A Bird Story is a short, single-player adventure game developed and published by Freebird Games. It was released on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux on November 7th, 2011. Acting as a prequel to Finding Paradise, it tells the story of Colin Reeds when he was a kid and made his first friend, an injured bird. A Bird Story is Episode 1.5 in the Sigmund Corp. series.
A Bird Story is built on the RPG Maker XP engine, which is used to create 16-bit 2D role-playing games, in the style of Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. However, unlike a typical RPG, A Bird Story has no battle system, inventory system or party system.
Gameplay in A Bird Story changes depending on which scene the player is at. Generally, movement is allocated to the arrow keys. Players use the mouse to interact with objects in the game, and the space bar is used for more specific actions such as jumping and throwing. Button prompts appear in scenes where specific actions are mapped to the aforementioned buttons.
The game starts with a scene from later on in the story where Colin searches his balcony for his missing bird. He goes to bed emptyhanded and the game rewinds to the beginning, introducing Colin as an absentminded and imaginative grade school child who likes folding paper airplanes. He gets kicked out of class after his classmate throws his paper plane to the teacher's head. He seemingly has no friends and his parents would never be seen directly in the game, though their presence is hinted by the notes they leave for Colin among other gestures of affection.
The next day, on his way home from school, Colin investigates a ruckus he hears in the forest and finds a bird being attacked by a badger. He shoos off the badger but not before the bird's left wing is injured. After learning that the veterinary clinic is closed, Colin decides to keep it on his apartment's balcony, where he nourishes it with bread and water. The morning after, he takes it to the vet clinic again. A veterinarian admits him and he helps the vet tend to the bird's wound, but later sneaks the bird out to prevent the vet from keeping it.
Colin and the bird form a deep friendship as they spend more time together. The next surreal scenes show the two doing various activities including playing fetch with Colin's paper airplanes and jumping into puddles in the rain. Colin becomes popular with other kids with the bird's help. Later, the two build a giant paper airplane using sheets of paper from Colin's journal, and they fly to various floating islands to look for a suitable nesting area for the bird. Unfortunately, they fail to find one and return to Colin's apartment.
Some time later, Colin finds the vet talking to his teacher when he arrives in class. The adults notice him and begin chasing him down the school hall as he flees. He manages to lose them, but he gets confronted by a faceless image of himself who slams the classroom doors shut, which compels him to return the bird to the vet. He begins walking to the vet in the rain, prepared to let go of the bird, but chickens out at the last second as his memories with the bird resurface. Again he runs away from the two adults until he becomes cornered, at which point he summons his giant paper airplane and rides it. However, the rain quickly turns into a thunderstorm, and lightning strikes destroy his paper plane. He falls to the ground amid the remains of the plane, and when he comes to, the bird is nowhere to be found.
Life returns to normal for the boy, but with his fellow students no longer picking on him and playing with him in the local park. One day, the boy returns to the clearing and finds a piece of the airplane lying there. He picks it up, and returns home with it. He waits for the bird to return back home, meanwhile collecting the remains of the paper airplane and replacing the bird's water. The scene then revolves back to the introduction scene with the boy waiting for the bird on the balcony. He throws a miniature paper airplane from the balcony and falls asleep.
Later that night, he hears the bird chirping outside and wakes up. He runs out to see that the bird is not only healed and able to fly but also has a mate, the same bird who was at the clearing before. The boy removes the band-aid from the bird's wing, and the bird flies off, only to return with the paper airplane the boy threw earlier. The boy hugs the bird and, in a final show of maturity, lets the bird fly away with its mate.
The post-credits cutscenes shows the bird and its mate finding their own floating island to nest and the reveal for Finding Paradise.
The game has a similar style to that of its predecessor, To the Moon. It has a classical type of style, which is the same style used in To the Moon. Kan Gao's aunt critiqued that it "ripped off from To the Moon..."