by Staff Writer
February 22, 2011
It must be amazing to fly around like a bird. How must flightless birds feel though, like Penguins and Ostriches? They must be so so envious of the birds flying above their heads. You would think they would try to do anything to get into the air. Well one little bird with tiny wings lives in a world where flightless birds can fly. In Tiny Wings you play as a plump little blue bird with tiny wings who has always wanted to fly. Now the bird can because it lives in a world full of rolling hills. You just slide down one side of the hill, and use the other side as a ramp. Soon you'll launch into the sky, and be flying. Well at least until gravity pulls you back down. The more speed you pick up sliding down a hill the longer you'll be in the air. Like all birds you fly as far as you can until night falls. You go faster when you're in the air, so you try to be airborne for as long as possible. It feels good to maintain speed and fly through the air even when just playing the game. The game is played with a single tap. You hold your finger on screen when sliding down a hill. Then release when going up the ramp part of the next hill. You try to maintain speed from hill to hill to be in the air longer. Your goal is to string together perfect slides. You tap when first touching downhill, and release at the dip. When coming back down to earth you need to land on the downhill to continue your perfect slide streak. If you land on an uphill you'll lose all your momentum. If you string together three consecutive perfect slides you unlock fever mode. Then you'll be able to launch to great heights, and even touch the clouds. The game is endless with score based on distance plus bonus points for perfect slides and touching clouds. Tiny Wings really breaks the mold for endless games with so many aspects of replay- ability. Every time you play you're given a different arrangement of hills. What makes it different is that each game is composed of islands. You travel from island to island with each one introducing a new color scheme and more challenging hill arrangements. There are different objectives each time you play. When you complete them they add to your overall score multiplier that is maintained from game to game. There are coins and speed boosts littered around the islands too. The game only has one touch controls, but it makes every touch so important. You really have to concentrate every time you touch the screen. There are so many things to be conscious of while playing. You're always going for perfect slides, coins, and the objectives. Every time you touch the screen you're impacting the total distance you're going to travel. Night is always coming, but you can push it back. You can give yourself more time with better slides and flights as well as reaching new islands. OpenFeint is included for online high scores and achievements for more replay. One feature that could have been included is checkpoints. It would be nice for there to be island plateaus so you can restart at island five for example. As it stands you always go in the same island order even if the hills have different arrangements. The game is spectacularly designed to truly look like a work of art. Every single island has a different art style that is very finely polished. The soundtrack is a joy to listen to that is relaxing and intricate. Tiny Wings ($0.99, iPhone) is absolutely perfect for iOS. The game is super easy to control, but with a surprising amount of complexity. It's great to play in short bursts or extended sessions. Every single aspect of the game is exceptionally well designed. You really can't help, but fall in love with the game. Tiny Wings is a must buy for only $0.99 that truly soars above the competition.