticklers. Not only that, the game features an insane amount of artistic and musical content, with entirely new tilesets, sprites, and soundtracks for each new region. An incredible feat.
One negative element that stood out from the rest were the dialogue sound effects. These interrupted the otherwise harmonious flow of the game with an obnoxious trumpet-like sound. In addition, there is no voice acting in Songbird Symphony. That would have taken things to a whole new level, particularly during the long sing-a-longs.
Still, Songbird Symphony is a beautifully polished game that gets a Grade A overall.
Zoom In: A Closer Look
Let’s have a closer look at Songbird Symphony’s specifications:
- Game Modes: Campaign
- Platforms: PC, Mac, PS4, and Nintendo Switch
- Genre: Rhythm & Adventure Platformer
- Developer: Joysteak
- Release: 2019
- Price: $16.99
- Business Model: Game Sales
- PC System Requirements: 1GB RAM, DX10 Graphics, Windows Vista+ OS
Zoom Out: Summary
If you’re a fan of rhythm games, adventure titles, or platformers, it’s worth checking out Songbird Symphony. This polished title brings a host of innovative ideas to all three genres to deliver a stunning game that’s sure to tug at your heartstrings.
Songbird Symphony Review Verdict
Game title: Songbird Symphony
Game description: Play as Birb, a pocket-sized hatchling in search of his true origins. Help him on his quest as he navigates the beautiful 2D environment, completing puzzles and uncovering mysteries along the way. Songbird Symphony marches to the beat of its own drum, and it’s an excellent adventure title you don’t want to miss.
Rhythm Elements - 9/10
Adventure Elements - 8/10
Art Elements - 9/10
Songbird Symphony is a charming rhythm & adventure platformer about a little bird on a journey of discovery.
- Captivating storyline w/ heartwarming characters
- Progressively difficult mechanics
- Adorable pixel art and music offer an enchanting atmosphere
- Players may find it too cutesy
- Rhythm controls were built with a keyboard in mind
- Dialogue sound effects are unpleasant