It’s not often that a match-three puzzler has a story to tell or a point to make. That’s why BirdsIsle, from developer Amrita Studio, is such a breath of fresh air.
This colorful puzzler sees you doing, well, pretty much the same as you do in most match-three puzzlers: matching items in rows or clusters of three or more to make them disappear, clearing the way for more items.
Making a line of three will trigger a basic vanishing act, while clearing more will have a variety of more dramatic effects, including screen-clearing explosions and the like.
Each stage comes with its own mission, in the form of a target number of a particular item to clear within a fixed number of moves. If you’ve ever played Candy Crush, you know the drill. It turns a simple puzzle mechanic into a serious, focused challenge.
Clearing stages earns you gold and diamonds, and this is where BirdsIsle starts to really distinguish itself. You spend this gold on new birds and improvements to the ornitary where they live, creating an exciting meta-game that sees you building a happy bird colony in a lush tropical paradise.
As you work your way through the game, amassing a fortune of gold and gems, you get to design, build, and decorate your birds’ habitat, and you gradually accrue more happiness points as well, which give you free gifts and boosters.
Tending to your bird colony and steadily improving their conditions is just as satisfying as clearing a tricky puzzle stage with no moves to spare. This is one game where the story and the gameplay perfectly complement each other.
BirdsIsle is free to download and play, but if you get stuck and feel like some extra help you can fork out for diamonds.
The game is out now on iOS, so head to the App Store and download it.