Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
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  1. 100
    Properly articulating what Birthdays means to me is difficult. It is the embodiment of the pure joy of gaming, where I can sit down and simply immerse myself within this space without feeling pressure or tension. There’s nothing to “win,” but everything to enjoy while, at the same time, the game is pointing out, in its very innocent and heartfelt way, a very simple but so important environmental message. To Yasuhiro Wada, the environment itself has always been the real protagonist of his games, and Birthdays The Beginning is the ultimate realisation of that philosophy.
  2. May 5, 2017
    Despite the sometimes clumsy controls, though, Birthdays is still an incredibly easy-to-play game that serves as a great go-to for a quick bit of gaming. My entire family was intensely interested, and it became something that we got to explore together. The relaxed, minimalist gameplay style blends beautifully with the complex systems of the life that populates; every choice you make impacts what will thrive, what will die, and what new things you’ll discover.
  3. May 10, 2017
    I enjoyed my time with Birthdays the Beginning. It’s not an action game or even much of a strategy game. It has some fun elements to it that allow players to create and relax. Finding all the life forms is a fun endeavor, and one that I think people who enjoy games like Viva Piñata and to a sense, Minecraft, will have a lot of fun with it. Players wanting to create and explore is really what thing game is for. While never boring, it does have a few slow spots to it, and in here is where the players will generate their own fun creating their ecosystem.
  4. May 7, 2017
    Birthdays: The Beginning is a cute and clever world-builder where simple actions can have deep, complicated results. While it was never apparent that life evolved by the guiding hand of a super-sentai hero, Birthdays shows how much all of Earth owes to their climate-controlling wisdom. Flying around the planet raising and lowering the land has far more complex results than would be expected thanks to the interlocking systems, and it’s always a treat to see what new life pops up as the result of the latest round of tweaking. The main story is plenty big enough but is also joined by a sandbox and goal-based modes, providing plenty of world-building fun. As cute as it is deep, Birthdays is a purely charming life-sim.
  5. May 5, 2017
    Even though certain design elements aren't as streamlined, fleshed-out, or user-friendly as they could have been, part of me is just thankful Birthdays even got greenlit. Niche as it might be, I've wanted something like this for years, and despite my admittedly high expectations, I still came away impressed. I hope the game is able to find an audience, because it so clearly deserves one.
  6. Jun 6, 2017
    Ironically, the only thing holding this game back is a lack of evolution.
  7. May 8, 2017
    I would have enjoyed more interaction between me and my organisms, but the game draws the line of interaction with the world to merely altering the land. With that said, the systems introduced in the game work well for a game that is supposed to the “beginning” of a much larger idea.
  8. May 7, 2017
    It's a "evolution simulation" quite interesting, and although it has its flaws, it works quite well. A good choice for fans of the genre.
  9. 75
    As a simulation, Birthdays the Beginning is a fairly unique approach to the open-world sandbox simulator. It does a fantastic job of demonstrating how important it’s to maintain balance within an ecosystem, in order for life to thrive. It also helps to drive home how even the smallest of organisms can make a gigantic impact on the world around them. The main issue is that the campaign is so focused on introducing new mechanics that it seems to lose sight of this unspoken thesis. In turn, this leads the player on a mission to track down answers that should instead be provided to them at a glance. Due to this, it’s hard to shake the feeling of being thrown into the deep end of an algae coated swamp, without a life raft.
  10. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Jun 24, 2017
    Hot damn, are those cartoon dinos adorable. [July 2016, p.91]
  11. May 22, 2017
    Birthdays the Beginning could be the love-child of Minecraft and Spore, evolution merged with sandbox in its purest form. It's an interesting idea, at least in theory, but you're gonna need plenty of patience and dedication to fully appreciate it.
  12. May 5, 2017
    I’m tempted to describe the entirety of Birthdays the Beginning as ‘bittersweet’, actually; it’s equal parts massively addictive yet horrendously frustrating, but it somehow manages to always provide an enjoyable challenge. Despite the exasperation that comes with seeing a species become extinct, the game never feels impossible, and when you do reach your goals it’s pretty satisfying. It’s just a shame several minor issues hold it back from being more than just “good”. Whether it’s trying to find a lost save, figuring out an unclear objective or to getting to grips with the controls, it feels like there’s always something standing in the way of your enjoyment. Sure, I had fun evolving hundreds of species of plants and animals, but having to play the same sections over and over became tiresome. Still, for its mid price point, there’s a lot to enjoy thanks to its unique concept. If you’re heavily into sims or enjoy games that try new things, Birthdays the Beginning is worthy of your attention.
  13. May 17, 2017
    Birthdays: The Beginning is a nice simulation game with really cute art direction, which fans of the genre and people who seek a relaxing gaming experience will probably enjoy. Unfortunately it has its flaws, like poorly detailed graphics, slight frame rate drops and clunky controls, that we hope will disappear in the next titles of the series.
  14. May 26, 2017
    Being the master over evolution can be entertaining. But it can also be tedious, boring at times and always an exercise in displaying patience.
  15. May 31, 2017
    Fails to create something original and entertaining. Birthdays the beginning gets boring really fast and there are really few mechanics that can bring some fun. Dinosaurs otherwise are cute and well designed, but unfortunately this is just one the the few good things in the game.​
  16. May 25, 2017
    We cannot say that Birthdays is one of the best God-game available. The ground modeling represents basically the whole gameplay. For the rest of the time you will stand still, waiting for the life to blossom.
  17. May 10, 2017
    It often feels more like a thing to do rather than a game to play. While I loved the cute aesthetic and simplicity of its mechanics, the game gave way to tediousness and dullness far too often for such grand subject matter. It felt nice slipping into grade school nostalgia for a few hours, but I’m not in fourth grade anymore. A thing to do isn’t enough anymore.
  18. 60
    Despite the many obvious flaws there’s a mesmerising quality to the game’s artificial worlds, as the gameplay itself creates a surprisingly palatable form of edutainment.
  19. May 8, 2017
    Birthdays the Beginning may be fun but it also has a very plain gameplay. A game that may be fun for the usual management players, but with a very modest visual look.
  20. May 19, 2017
    It feels like there's a fantastic game somewhere in the heart of Birthdays the Beginning, ready to claw its way out of the primordial ooze of ideas to evolve into a wonderful god-game experience. But the conditions for it to thrive just aren't right: The interface is ill-conceived and cumbersome, the campaign's frustrations bring progress to screeching halts, and the frequent lack of information turns what should be a fun micromanagement experience into an exhausting guessing game.
  21. 50
    Birthdays the Beginnings is more of a passive experience than a game and some people will love it for it. Others, like me, may find the vague instructions and the lack of interaction a bit tedious and a put off. It’s certainly an interesting curio but will absolutely not be to everyone’s tastes.
  22. May 5, 2017
    Birthdays the Beginning is an oddity: it’s a relaxed, cutesy god game, but it also requires you to follow strict rules and pay attention to a vast array of stats, which can kill the fun factor to a degree. The free play mode makes for a more chilled out time, however, while the challenges offer more objective-based gameplay for those that want it. The creature capturing is initially compelling, but once you’ve seen everything, the game doesn’t really have anything to draw you back in.
  23. May 5, 2017
    Despite the unique nature of Birthdays the Beginning, and how it approaches the god game genre from a completely new direction, I really can’t see it appealing to too many people. It has the potential to be a decent learning tool, but the progression blocks in the early game, combined with a tutorial that just doesn’t explain anything in enough depth, will keep most people from seeing the best bits anyway. Sir David Attenborough is a better bet, if you want entertainment while you learn.
  24. May 5, 2017
    Wada says he named the game Birthdays the Beginning because he sees this as the start of a larger series. Perhaps there are some elements that didn’t make it here that could redeem Birthdays down the line. For the time being, it’s a tedious and obscure simulation that, more than anything else, made me yearn for another SimEarth.
  25. May 22, 2017
    While I absolutely love the concept of Birthdays: The Beginning, the execution leaves much to be desired. It’s too passive and too finicky, and doesn’t do enough with the core concept of life appearing and evolving over time. There’s not much here for seasoned players or curious kids, and as someone who’s been playing games for a while, I can say that this formula was done far, far better on the SNES back in 1993 with EVO: Search For Eden. Look it up!
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  1. May 5, 2017
    There is unique and unusual pleasure to balancing this world just so, but without a straightforward way to restart chapters, or way to wind the clock back to undo decisions, the troughs of frustration eventually come to overwhelm the peaks of delight.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Jul 28, 2017
    I’ll give Birthdays this: I like the concept. Building a world from the very start sounds like it could be a lot of fun. The big problem comesI’ll give Birthdays this: I like the concept. Building a world from the very start sounds like it could be a lot of fun. The big problem comes with how little interactivity and control you have over the world. The most you can do is raise and lower the terrain to change the temperature. Everything else is done for you, making it really hard to get invested in. I think if this was an iPad game you checked up on once every few hours instead of a PS4 game where you need to set aside time to play it would’ve been more successful. Full Review »
  2. May 10, 2017
    The game is really cute, there are some interesting things to do until you finish it, like trying to make humans and dinosaurs exist at theThe game is really cute, there are some interesting things to do until you finish it, like trying to make humans and dinosaurs exist at the same time, but it gets old after a while.

    it doesn't last long either.
    If this was priced at 15, it would be an ok game, but priced at where it is... I can't really recommend it unless you're really into this types of games or have some cash to "burn".
    Get it when it's at discount if you want a chill simulation game sorta like simearth back in the days.
    Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2017
    Yes, it's simplistic. But it's also intensely complicated. To even play it, you have to really, actually play attention to the training.Yes, it's simplistic. But it's also intensely complicated. To even play it, you have to really, actually play attention to the training. When is the last time that happened? Oh- and there is so much they DON'T spell out. So that air of mystery survives. Did I mention educational? Inspirational? (takes a moment to cry about the environment and the current state of affairs.) Full Review »