Throughout my time with Songbird Symphony, I kept asking myself, “Why haven’t I played something like this before?” Joysteak Studios and PQube have blended together the best parts of both the platforming and music genres to create this lovable title. With its heartwarming story, quirky tunes, and its lively environments help make this an incredibly memorable experience. This is a title filled with charm and is sure to impress any who comes across it.

Songbird Symphony

Heartwarming Story

From the start, the main character, Birb, takes over the hearts of anyone who picks up this title. Birb is on a quest to discover who his parents are and where he comes from due to him feeling like an outsider. In order to find out his true origins, Birb looks to the wise Owl from his village who owns a machine that can help reveal his past. To power it, however, the musical bird has to uncover a plethora of music notes scattered throughout the region. Each note has a special meaning behind it and can be very important to those that know of it. On this journey, players encounter boss fights, bullies, and a huge cast of birds that help amplify the narrative to its full potential.

It’s a narrative that deals with loads of underlying messages surrounding positivity and self-expression. How it’s presented is very well done and can leave a lasting impression on those who come across it. There are definite high points in the story, thanks to the characters found, which provide memorable moments. Dialogue can tug on emotional strings at times, yet there’s still plenty of jokes to be had and puns to be made that are hilarious. Never was there a moment of feeling as if this was a children’s game or that it was trying too hard to send positive messages. It’s an experience that is sure to satisfy, if not for its story then definitely the gameplay.

Songbird Symphony

Quirky Tunes

Hands down, the best part of Songbird Symphony is its approach to gameplay. It’s a wonderful mesh of platforming and musical rhythm. The title is centered around rhythm-based combat similar to Tap Tap Revenge, Rhythm Heaven, or any other game similar. There are prompts on-screen for which button to press in order to coincide with the music playing. It’s just like any other title in the genre at first, but as the game goes on and new environments are discovered, the approach changes. Music notes don’t just fall straight down, rather they start to spin in circles or disappear so players have to listen to the music and keep a close eye on what’s coming at them. This is fantastic as it provides more of a challenge in later levels and makes getting high letter grades harder to achieve.

Music is perfect for this title. The tones of each track match that of the level it’s found in. For instance, a darker, more fearful level’s track differs greatly from one that is more vibrant and lively. On top of that, the boss fights all have their own lyrics to them. Even though they aren’t being “sung” in a conventional sense, it can be hummed along with and understood what’s happening. Subtitles and lyrics serve as translations to how the birds are communicating with one another with the player being a mere onlooker. It feels like you’re looking into this world as an observer even though you take control of the titular character. For a game centered around music, it’s satisfying to know that its soundtrack is superb and worth listening to with the volume up.

Songbird Symphony

Lively Environments

Joysteak Studios’ latest isn’t all just rhythm fights that have been seen across the genre, instead, it has loads of platforming sections. Songbird Symphony is more akin to a Metroidvania-like experience instead of something along the lines of Guitar Hero. Platforming sections contain puzzles and sidequests that are just as enjoyable as the main storyline. Puzzles have the player singing quick tunes to unlock movable panels or pushing items into the right spaces to pass objects around. They may sound tedious but they can get a bit perplexing as time goes on. Not only this but puzzles mix things up that include flying to certain sections and traversing the area. It’s a nice break from gameplay and never overstays its welcome nor does it deter from the fun of rhythm battles.

There are so many different environments that are filled with loads of varying birds and backgrounds. Exploring sections to uncover side quests that help out various residents help the player get a feel of what’s around them. The vibrant colors and wonderful pixel art are noticeable from the start and continue to impress as the game goes on. As it does continue, though, things can become a bit hard but luckily there are difficulty settings that players can choose from to help progress. Sections do ramp up in its toughness but never is it so much that players can see it as rage-inducing. This is a wonderful title that can be easily played by gamers of all types and enjoyed just the same.

Songbird Symphony

Songbird Symphony is hands down one of the most adorable games on the Nintendo Switch with incredible charm. The title runs perfectly smooth in both handheld and docked modes with no input lag, so there’s no need to worry about missing notes due to this. PQube and Joysteak Studios have done a phenomenal job at creating this pixelated 2D adventure that’s filled with content and fun all around. Although this release takes around five hours to complete, it’s an experience worth playing thanks to its soundtrack, story, and atmosphere.

Thank you to PQube for providing us with a review code!

Songbird Symphony Review (Nintendo Switch)
Songbird Symphony is one of the most adorable games on the Switch with incredible charm.
Overall Score8.5
  • Heartwarming Story
  • Quirky Soundtrack
  • Lively Environments
  • Short Length
  • Not Very Challenging
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