The majority of your time playing Happy Birthdays is spent either drastically changing the landscape blindly, hoping to gain the climate you require, or fast-forwarding time and watching the world slowly grow. While working on the planet itself, your creatures can be seen exploring the landscape, but don’t provide any more entertainment than that. I never spotted any creatures interacting with one another or doing anything beyond walking aimlessly. This creates a real disconnect from caring about or even noticing the creatures on the world beyond the one you need to be focusing on to create humans.
While the terrain tool is simplistic, there is some blind fun to be had through manipulating the world to see how the life reacts. While I found it hard to care much for the obligatory goals that the game presented, the sandbox aspect was more appealing to me. Drastically moving terrain and causing an intentional ice age certainly had its strange charm. As you sculpt the landscape, the climate will adjust to fit the new terrain. This allows for some wild experimenting to see how the world would evolve or perish at your changes.
Despite all the negatives, I can see a real effort was made to make an engaging title here. The visuals are simple, yet colourful and appealing. The music isn’t memorable but rather just fits the scene well enough. Lastly, despite the confusion and lack of real control, the terrain system seems like it had a lot of thought put into it, though much of that thought does not get conveyed very well to the player. I was hoping that Happy Birthdays had improved since its release on PS4, but unfortunately, it seems to have remained mostly the same. It’s impossible to recommend this game at the current price point, but perhaps after a significant discount, some may find some fun to be had in this title.