Price: $1.99 (Currently Free)
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
What is it about fowl that have iOS gamers in a tizzy? Whether it is one of the many iterations in the Angry Birds franchise, another dose of Tiny Wings, or the recently highlighted “Free App of the Week,” Early Bird HD, people just can’t seem to get enough. But how does the last of that trio compare to the other rodents of the sky, littering the App Store? Though it was a bit later to the party, can this Early Bird still manage to catch the worm?
Birdies need one thing to survive: sustenance. Early Bird HD tasks players with helping to keep their adorable baby bird alive by helping it find prey. Instead of using a sling like other avian-themed puzzlers, Early Bird HD uses slashes to emulate the flapping of wings. Slicing upwards launches the fowl into the air, while diagonal lines provide more direction navigation than altitude.
At the end of the day, the goal is for the player to reach the end target, using as few swipes as possible, while also making it there in the shortest amount of time. Every stage ends with a score calculated as a combination of the amount of target time remaining and the number of swipes left. Ultimately this determines the how many of the three possible stars are acquired.
Despite the beautifully animated brain bender sounding like many similar games on the market, it somehow manages to charm its way to acceptability. Visually, the title has a very “Saturday Morning Cartoon” aesthetic that immediately disarms the audience into willingly engaging in immense amounts of tedious trial and error. Fortunately the stage traversal is straightforward enough and restarts quickly, which helps to ease the pain somewhat.
Now featuring almost one hundred and fifty stages, Early Bird HD is a beefy offering to say the least. Unfortunately, the core gameplay mechanics aren’t anything that we haven’t seen many times before on iOS. Move quickly and snag the game while it is still free, because once the $1.99 price tag returns the download may be a bit more difficult to justify.