Modern life is increasingly stressful and dystopian (what with the rainforest and the Arctic burning down) and the thought of fleeing into nature has almost never been more appealing. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just escape it all and find a quiet, disconnected place to chill out and watch some birds? That’s the promise behind the upcoming Birdspotting, a new video game from developers Joram van Loenen and Khalil Arafan.
Information about the game is scant, but it appears to tell the story of a person wandering around a gorgeous valley and watching birds. That’s it. “The player explores a lush beautiful valley. Home of birds. Using an old binocular and journal you set out to spot the surrounding wildlife, discovering the local species and secrets hidden around the hills, rivers, and lakes,” reads the YouTube description. “Through listening, observation, stealth, and timing the player strives to collect all species and their behaviors. Collect feathers, find nests and eggs. Endure the weather and uncover the hidden secrets of a Norway inspired scenery.”
Some of the best moments of Red Dead Redemption 2 were the quiet pauses between action scenes, where Arthur would sit and ponder life while writing in his journal. Arthur could bird, if he wanted, and sketch them in his notebook. Birdspotting appears to be a whole game built around those moments, accompanied by soothing low-fi graphics and a melodic score. But where Red Dead 2 was weighed-down by its ambitions and technological bombast, Birdspotting looks as unpretentious and liberating a nice walk in the country.