The Mother of the Bird Men
Daring, dazzling, and adventurous... who wouldn't want to be jo99's Miss Libellule? She's dealt with The Queen of Snakes and The Earl Octopusor, and now in this latest surreal point-and-click adventure, she's tackling The Mother of the Bird Men. "But Dora," I hear you whiffle, "birds are cute! How dangerous could this possibly be?" Well, maybe the budgie you make cute Vines with is harmless, but when you're journeying to the Valley of Despair, chances are these ain't your average parakeets. To play, just click around to interact with things and explore, but beware... only "easy" mode, which you can choose when you first start the game, will give you a cursor that changes to show what's interactive and what isn't. Many items can blend into the stylistically busy environments, so try clicking on everything, and keep your eyes peeled for symbols and clues. Place your cursor over the symbols on the right side of the screen to open the menu where you can save or load you game, or change the audio. Objects in your inventory that have already been used will still appear there, but their icons will be darkened and unselectable. Don't forget to try combining items you're carrying!
jo99 is one of those developers whose games are always immediately recogniseable thanks to their distinct visual style. While the sheer amount of surrealistic detail in each scene can make picking out what you're supposed to interact with difficult, they feel vibrant, alive, and unique in a way few other games can match, with their riot of colours and abstract imagery. Like Miss Libellule's previous adventures, playing The Mother of the Bird Men is part trial-and-error, and part cryptic clue-spotting. There's a lot to be said for the way jo99 can really make you feel as if you're stumbling your way through the ruins of an ancient civilization, trying to decipher strange mechanisms and puzzles, but the game does occasionally feel like it swings towards a little too obscure, especially given how many items it weighs you down with. But while it's easy to get overwhelmed by everything you see and are given, once you start moving methodically room by room and really taking note of your surroundings, you'll find the information you need is often hidden in plain sight. With an eerie yet beautifully atmospheric soundtrack by Kronsilds and a ton of surprises and mystery, The Mother of the Bird Men is a wonderfully weird adventure that's worth every moment of your time. This may very well be the last we see of Miss Libellule, but it's far from an unhappily ever after.
Thanks to Questioner and Nico for sending this one in!