Birthdays the Beginning is a game you may be tempted to leave alone. After all, there are chunks of time where it may seem like nothing happens. Tons of life will spring up and make itself at home, but it can take quite a while to get that exact lifeform you’re looking for. The idea of leaving things be for a bit is appealing, but you never want to do that. Instead, you almost need to be hyper focused on your objectives.
For example, the first thing you should do at the outset of every assignment is look at the family tree. When Navi tells you that you need a creature, you might make some incorrect assumption about what leads to something else. While plants do lead from one to another, you never know what creatures could cause others to appear. You’d think humans would just require monkeys, but monkeys require a whole slew of other animals first. Constantly overlooking the cube’s status to make sure you not only have the temperature for birth and sustained life and correct habitats are important. But just as vital is continually checking the tree to find out if we are or aren’t on the right route.
Especially since a lot of Birthdays the Beginning’s lifeforms can sound alike or look alike. Unless you’re familiar with the various organisms and pay very close attentions, those names will just fly by. Continually checking into the library is critical. Even though the ticker and Navi will keep you apprised, there’s something about actually seeing an image of a creature and using that to kick your memory into gear. It helps you learn more about what you’re doing and see patterns. After all, when you pay attention to the codex files and trees to see how everything is connected and have an idea of food sources, you have much better odds of getting the creatures you need.
Speaking of learning, Birthdays the Beginning is a rather educational game. All those creatures you’re accumulating are real. The Zooplankton, Cyclomedusa, Paramesotriton, Dimetrodon, and Vegavis all existed. Once you start reaching more modern eras, ones with human life and civilizations, you’ll see more familiar creatures. The names will be different, one of the earliest cows you’ll see is the Bos, but all of these precursors are accurate. Even the descriptions have a somewhat educational bent to them. They explain their prey and habitats, as well as what led to their existence.
This gets especially interesting with different extinct creatures. Let’s use the Deltatheridium as an example. It’s basically a mouse. We don’t always have a clear idea of how things looked back then, though we have educated guesses. With Birthdays the Beginning, there’s a whimsical approach to everything. So while Deltatheridium probably looked more like an opossum or large rat, it looks exactly like a cute mouse here. That helps us make the connection between it and more modern species, while also preserving a theme.
Birthdays the Beginning is a game where you have to constantly be looking. You have to investigate the cube, watch the temperature, environment, populations, and library for information. You have to keep an eye on the three to see how all lives connect to one another. And, if you really watch along the way, you’ll actually learn something. You’ll see how life evolved and watch adorable versions of extinct and ancient creatures.
Birthdays the Beginning is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.