[Beyond PlayStation] Songbird Symphony Review

by EdEN, Owner

Songbird Symphony from PQube and Joysteak Studios is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Find out why this is a must-buy in our Songbird Symphony review!

In Songbird Symphony from PQube and Joysteak Studios you take control of Birb in a gorgeous 2D rhythm puzzle platforming adventure on Nintendo Switch. This mix of a 2D platformer with a rhythm game in which you will help Birb on its journey of self-discovery, on a remarkably charming adventure that will grab your attention from start to finish. Birb oozes charm, and so does each of the areas of the game you will explore, aiding the creatures of the forest as Birb grows as an individual, learning to accept who he is and how being different is not as bad as it might seem at first.

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The game will get you started right away with a short sequence that will show a basic gameplay mechanics, as you press up on the D-Pad during different musical sequences in time with the beat, to help Birb, the star of Songbird Symphony, to break out of its egg. As is usually the case with rhythm games, you will need to do this in time with the beat as a white circle comes flying in over each specific input, grading you depending on how right your timing is. Once you’ve hatched, you’ll move around with the left analog stick and jump with the B button, which you can press again when airborne to glide.

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During each section that you visit, music will be a big part of the overall experience. The soundtrack will build up more and more as you add new elements to it from your interactions with the different creates you meet. Take, for example, the first area in the game. You will notice a swarm of bees flying around their hive, and if you jump near them, they will follow. Bring them over to the big bee wearing a crown a short jump away, and the first musical element will be added. Move a bit further up, and you will see an object you can roll down to clear the path for water to fill up a small space below, adding another musical element. Find a friendly turtle that will, unfortunately, be startled by you, and this too will add some new music to the area´s song.

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You will also find feathers along the way, and the first one you find will also come with a handy book in which you can see how much progress you’ve made in each of the areas you visit, if there is any information you’ve noted down to remind you of your next quest, and some general information on the unidentified feather you’ve located. There are also some golden bird totems that prompt you to press up to save your progress so that you can continue to explore the area while saving what you’ve done up until that point.

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See a slightly suspicious spot? Then why don’t you try and move closer to it to see if it leads down to a secret area? There’s one in the first spot you explore (Hint: Why are there so many mushrooms crumpled up together?), and once inside you’ll be able to chirp by pressing up to activate a series of platforms that will move around, bringing you closer to your prize: Zonoark, the bird to whom the feather you found earlier belongs to! This will unlock some additional information on your diary with some extra stuff on the feather’s owner.

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At the end of the first stage, you will reach a dance section. For this one, things are slightly different since the moves you need to copy will be outlined horizontally instead of being presented as a string of inputs. Music and the beat are still going to be crucial for your success, so pay attention to the sequence you need to copy so that you can find the right groove in which to perform. At the end of the song, you’ll be graded depending on how many excellent, great, and good hits you had, and if you had any wrong hits at all that hurt your accuracy. Depending on all of this, you will be graded with a C, B, A, or S grade for your efforts.

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The more you explore, the more notes you will learn, adding to your repertoire while also slightly bumping up the difficulty. The second musical sequence will add one of the face buttons into the mix, and it will also add hold notes, asking that you hold up on the D-Pad or a face button to match the beat and the example presented for you to copy. And the notes will fall from above instead of having you copy a sequence from left to right! You shouldn’t worry if you make some mistakes and not get an S grade the first time since you can replay songs to try and improve your grade now that you know how the song will go.

Songbird Symphony is a gem of a game that is well worth its $16.99 asking price. From its fun gameplay mechanics to how the two genres mix so well together, not to mention the superb soundtrack and the gorgeous pixel art style, Songbird Symphony is one of the best indie games on the Nintendo Switch.

This Songbird Symphony review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PQube.

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