A Bird Story is a single-player short adventure game developed and published by Freebird Games. It was published on Steam, GOG, and the Humble Store for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux on November 7th, 2011. Acting as a prequel to Finding Paradise, the story surrounds an unnamed boy who befriends an injured bird and chronicles his adventures with the 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 story starts with a young boy looking over his room's balcony, apparently looking for something. After a moment, the boy peers into the tree on his balcony and, finding nothing, goes to bed.
The story then rewinds back by a few in-game days to when the boy is in class. After being kicked out after a fellow student threw the paper airplane the boy made, the boy runs away and the game shows the rest of the boy's day, from playing alone in the local park to returning home where his parents are nowhere to be found. It is evident that the boy's parents, though not present when he's home, take care of him as shown through the notes the parents leave behind. The rest of the scene depicts the boy's usual day at home after school, from playing on his parent's bed to watching television and then falling asleep while studying.
The next day in class, the boy falls asleep and is kicked out of the class yet again by the teacher. While walking home in the rain, the boy reaches a clearing where a predator (most likely a badger or bear) is chasing an injured bird. After throwing his bag at the predator and driving it off, the bird hides in the boy's bag. The boy, realizing that the bird is hurt, tries to bring it to the vet; however, the vet is closed, and the boy is forced to hide the bird in his balcony. The boy and the bird form a friendship after the boy feeds the bird and gives it water.
At night, the bird looks over the balcony and sees a pair of birds flying off. The boy sees this and the next morning stuffs the bird in his bag and jumps off the balcony edge. Opening the umbrella mid-flight, the boy and the bird float downwards the rest of the way and land safely on the ground. The boy then takes the bird to the vet, but after the vet tells the boy that he needs to keep the bird caged, the boy runs away with the bird in tow.
The boy and the bird form a deep friendship, as the boy and the bird spend more time together. The scenes interweave together, showing the boy trying to teach the bird to catch his paper airplanes (with varying degrees of failure) while they enjoy jumping into puddles in the rain, watching television together, chasing each other in the woods, and eating ice-cream. During this time, the boy also makes friends with the kids at his school and the park with the help of the bird, and the bird finally learns to catch the airplane and bring it back to him.
Later, the boy returns from shopping and finds himself at the clearing where he first encountered the bird. He sees another similar bird flying by and looking for something. That night, the boy and the bird use the paper in the boy's notebook to form a giant paper airplane, which they use to fly away and find a suitable nesting ground for the bird. After failing to find a suitable home, the two return at home and the scene dissolves onto the street the next day, where the vet and the boy encounter each other. The boy then runs away and hides from the vet in the forest.
When the boy goes to school later, the boy sees the vet and his teacher talking to each other, and the two chase the boy throughout the school hallway. However, after the boy successfully runs away from the two, he hallucinates a version of himself shutting the doors to the other classrooms, symbolizing his growing fear for the bird and himself. The next day, the boy realizes that he must take the bird to the vet for the bird to properly fix its wing, and the boy starts walking to the vet in the rain with the bird. However, just as he reaches the vet, who is waiting outside for the boy, the boy imagines all the times when he had fun with the bird and flees at the last minute. The vet and teacher both chase the boy through the forest and, finally cornered at a cliff, the boy reforms his paper airplane and flies away. However, lightning from the thunderstorm slowly chip away the boy's airplane, and the airplane finally breaks, with the boy falling to the ground amid the remains of the paper airplane. When the boy comes to, the bird is nowhere to be seen, and the remains of the paper airplane are scattered.
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..."