BIRTHDAYS: THE BEGINNING
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 17, 2017
I love my birthday! I celebrate it by at least taking the day off. Sometimes I treat myself to a relaxing day at the spa, and other times I just stay home and watch my favorite movies or read a book. Of course I'm very happy if people send me cards or presents; it adds a little extra, don't you think? It's a pity you only have one birthday a year. But I also enjoy the birthdays of others: making other people happy is so enjoyable. I think that's one of the reasons I wanted, no, needed to play the game Birthdays: The Beginning.
In Birthdays: The Beginning you take the role of someone who finds a sort of treasure map and decides to find out what's so special about the place that is indicated on said map. Somehow, you end up in another dimension, where there's nothing besides an empty cube and a strange blue gemstone that introduces itself as Navi, instructor and helper of the game's protagonist, the Avatar. Navi used to create life on a number of worlds all by himself, but is now looking for an apprentice and you are the chosen one! Navi teaches you what to do and how to do it. And trust me when I say that, in Birthdays: The Beginning, there is truly a lot to do. You can raise the ground or lower it, which will influence the temperature at that spot, but you can also manipulate the temperature at the whole square. Pretty soon after you start the tutorial you'll find out how to create seas and with the addition of water, it's possible for life to birth!
The tutorial of this game teaches you all the basics and it can be a little overwhelming in the beginning, so be sure to pay attention to what Navi is telling you. It's not just a case of simply making changes to the environment; everything you do has consequences and everything is connected. If you want to create life on this square shaped world, it's important that you keep an eye on the stats of your eco-system, like temperature, humidity and ratio of land to water. Luckily for you, these stats are always displayed at the right side of your screen.
Birthdays: The Beginning game has three different views and with a good reason. The first mode is the View-mode. It's like when you stand on the ground and just the watch the world around you. It's good to use this mode once in a while, because it lets you enjoy the world you've created so far. And although this is really fun, most of the time you will use the Micro and Macro-mode. Micro-mode is a helicopter view and this is the mode you use while manipulating your world. In Micro mode, time comes to a halt, so the effects of the changes you make are not immediately visible.
To see the effects of the changes you've made, you have to switch to Macro-mode, a sort of God mode. In Macro-mode you can start and stop time. As time goes by, your world will develop. You see what your manipulations do to your world; will it improve the chances for life forms to birth or will it cause extinction? Although I was kind of sad when a species died out, I know this is sometimes necessary in order to let a new species arise. Because, as you might know from evolution, extinction isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes an extinction of one life form is an opportunity for another life form to develop and thrive. So sometimes is best to let nature take its course.
The fun thing about this game is that, while building and creating your world, you never know what life forms will birth. Of course, it all starts with one-celled organisms in the sea, like plankton and all kinds of plants. Soon you'll be able to greet your first prehistoric jellyfish and spot your first tree. After that, creating the perfect circumstances for tiny dinosaurs is the next challenge. It's really great to discover which circumstances are required for certain life form to take root, and I do actually feel a little happier every time a new life form births.
A birthday party is the perfect opportunity to take pictures and Birthdays: The Beginning is no exception to this rule. The game lets you take pictures of your world and the creatures inhabiting it. In fact, it's important to take these pictures if you want to power up your avatar. So be sure to take a snapshot of all new life forms as soon as they birth. That way, you can also check additional information about them in the menu; very handy when you need a reminder about what environmental requirements a certain life form needs to thrive. It's impossible to remember all this information by yourself, so be sure to build your own life form-encyclopedia.
In Birthdays: The Beginning, your silent protagonist's story is told in episodes; there is a reason why you are chosen to help creating a world. Each episode tells you a little bit more about why you are here and also has optional goals, like completing this particular episode without using any special items. If only one of these optional goals involved making and eating a cake, I would be even happier!
I love the happy and bright colors that are used as you create your world and all the cute looking creatures. Birthdays: The Beginning is a great way to learn about evolution and life conditions. In short; how the world works. It's could be a very educational for children. And let's be honest; learning by doing and experiencing stuff for yourself is much more fun than just listening to your teacher, now isn't it? Birthdays: The Beginning truly is an awesome game for the fans of crafting games and even for the newbie's to this genre. Birthdays: the Beginning is an excellent combination of Minecraft, Jurassic Park and Viva Piņata; the best of three worlds!