Bittersweet Birthday is a bullet hell adventure about a boy and his bird brother

In Bittersweet Birthday’s demo, I’m just a precocious young boy with a head total of hair and a backpack slung more than my shoulder. And nonetheless listed here I am waking up in a cold, sterile cell deep in the bowels of an abandoned lab. A voice on the radio warns me to be very careful, and I creep past broken medical center beds, blood splattered doors, and big buttons meant to activate containment steps. For what initially appeared like a cutesy experience ala Earthbound or Undertale, this is not the tone I envisioned from the outset. Before far too long, I’m caught in a huge metallic room, and a young crow-boy hybrid contacting himself the Darkish Solar is taking pictures hundreds of arrows and fireballs at me.

It is the type of bullet hell encounter any person who’s played Eldest Souls or Titan Souls will be common with. My monitor quickly fills with waves and waves of feathers that slice into me, or explode on a delayed fuse. Periodically, my foe sprints throughout the arena, leaving trails of hearth in his wake. My only answer is to dodge-roll and quickly counter with a 3-punch combo, laying on the pressure when I crack his concentration and stun him on the floor. Right after numerous brutal tries, I at last claim victory. Relatively than solutions, I’m greeted with a unexpected shift to a scenic cliffside look at overlooking a large seaside mountain assortment. Bittersweet Birthday surely isn’t really worried of substantial tonal shifts.

My crow acquaintance reappears in the sky, vowing revenge with the theatrics of a 13-year-previous goth kid finding Edgar Allan Poe. Turns out he’s my brother Rocc, and he’s rapidly scolded by our mutual mom, who reminds him he needs to get to operate guarding the city from calamity. Only mother is not…a mother. She’s a strolling, conversing pile of glitchy pixels, like a Tetris block arrive to life. Even in this peculiar, rapidly shifting entire world, she sticks out. But if it matters to the participant character and his meant bird brother, no a single opinions on it.

(Impression credit: Planet Eater Games)

Bittersweet Birthday’s demo immediately shifts to a acquainted old university RPG experience structure from there. Mom reminds Rocc and I that there’s a live performance happening tonight in our bustling village, and it can be my brother’s accountability as Guardian of the location to make absolutely sure no harm befalls both the townspeople or any of the metalhead concertgoers. Rocc scoffs, reminding mother that “the terrific evil” has not been witnessed for nine generations, and none of the in the same way fowl-guy Guardians right before him had to do just about anything of note. It really is quite the lore dump, but it can be handled with plenty of conversational grace and trickled out gradually enough that I am intrigued to see wherever this peculiar tale of two brothers could go.

Heading into city, Bittersweet Birthday ditches fight for simple adventuring—chatting with townspeople about their complications or the most current gossip, and participating in the occasional game of darts. No a person bats an eye at the hen boy who’s accountable for guarding them all, but that would not prevent Rocc from currently being a little bit of an angsty child, a person who loudly proclaims his greatness but clams up when talking to a girl. We eventually make our way to the concert, where by the headlining band’s frontwoman, wearing a cranium mask that would make Slipknot blush, teases us with some sort of impending doom.

However the writing can occasionally lean a small too into tropes, in particular with regards to Rocc’s teen mindset (if I browse “tch” just one more time…), I actually enjoyed finding to fulfill the multitude of figures in Bittersweet Birthday’s demo. You will find a entertaining selection of friendliness and menace that will make me want to master much more about this planet, why it requires a guardian like Rocc, and what the hell is going on with that deserted lab that looks to slip from our memory. Which is what you want in an motion-journey match, suitable? A story and forged that adhere out, but are warm and acquainted enough that you give a darn what happens to them. The recreation is pretty a lot informed that it requirements small times of character advancement to equilibrium the significant sweeping arcs. The demo also only includes the one manager battle, but so considerably it truly is approachable adequate that I was able to electrical power by way of the stress which is customary to the genre.

Bittersweet Birthday demonstrates a great deal of promise, enough so that it just lately attained total funding on IndieGoGo, so it can be obvious that other individuals are curious in which this tale of brotherly chicken bonding goes from right here. Judging from the past several terrifying times of the demo, and all the weirdness that preceded it, it could be literally everywhere.

Originally posted 2021-11-11 12:56:41.