An original fusion of point and click adventure and turn-based JRPG combat, The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird’s Tale immediately caught my eye with its gorgeous hand-painted visuals and fascinating setting. Markus with Friends have lovingly drawn all of this together to create a stunning and promising new spin on traditional genres that already feels well balanced even as its in the midsts of development.
How do I know this? Well, it’s thanks to the playable demo that’s available right now. Simply head to the game’s website and sign up for the newsletter to give it a try, with the full game set for release sometime this summer.
Set in a fictional Eastern European country ruled by a tyrannical Eagle, the fable-like narrative follows the coming of age of Kristal, the titular Girl of Glass. She must leave her adopted home to join a travelling circus in order to discover what her hidden powers might be and help the Resistance to overthrow the tyrant. While this background is fairly conventional it does set up the story nicely. The surreal blend of people, animals, and a girl made of actual glass is ideally suited to the fantasy setting.
The demo starts you off at the very beginning of the game, though apparently not with a version that will feature in the full game. Still, you get to meet a few of the unusual characters that make up the circus, from an aloof diva to a bear woman.
This introduction also teaches you how to play, including the basics of the combat. As a veteran of many JRPGs I was impressed by the simplicity of this system, complete with character order changing and focusing your attacks, but I’m eager to see how it develops and grows in the full game. The fights in the demo felt a little too automated to me, but the basics are all sound.
Meanwhile, the puzzle aspects all felt logical and not too reliant on pixel searching which is reassuring. The writing is interesting, outside of a few typos, and whether it’s intentional or as a result of being translated from Swedish, the tone is rather offbeat, blending fairytales and earthy jokes about outside toilets and clowns accidentally swallowing keys.
Reading early pitches for the game the story promises that it will continue to move in fascinating directions, and the cast of characters looks interesting and suitably fantastic. I am certainly excited to see how Kristal’s adventure continues and look forward to the full game releasing this summer.