At a Glance: Toshiba EMI / Lenar brings us one of the worst games you could ever play. "Bird Week" is all about birds, the birds and the bees, and then some more birds. You must play as a mother blue jay who is forced to feed butterflies to her baby birds while dodging various animals and insects that generally despise birds (well, not the other birds, just you). As the title suggests, this game is very intriguing! I would recommended only playing this if you have lots of time on your hands and can't think of anything more constructive to do. And for God's sake, if you love nature, please do not play this game. You will hate most aspects of it afterwards.
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 16k
Game Plot: Well, I waited at the start screen for a plot or story to appear, but (as usual with games like this) there was no story, just a bunch of nonstop looping demos. As far as I can tell, you are an outcast blue jay, and because you are a rebel with nothing better to do, you must feed some random baby blue jays that are sitting on a floating nest. The floating nest was obviously created as a safe haven for all of the baby blue jays in the community, and in addition to defying physics, it also makes whatever is touching it invincible. I guess these are not normal blue jays, but instead some kind of mutant hybrid species that have mated with aliens and learned the highly elusive art of making floating, force field nests.
Since your baby birds are the product of alien infestation, you cannot feed them normal worms or berries. No, you must feed them butterflies. These are very special butterflies with orange wings, and it seems that the further time advances, some kind of internal clock tells the butterflies they should travel faster and in even more spastic patterns. In your quest for drunken butterflies, you will find yourself being chased by everything from bees that are almost as big as you are (keep in mind you a are a blue jay) to high speed woodpeckers. You will probably be wondering, "why do these birds and insects want to stop me from raising my young?" Obviously they know you are aliens and that want to stop your evil alien race from dominating the world. This is not too far fetched, because in only 58 levels and seven hours, you will have 162 babies. And that was only one bird! If we calculated the number of blue jays in the world, and then let each of them produce 162 babies every seven hours, I think we would be overrun within the first hour or two. I am rather happy with "Bird Week" though, it keeps everything in a realistic and believable perspective!
Weapons: Well technically speaking, there are no weapons. You cannot get hit by anything in this game or you will die, unless (of course) you are in the alien force field nest. For some reason your babies are always safe in the nest, and even though vultures and flying squirrels can pass through them with the greatest of ease, they will not die. Then around level twenty the programmers decided to makes things tricky and turn the tables, so you end up dying if something hits you when you are in the nest! Do not fear though, your babies are safe and will only die if you starve them (which you will really want to do). As for the weapons in this game, like I mentioned above, there really aren't any. Your only weapon is a mushroom on the ground. You have to try to dive down and grab it (even though it's almost as big as you are) and then slowly lift it up and try to drop it on an enemy's head. Most likely after your first attempt, you will realize that even trying to do this is just stupid and time consuming, especially after you notice the enemy you just knocked out spawned again five seconds later. So your only weapon is useless and time consuming. Neat!
Enemies: I must say the enemies in this game are a bit more appropriate than the enemies in "Amagon." Most of them are actually fathomable, and there aren't any old, dead man heads or evil space terrorists. The enemies (oversized bees, woodpeckers, vultures, and kangaroo rats) seemed somewhat suitable for this game, despite the fact that they just try to prevent you from raising your baby birds. The bees fly around and try to predict what you are going to do, generally just being a nuisance. There is another type of bee that will just kind of do drunken loops around the screen, and most of the time it will wait until your babies are hungry and then it wil hover around your nest and get in your way so you can not feed them. There are two types of woodpeckers, a blue one and a brown one, both of which are essentially the same (except for the color). You will also be attacked by flying squirrels that jump back and forth between the trees around your nest for no reason whatsoever. Such things make "Bird Week" an impossible, marvelous waste of time. The most interesting enemy you are likely to run into is a little panda-like thing that pops it's head up out of the ground occasionally. You know, just like the real life panda bears who live underground and try to catch birds that fly too close to the ground!
Number of Levels: 58 + infinity + 1. I played this game for seven hours and made it to level 58. I can only imagine that the number of levels in this game exceeds well past 100. There are about six different scenes in which you raise your baby birds, ranging from green fields to slightly less green deserts. As each level progresses, the enemies begin to move a little bit faster (how original!). On top of that, the butterflies that you are supposed to be trying to catch begin to move in even more ignorant and unpredictable patterns. It's as if all the creatures in this small area have ingested a whole can of ether, causing them to have an uncontrollable urge to move in random directions at ludicrous speeds.
Oh yeah, and your babies come from nowhere. Each time a new level begins there is a new set of babies just sitting there on the floating nest! Perhaps they produce via mitosis! Other then the regular levels, there are two different bonus stages. In one of them you are in an orchard of maple trees that happen to have apples growing on them. You see, apples do not grow there, they just kind of spawn out of nowhere (just like your baby birds spawn on the nest). I guess the point of this was for you to take the apples and collect them for "bonus" points. I just let the apples fall to the ground and found it to be a good time to take a bathroom break or to get something to drink. The other bonus level was water based. You would fly over the water and little fish would jump out, I think you were supposed to grab the fish and earn more "bonus" points. It was just another waste of time.
Number of Bosses: There were no bosses, and I am glad they couldn't figure a way to incorporate bosses into this game; it is hell enough without them.
Defining Moment: Well, when I first started playing the game, I was only responsible for two babies at a time. Somewhere around level thirty I had an extra bird to take care of. From there on out, I was to be feeding three babies at once. Things got hectic, due to the fact that the animals kept moving faster as the levels progressed, and on top of that the babies would have less intervals of time in between going hungry. So every three seconds I would find myself trying to catch a butterfly. The defining moment occurred somewhere around level 50, when I realized that this game is truly impossible; I found myself flying between evil vultures and bees while swerving away from flying squirrels and high speed woodpeckers of death. The whole thing was just a big headache. Eight levels later I called it quits. I do not think you can actually describe the hell of "Bird Week"& it is too overwhelming. I still have a headache from this game, and the fact that you only have two lives (you can get extra lives after you get 1000000000000000000 points) and no continues means you probably aren't supposed to ever win this game. "Bird Week" is an impossible mess.
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).