“The Last Birdling” is a story about Tayo and Bimonia, a human and a Birdling (a race of birdlike people with inhuman abilities). There was peace between the two races before their time but one era it came to an end, leading into The Birdling War that nearly made the entire race extinct. Despite all that had happened (between childlike innocence and a sudden liking to each other), they became best friends, an experience they hadn’t felt until their first encounter. This will, however, lead to many hardships, as well as unforeseen dark times for these two.
In this visual novel, you play with the narratives of both Tayo and Bimonia, switching between the two with each chapter passing. Each chapter will give you a perspective from their early days when they met as kids to the very end. Throughout the game, there are twenty-one choices, which may give you a tally next to the character it would please.
The final tallies between the two will result in an ending. However, it is easy to guide the story to any of the five conclusions thanks to the Progress Tracker, allowing you to see how many tallies Tayo and Bimonia has as well as the conditions you’ll need for each ending. The game also provides a Glossary filled with pages of the novel’s lore. Not only can you view it outside the story, but you can check an entry when links to it come up on certain events, keeping exposition separate from the characters’ focus on the narration.
As for visuals, the graphics look great in “The Last Birdling”. The backgrounds are beautiful, though they may lose their elegance when you read the descriptions from Tayo or Bimonia’s narrative. The CGs are also fantastic, showing a blend of cheerful, grim, and bittersweet imagery. As for the characters, their designs are great and show their personalities and maturity as time passes. InvertMouse also put up a Digital Art Book as DLC so you can go through the artwork and read the commentaries within the pages. They also contain scenes from all the endings. In other words, you may want wait until after completing the visual novel, unless you’re still taken aback from your first playthrough.
The music is just as amazing as the art. As it most definitely sets the tone for the scenes, but after playing the game for the first time you may have a heavy heart when hearing the tracks again. However, if you want to feel emotional in your own time when away from “The Last Birdling” you could buy the soundtrack, as it’s also available as DLC (and I can never argue against good game albums).
“The Last Birdling” is a very good visual novel to play with a story of hope, drama, and tragedy. However, don’t expect rainbows and sunshine from this game. As much as we may cheer Tayo and Bimonia on to make their friendship work in the end (as it’s tested throughout the game) the story grows grim with each chapter. Even with a glimmer of hope or something to encourage something good will happen you return to Tayo and Bimonia’s darkest hours.
Not only are you faced with their inner struggles but there are scenes that are unpleasant to speak of. And while InvertMouse (according to the art book) decided against using shocking images, the descriptions made by Tayo and Bimonia are enough to haunt you. This game is not for the faint of heart what so ever. That being said, “The Last Birdling” is a visual novel I highly recommend for its beautiful presentation and well written story.
+ A fantastic story of two unlikely friends and their trails
+ Great presentation with beautiful artwork and mood setting music
+ Progress Tracker and Glossary helps the player while keeping them invested
+ The art book and soundtrack available as DLC
– The art book contains CG images from endings (spoilers)
– Visual Novel may leave you heavy-hearted
– Not for the faint of heart
Replay value: 4/5
”The Last Birdling”, as previously mentioned, is a fantastic visual novel with some nice DLC to go with it. However, keep in mind that even though the story may start off cheery each chapter will grow dismal. Nevertheless, if you can endure through the story while seeing Tayo and Bimonia through the end, then it is worth getting. As for how it really ends, that is for you to conclude. Their story ends on a note you want it to.
Title: The Last Birdlling
Genre: Visual Novel
Resolution: 1578 x 888
Release date: 2017-08-31
Difficulty: Depends how emotional you are.
Spent time: 6+ hours
Average grade internationally: 80.00% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI16+/Mature
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
More by David Lucas: