Review: Tiny wings
There seems to be a trend in Iphone games these days that they are either extremely developed, with lots of time and money involved (Infinity Blade), or they are short and fun but repetitive, with little depth to them (Fruit Ninja).
Tiny Wings falls into the latter category. It’s a small, flash-style, game in which you play a small bird whose wings are powerful enough to keep it in flight for long periods of time. Instead, it uses its own weight to slide down a hill and launch itself into the air off the momentum it gains – then rinse repeat. The hills on which you are sliding are located on a series of different coloured islands and the aim is to get to the furthest island possible before you run out of time. The game lasts as long as you can out run the sun, and then it has to get in its nest and sleep for the night.
Normally this would be where I descend into a rant about the problematic nature of “bite-size” gaming sessions, and the type of player it introduces to the industry as a whole. But, to be honest, this game is just enough fun that I overlook all of that.
Much like the underdeveloped bird I was playing, at first I was ungainly and slow and didn’t seem to make much progress. But then, on about my third attempt, something clicked. Suddenly the downward slopes became slides and the upward slopes ramps. With a casual finger flick I was soaring to the clouds and then into a deep nose dive, only to be back up in the air moments later.
I began to see the appeal.
Tiny Wings might be a small, repetitive Iphone game but it offers a mix of features which keep me going back to it, whether I’m on the bus home or have a few spare seconds at work. The design of the game is cartoony but unique, with vibrant colours and pattern combinations which change daily. Each island has its own distinctive design as well, whether they have lots of small hills, a few large hills or just hills with strange angles which force you to rethink your approach. On top of this they include player levels by assigning you a set of challenges to complete to get a new “nest”. Far from being a slight cosmetic upgrade, acquiring new “nests” allows you to increase the point multiplier on your game – resulting in higher scores.
This game might not be something you can play for hours on end, but the beauty of the iOS platform is that it doesn’t have to. Having a game which has a cumulative aspect but can be completed in less than 2 minutes is perfect for a device like the Iphone, where you will be exposed to the same games day after day and usually when you only have a limited amount of time to play them.
Tiny Wings is the kind of game I usually hate, short and repetitive with no real evolution of character. Instead, I loved it for its simplicity and yet the depth of its approach to the arcade genre.
If you have a minute, pick this up and check it out. For 1$ it’s probably one of the best value for money games you will ever get.