Of Bird and Cage puts you in the shoes of Gitta, a struggling waitress with a drug addiction. Gitta is stuck in an abusive relationship with a drug dealer, as well as at home with an abusive father who is also an alcoholic. Gitta lives her life on the run! Constantly trying to escape from one bad situation and falling into the next. In this ‘Beauty and the Beast’ inspired title, you play through some of the painful events that Gitta has to endure, including running from her partner, her father and then her captor. It dives deep into these dark themes and portrays the horrendous result of these past events in Gitta’s life.
You control the narrative here, being able to decide each step you take. Each of these decisions ultimately changes the way the story plays out, so it is important to choose wisely. Even winning or losing a fight will change the outcome of a situation, as the game will never force you to make a particular decision, or require a specific outcome. It should be noted that there is no fail at any point in this title! Whatever the situation is and however it plays out will alter the course of Gitta’s story. This is a huge selling point, because it creates a more unique narrative experience! And honestly, this is awesome! It really helps to make you feel responsible for how the story plays out!
Of Bird and Cage’s Simplistic Approach
The gameplay aspect in Of Bird and Cage is quite minimalistic! The whole focus here is on making you feel panicked as you make split second decisions and try to escape various dire situations in a certain time limit. This is represented by a bar at the bottom of the screen. These time constraints really do create a sense of urgency that can become quite stressful. Unfortunately, the controls do feel a little sluggish when moving around certain areas and trying to pick up items. I can’t count the amount of times that it took me multiple tries to pick up a required item because of how little it was. This can lead to some moments of frustration, especially when you have to act quickly.
Trying to achieve some of the desired objectives can become more difficult than necessary because of these sluggish controls. Getting in a fight for example is a more difficult task than it may at first seem, because the game is not really built around combat. The majority of the game is more of an explorative, problem solving experience, with some quick time events also in the mix. So when you get thrown into various combat situations, it does quickly become a little exasperating.
One really fascinating game mechanic revolves around Gitta’s GSBV (Drug) addiction. As she falls deeper into this habit, she gets withdrawals that cause hallucinations. Because of this, her sight becomes blurred and darkened. She also starts seeing fire, crows and some very unsettling visions. The main way out of this state is to take some GSBV, but due to how limited the supply is (the game starting you off with only one dose), this game will cause you to frantically search each area to try and get some more.
This mechanic is used to great effect, as due to the limited time you have in each scenario, you have to decide if it is more important to find another dose than complete a helpful objective. This has led to some really tense moments in my playthroughs, as it has been difficult at times to decide which was the better option, hallucinate or face a more difficult challenge.
So How Is Of Bird and Cage’s Music?
It is impossible to talk about Of Bird and Cage without talking about the music! This game is literally a metal concept album that you can play on your PC! And the music is absolutely incredible! Featuring the guitar mastery of Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, thumping bass lines from Rob Van Der Loo and intense vocals from Kobra Paige from Kobra and the Lotus, the music here is worth giving a listen, even if you don’t plan on playing the game! Each piece perfectly represents what is happening on screen! That chase music really got the adrenaline pumping! Also, the level select screen looks like an album track list and that is just awesome!
Of Bird and Cage is a unique title that will really pull at your heartstrings! It’s intense, gritty and heavy narrative is packed into a tight 2 hour experience that is worth playing through multiple times to see the different endings! If you’re not really into metal music, I do still think that this game will be worth picking up. If you are a metal fan, this is definitely one for you!
By Samuel Incze
Of Bird and Cage is a unique musical experience! The music is incredible and has a dark and twisted narrative to match! It is a title that will pull at your heartstrings and then get your adrenaline pumping!
For more info on Of Bird and Cage, visit the official website here!
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by All In! Games SA. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.