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The Girl Of Glass: A Summer Bird’s Tale

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 8 - 2020

A mix up of two genres that works surprisingly well.

 
While the combination of two genres into something special is perhaps not unusual in video games, it is rare to find a point and click adventure that includes turn-based strategic combat. The point and click market tends to be much more casual than those arm-chair generals who enjoy going into turn-based battle. Still, it is one way to make a game stand out, and Markus with friends’ The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird’s Tale certainly does stand out.

 


 
However, what makes the game stand out more than anything else is the visual style. Right off the bat, players will be welcomed with almost Ghibli-esque visuals that bring the world to life. Beautifully designed locations are combined with well detailed characters to give a fairytale-like experience that would not look out of place from the famous animation studio. The variety of locations brings yet more flavour to the game, and while the animation is not always perfect, it never takes away from the overall experience.

 
The story is another highlight. While the dialogue goes unspoken, a narrator will guide the player through cut scenes in a visual novel style that feels quite natural. As for the story itself, this coming of age tale focuses on Kristal, the titular girl of glass. Kristal lives with a travelling circus that just so happens to have stopped travelling and taken up permanent residence. While some of the members of the circus are not happy to be staying in one place, local forces are also interested in getting the circus to move on. The characters of this circus are Kristal’s family, but there is a boy who Kristal seems to have taken a shine to, that may lead to her leaving this mismatched family. Or course, the fact that she has hidden powers that could bring about a better life is to be expected in a video game.

 


 
While it may sound like a common set up for a game, there is something quite heartfelt in The Girl of Glass and it is quite compelling to play, following this young and fragile girl through experiences that will change her life. The story goes through some changes as it progresses, and sometimes heads in unexpected directions that can change the overall tone of the game. It can be quite a roller-coaster, but never stops being interesting. Much of the game is played as a point and click adventure, in which the player will guide Kristal through various settings as they gather items or talk to other characters. As already mentioned, the dialogue is not voiced, but the conversations and reactions that Kristal makes are nicely written and add yet more character and feeling to the game. There are also choices for the player to make in these conversations. Some of these choices will be just plain wrong and lead to the player having to try again, while other decisions can lead to lasting effects in the game. It is not one of those games that make a big deal about lasting consequences, but it still manages to involve the player.

 
Aside from chatting with characters and progressing the story, there are puzzles to solve. Many of these involve finding items and are fairly simple, and so shouldn’t prove to be a problem for most players. However, if the player does get stuck, help is quite easy to find.

 
The other side of the game comes into play when Kristal gets into a fight. This is quite a jump from the relatively easy going point and click gameplay. When battle begins, the player will be treated to a grid and then take turns to perform attacks, moves or whatever on their enemy. Those who are familiar with turn-based strategy games will find plenty here that is familiar. Kristal will unlock abilities that require stamina to use, and running out of stamina will make the player vulnerable. The opponents will have the same restrictions, and so encounters will become much more of a puzzle than trading blows as the player uses every trick at their finger tips to keep their characters safe while waiting for the enemy to become vulnerable.

 
With each encounter becoming more and more difficult, it would be easy to see how the more casual gamers, perhaps attracted by the laid back point and click gaming, would become frustrated. There are differing difficulty levels that can make things a little easier to cope with, but the encounters are trickier than many players would expect.

 


 
The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird’s Tale is a surprising game, and not just because it is better than expected. The game also takes some interesting and unexpected turns in the narrative. The combat encounters can be tricky, especially in contrast to the point and click side of the game, and this could turn some players away. However, anyone looking for a beautiful, surprising and occasionally difficult point and click adventure with turn-based combat should look no further. The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird’s Tale is a charming game that is worth spending time with.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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