Birthdays the Beginning
"Sandbox games" is now a kind of art (thanks to the one that starts with “M”). But if you don’t like it that cubic and prefer more friendly lifeforms, okay, BtheB’s is for you. This life simulator dares you to create ecosystems of your own and watch them live.
First of all, it’s really 3D. And second of all, it’s pretty. The charm of this game is in its vivid colors and absolute freedom to create any type of environment. First, it’s plain and gray, but then colors burst out, and life flourishes. The designers felt free to create different plants or animals. And all this diversity is quite distinguishable and easy to make out.
It doesn’t take an ultramodern PC to appreciate this splendor. The game will start even on 5-year old or older computers, including generic laptops. In fact, there is some special requirement, but it’s not about graphics.
Yes, you are at the point when life starts. What planet are you from and where are you? The question is how to live here, and to live you need an inhabited planet.
All you have in the beginning is a plain site of the earth. First, you need to shape the landscape by lowering or raising the grounds. Then pour some water to create lakes and rivers. And then let the inhabitants in. The fantastic creatures that appear and evolve may look cute, even if in real life they would terrify.
But making a stable ecosystem is not simple. You must make sure that the animals won’t extinguish each other, the plants will grow, and the climate will fit this type of ecosystem. Otherwise, it all can go the wrong way. That’s why the word “create” includes all the letters of “care”. And still, your main tools are the same: lower or raise. You’re no God to shape living objects, but what you can do means a lot for climatic changes.
There are both free development mode and goal-based playing, but quests are completely unnecessary.
On PC, mouse and keyboard are both involved in controlling. But if you have the Xbox controller, you better use it with Birthdays, as originally it was developed for consoles. Even the instructions suppose you’re playing the game with a controller. Or wait with it until you purchase one.
In the beginning, there is a detailed tutorial that shows how to control this world.
Replay Value: 4.5
As you have completed first missions, you’re totally free to do whatever you wish to this terrain. This freedom lets you try many possible ways. The game always has something to surprise you. What new creatures can appear if you make your site warmer or colder, more arid or humid? If you want to find out, come on and try.
But at some point, this freedom can appear pointless. The ecosystem can turn into a civilization… or remain mindless. But you don’t care anymore. You’re just tired. Unless you enjoy the process of controlling life by indirect actions. So try it once to find out whether you’d like to replay it after.
A great idea by Yasuhiro Wada resulted in an unusual game, for those into indirect controlling and playing responsibly, and with the mindset to create rather than destroy. It’s not God simulator as it is (the game is rather Darwinist, though light), but it takes no Spider-Man to illustrate the great responsibility that comes with a great power.
- Graphics 4
- Gameplay 4
- Controls 4.5
- Replay Value 4.5
Logical rules of how life evolves
Cute and colorful design
You’re short of instruction when the real evolution starts