World Review: Birdz World
Compatible with Operating Systems:
Birdz World is another world created by Switch In software. It is also their youngest world. Of the four virtual environments they make, this is one of the lesser ones. From first glance, it is obvious it has been created fairly rapidly from Switch In world?s libraries.
The world?s purpose is a bit of a mystery really, as it doesn?t seem too sure what it is. There are gaming elements present, but no objectives. A social system is present as well, and seems to have been lifted wholesale from Switch In.
Graphically, it is on a par with the late 80s, so all in all, it appears to be a chatroom type environment, with interesting add-ons. To enter the world, simply provide a name, and click ?ok?. It asks for no personally identifiable information, and so is immune to the US coppa legislation that mandates asking for an age of 13 or over. This doesn?t stop Birdz World from asking for this anyway. As is standard with this company?s worlds, admitting to be younger than 13 will grant you admittance anyway, just without the ability to type.
After the age screen, you are asked to choose a local server from a range of countries. Once this is done, we leap straight into avatar creation.
Apparently, in this world, you get to be a duck. Yes, a duck. This is the default, and the only body type. The feet likewise are stock, and there is no choice of genders. There are three things you can change, eyes, beak design or hairstyle. That there are three items to change, is poetic considering there are only three choices for each one. Three eyes, three beaks, three hairstyles.
This gives 27 different possible combinations for an avatar, which is handy considering the world has a population limit of 25.
After avatar creation ? there are no additional options, that really is it ? is finished, the world opens.
The world, which expands dynamically to whatever size your browser window is, running happily in Internet Explorer or Firefox, spreads out before you in great simplicity. It?s a collection of textured cuboids sticking out of a flat plane.
You appear high in the sky, over this cardboard city, flapping your wings to remain airborne. You remain flying until you come too close to the ground, at which time you automatically stop flapping, lower your feet, and begin walking.
Once you land, take off by dropping off the edge ? so if you land on the ground, you are not flying again, unless you walk to the single river where it is lower than the ground. Walking speed is on quarter of flying speed, so if you touch down some distance away, expect a long, long walk. If you land in the river itself, no choice but to log out and reload. Additionally, the world ends midway cross the river, with an invisible forcefield keeping you back, despite there being more city on the other side, and several bridges leading that way.
Right-click to change orientation does work, but the client does not always detect that you have right-clicked. At least it does not in Internet Explorer 7, or in Firefox 3. Additionally, right-clicking brings up a context menu for shockwave, meaning you can only re-orient in spurts.
So long as you keep away from the ground, you can roam freely about the space, interacting with the strange game elements. Scattered about the world are a collection of coins and cherries. Flying into a coin nets 100 points, a cherry nets 200. The score is kept in the top-right corner, but not tallied anywhere else. This means you cannot reliably compete with others in collecting score, unless nobody lies in chat. Additionally, the points do not seem to unlock anything, making it all rather pointless. No achievements, no scoreboard, nothing.
Chat is relegated to text chat only, thou a decent allotment of characters ? some 100 ? is put aside for each line. There is no log, but the chat will support 12 lines on screen at once. A swear filter is in place, although it is an odd one
The phrase ?does not always pick up? gets auto-modded to ?does not alway**** up.? ?spick? apparently being a bad combination of letters.
The world interface is buggy, and the mouse based navigation jerky, even when it does work. However, a supplementary interface exists at the bottom of the screen. It has nothing to do with movement, but does have some functions. Moving from the left, first up is a text box. All letters typed automatically collect here. Next to it, the mute menu. Open it and type in the names of those you would rather not see.
At first glance the next two seemed to be duplicates. The first, when moused over, said ?animations?, the second ?emotions?. A quick trial revealed that they are not duplicates: Animations offers a list of sequence files for your avatar to perform. This was completely empty. Not copied verbatim from another world, obviously. Emotions placed a big yellow smiley floating over the top of your head, to indicate your mood.
The last two options are ?world? and ?friends list?. Both were non-functional. Worlds list unsurprisingly so, since there is only one world in Birdz World ? the option has been ported straight from another system, with no thought to how it was actually going to work here. As names are changed each log-in, ?friends? was also disabled.
Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K
Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K