Developer: Sovapps
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

em>Pucky Birdy wants to be something like Mario Strikers, a fun and wacky arcade game that’s only slightly based on an actual sport. As far as being a wacky hockey game that’s barely about hockey it hits the mark. The only problem is it isn’t very fun.

Like in real hockey, players try to knock a puck, in this case a bird, into a goal. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. In Pucky Birdy, three players in hovercrafts roam around the field moving the puck into different quadrants where goals can then be made. Players must also defend the quadrant that contains their own goal. The problem with this approach is that the transition from quadrant to main field to other quadrant is super abrupt and jarring, completely interrupting the flow of the game.

That’s not the only issue though. Whether using virtual buttons or tilt controls, the handling of the hovercrafts is awkward, slow and imprecise. The only viable way to score or even move the puck in a particular direction is by boosting but fuel is limited. Combine that with the disorientating map transitions and the game takes on an odd pace overall. It feels like air hockey without the air. There are a few power-ups and a full multiplayer mode but they do little to shake up the boring, monotonous gameplay. The only real incentives to play any further are the unlockable maps and characters with new stats but what good are those if one doesn’t enjoy actually playing the game?

Unfortunately, the presentation doesn’t have much to offer either. The visual style is like a bad CGI Nickelodeon cartoon full of ugly aliens and animals. The music and generic sports sound effects are equally forgettable. All these factors together leave Pucky Birdy a game that only arcade sports games fans with questionable standards should consider downloading. That sounds like a pretty small, and weird, group of people.

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