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Space Backyard

Based in

Genoa (Italy), London (UK), Weimar (Germany)

Release date:
February 2019

PC / Mac



"Bird of Passage" is a free night ride across Tokyo, a gentle meditation on the last century of Japanese history as seen through the eyes of the protagonist.

 ride after ride, he will offer you a collection of scattered memories, elements from a far gone past that still echo in his mind. This is a narrative-driven game that relies on the player’s choice of dialogue as a means to explore the whole story: as such, it is built with a specifically tailored mechanic that mimics the inner narrative, thus making the player perceive the same set of emotions described by the protagonist. Built around the framework of Magical Realism, the game encodes within the mundanity of a taxi ride the exploration of historical events and the personal quest of a lost soul.


Bird of passage was born almost a year before we actually started making it. Alessandro travels quite a lot to Japan and during one of his first trips, he was amazed by the inner elegance shown by the taxis in Tokyo: spotless, majestic, he observed the routine performed by the taxi drivers both when they were on the road and when they were resting or performing the usual maintenance to their cars. We decided to adopt the taxi as our main environment, but to use it as seen from the outside, so that the reflections of the city neons could enhance its sleek figure. We put a Yokai on the back seat, a ghost taken both from Japanese folklore and from the well known urban legend of the ghost hitchhiker, and we made them talk about the past, ginkgo trees, the evolution of the city, and a terrible earthquake. We worked almost independently, each of us taking care of an aspect of the game, and exchanging feedbacks and opinions on our work from time to time. We developed this project over a month, with no funding and in our spare time, mostly at night or during the weekends.


  • Branching narrative

  • Glimpses of Japan's History

  • A great soundtrack to enjoy!




  • "Indiecade Europe nominee - Paris (France) 2019

  • "EGX Rezzed - Leftfield collection - London (UK) 2019

  • Game Happens showcase - Genoa (Italy) 2019


  • "Bird of Passage is like the Taxicab Confessions of an urban legend"
    - Michael Moore, The Verge

  • "Bird Of Passage is a string of haunted but calming taxi rides"
    - Jay Castello, Rock Paper Shotgun

  • "Bird Of Passage arrives from the same metaphysical pedigree as Glitchhikers or Kentucky Route Zero both in aesthetics and execution"
    - Emily Rose, ReBind


“Space Backyard” is an independent creative crew made of Alessandro Arcidiacono, Simone Tranchina, Maddalena Grattarola and Gianluca Pandolfo. We're constantly searching for amazing stories that we like to share in a unique way through video games and visual arts.

More information
More information on Space Backyard, our logo & relevant media are available here.


Alessandro Arcidiacono 

Coder - Art Director

Simone Tranchina 

3D Artist

Gianluca Pandolfo 


Maddalena Grattarola 

Narrative Designer - Writer

Emilio Pozzolini 

Music, Sound Design

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