You think games are not addictive? Or that you’ve seen it all? Well, think again. Angry Birds might be the best known time killer, but as of a couple of days ago, Tiny Wings HD has been released. The game was very successful on the iPhone, and the iPad version not only sports Retina display graphics, but a whole new play mode. Let’s take a look!
Fly, Little Bird!
If you’ve never heard of Tiny Wings, here’s the rundown: You control a bird, whose dream it is to fly far and high. Unfortunately, your wings are too tiny to carry you and so you need to slide down hills and use that momentum to propel you forward.
Controlling the game play is quite easy: touch the screen to make the bird dip down and it will fold its wings to gather speed. The goal is to have the bird touch hills at the beginning of a downwards slope and then release the bird (just stop touching the display) at the very bottom. It will immediately start flapping its wings and take off.
If you manage a couple of perfect slides, you not just increase speed but also enter fever mode: sparks will follow you and your score will increase faster for as long as you remain in this mode (crash against a hill and you’ll be back in normal flight mode).
Speed is of paramount importance in the basic game mode because your bird can only fly during the day. It starts off on an island and hops to the next. The faster you are, the further you can go, even though I only once managed to get to island 9. Behind you, night is crawling up (there’s an indicator in the bottom left of the screen) and every time you slow down, the sun’s moves catch up with you. Once night has fallen, your bird will fall asleep immediately and the games starts all over again.
But don’t worry, it’s by far not as repetitive as it sounds: every day, midnight to the second, the entire landscape will change. That’s right, not just the bright colors and textures of the hills will change, their shape will change as well! So every day, you will have to discover a new way — a new best way to fly.
Achievement and Power-Ups
There are different kinds of things to achieve in Tiny Wings HD. The ultimate goal is to get to as many islands as possible. I’ve read that some people made it as far as 11, but if that’s the end of it, probably only Andreas Illiger, the developer, knows.
On your way, you can collect gold coins to boost your score and speed coins (blue) to make you go faster.
Then there are sets of achievements such as “reach the 4th island + do 7 great slides + collect 100 coins” which will earn your bird a new nest. Each new nest will multiply your score accordingly. You can go up to a x26 multiplier, and along the way you have to master playing the game upside down to complete an achievement. No, seriously.
One of the new game play modes (the original version only had the aforementioned basic mode) is Flight School. You are one of four baby birds and you race your siblings to be first with your mama.
It’s quite competitive and challenging; there are 15 levels total to accomplish (totally different from the basic mode), but you can accomplish them with every baby bird anew, letting you play the levels a total of 60 times.
You have to be among the first three to reach your mama and be fed a fish; the last one to arrive only gets the bones and the level is not completed. It’s fast and fairly easy, but right now I’m stuck at the 15th level and I can’t master it.
Hill Party — Multiplayer Mode
By far the most fun is the also new multiplayer mode where you race another real player. The iPad’s screen is split in two and each player controls a bird.
The landscape is pretty close to what you see during Flight School, so it pays off to practice there a bit before challenging your friends or colleagues. At the bottom of the screen you can see your own position and that of your competitor, urging you on and on.
There are two different modes of play: In one you have to be the first to collect 10,000 points and in the other one you need to continuously score high.
To my utter frustration, I lost three times yesterday to my colleague, who has never played Tiny Wings before: if you score really high and arrive at the nest much earlier than your competitor, you are awarded a handicap. For me, it meant that my colleague got a head start up to 60 seconds! It’s fun though, and levels the playground between players of different skills.
Tiny Wings HD is an addictive game for everyone who just wants to have fun. It’s perfect to play with kids; There’s no violence or explicit content, just a bird who dreams of flying.
But beware: if played at work against enthusiastic colleagues, you might lose track of time and the temptation to stay up until just after midnight to see the new landscapes is very high.
Nevertheless, Tiny Wings HD is highly recommended for the casual and ambitious gamer alike.