Songbird Symphony is a fun platforming game infused with rhythm-game elements. Birb’s journey to discover who they are is a long one filled with tough, musical battles, but one well worth the ride.
I first stumbled across Joysteak’s Songbird Symphony a few months back while I was collecting some free games for a friend of mine to play through. The game’s wonderful art style and catchy music immediately pulled me in — its production quality made it stick out like a sore thumb. An elaborate intro, tutorial and fantastic pacing all made it very clear that Songbird Symphony was something special.
Birb, the protagonist, sets out on a journey to find out about their parentage, convinced early on that their current guardian — an utterly different type of bird — is not their real parent. It’s not a short journey — charming insects and muddling an owl are a few of the things you’ll be doing between the tight platforming sections. Each musical challenge takes on a different form, or a different style of music. It is truly reminiscent of the small uptick of music that formed during the sixth console generation — Samba de Amigo and Gitaroo Man specifically — which thrived until Guitar Hero and the subsequent movement switched the rhythm genre over to real-world songs.
Regardless, there’s a catchy beat.to each of Songbird Symphony’s songs. They’re all masterfully created, and the obvious bonus of having the game’s creators also be the songs’ creators comes in the ability to design the game around its interactions and requirements — every beat can be animated and vice versa.
It isn’t even the wonderful rhythm elements that complete the game experience. The platforming, as with both the music and visual style, feels fantastic. It’s rare for an indie platformer to get a good ‘jump’ in place, but Songbird Symphony was almost there, even in its early build.
The demo for Songbird Symphony is still available; you can play it in-browser at Armor Games or download the build via Itch.io. The developers, and new publisher pQube, are targeting a release date of 2019, with plans to launch for Windows PCs.