It’s been a minute since I’ve had a rhythm-puzzle platformer in my To Be Played pile, so when Songbird Symphony fell into my lap I jumped at the opportunity. This adorable pixel art game stars a tiny chick named Birb (yes, his name is Birb) who sets out to find his parents. It’s a journey that will test his mettle, sending him to the deepest depths and frostiest peaks.
Birb hatched and has attached himself to his Uncle Pea, a peacock with the smoothest of moves. But the time comes when he realizes he isn’t like the others in the flock and needs answers. In order to find them, Birb is going to need to learn special musical notes from the other birds of the forest. So it’s off to see the wise old Owl for guidance.
Songbird Symphony Review – Do Re Mi
Birb’s ultimate goal is to learn musical notes from the other birds in the area. According to Owl, you’ll need these to power the artifact in his den so he can aid you in finding your parents. Collecting these notes means engaging in epic musical battles. I hope you’re familiar with rhythm games! Limber up your fingers and clean out those ears, it’s about to get button mashy in here.
The rhythm portion of the game starts out fairly simple. Uncle Pea teaches us how to use the Up button and follow the on-screen directions. His tutorial shows us the pattern then has us repeat with the aid of a bouncing marker. Things get a lot more complicated as we add to our songbook, though. After scoring a nice S rank with Uncle Pea, every new note I acquired amped up the pace and things got pretty darn crazy. Some of the challenges change up the formats during the battle, such as a portion with falling icons, then rotating ones, and switching it up again to icons bouncing across the screen. There’s no getting comfortable with one way of doing things, that’s for sure.
Thankfully, Songbird Symphony is pretty forgiving. Even when you score low, the game doesn’t stop you from obtaining that level’s objective and moving on. But if you really want to challenge yourself, you can return to the various statues and replay that battle. If you’re not so rhythmically inclined, don’t let that keep you from experiencing Birb’s journey.
Songbird Symphony Review – Push It Real Good
You’re probably going to spend more time exploring levels and completing puzzles than anything else in Songbird Symphony. First up is actually making your way from Point A to Point B; there’s a great balance of straightforward platforming and puzzle solving to be had. Birb moves platforms by chirping along to the tune, assisting him in reaching new heights, moving crates into position, and opening up new pathways. If you come across weight triggers for a platform that isn’t singing, simply push a block or instruct your (eventual) companion Egbert to wait there so you can sing it into position.
Each level has secrets to discover, too. There are eighth-note symbols hidden in each area, unlocked by assisting the wildlife in need. The first one I found completely by accident when I jumped in front of a beehive and the swarm followed me as I moved closer to the queen. Other times I’ve had to speak to somebirdy with a speech bubble to have a request pop up. Collecting these quavers wasn’t something I particularly went out of my way to find initially, but after discovering that there are doorways that require having them in my inventory, I have been a little more diligent in completing these sidequests.
Throughout the game are feathers Birb can retrieve and return to their rightful owners. These lead to some cute little interactions that just add to Songbird Symphony‘s charm. Aside from filling out the collection book and nabbing a trophy for your efforts, there don’t seem to be any in-game rewards, just the satisfaction of knowing you’re one step closer to that 100%/Platinum Trophy goal.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Is Songbird Symphony worth adding to your collection? If you’re a fan of these genres and enjoy niche little games, my answer is yes. The story is cute yet predictable, the puzzle solving fun, and the rhythm challenging. You can finish the game, discover all of the secrets, and claim that platinum trophy in under six hours if you’re purely looking to add to your trophy count. Either way, for a game under $20, that’s really not a bad deal.
Songbird Symphony review code provided by publisher. Version 1.00 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.