Version Reviewed: 1.0.6
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Cockatiels are great pets. They're clean, they're smart, they're even-tempered, and they can be taught to talk (so for most of our viewing audience at home, that translates to "they can be taught to repeat bad words.").
Cockatilt, by Frenzied Marmot, is a physics game that captures another cockatiel-related joy. The birds tend to be adorably, er, fluffy. In fact, Cockatilt is all about guiding a rotund bird friend to its food dish. If you fail, the poor bird will surely starve to death. Heavens!
Cockatilt is huggably adorable, and as a physics game it's pleasantly simple. You simply point the little bird in the direction it's supposed to roll. With a proper set-up and a bit of luck, the cockatiel (her name is Fritter, by the way) will hopefully land on her food dish and feast.
Experts will want to chart Fritter's course in a manner that lets her collect the seeds and apples laying around each stage. Some stages actually divide the bonus apples into halves and quarters, making their collection all the more challenging.
Cockatilt is a solid physics experience, but it has a few bare spots in its feathery pelt. For starters, you send Fritter rolling by pulling forwards, not backwards like most physics games demand. Think of the Angry Birds slingshot - it's familiar and it has real weight, while Cockatilt's method of propulsion feels hollow and alien.
Learning to stretch forward instead of backwards takes time, but you admittedly get used to it. A bigger problem is how Cockatilt resets stage accessories (movable perches and the like) every time you restart a level.
When you carefully set up a stage so that it resembles a Wile E. Coyote scheme, accidentally mess up Fritter's angle of departure, then discover the game doesn't preserve your accessories' previous settings, it tends to make you madder than a wet hen. Simply keeping everything in place and then giving the player the option to reset a level is far preferable. In the same vein, the current level reset button is on a separate screen that's meant to emulate a pull-down shade. It's very cute, but it's tedious to access when you need to start over (which is often).
Cockatilt isn't perfect, but its issues may be tweaked in future updates. In all, it's a pretty bird.