Okay, let's get this over with right here and now. Tiny Wings is not an Angry Birds clone. In fact, the avian in question is rather cheerful, affable and content with his lot... and isn't going to rain horrific destruction down on porcine marauders any time soon.
He's just going to slide down a lot of hills instead.
Our adorable protagonist is a flightless bird with dreams of taking to the skies, and players will need to take advantage of the numerous hills that festoon the island scenery in order to make this happen. Simply touching the screen makes our feathered friend tuck his plumage flush against his body, thus making the bird heavier and building up speed on downslopes.
At the bottom of the hill, releasing the thumb causes our cute compadre to start flapping like crazy; hopefully providing a little lift, a little jump and some much needed velocity. Timing this correctly can create enormous chains of progressively larger jumps, building up speed all the while.
The overall objective is to use this mechanic to proceed across as many islands as possible before the sun sets and the challenge ends. There's a fun little metagame that involves completing difficult challenges for bigger score multipliers (and better nests for our cute little buddy), but at the end of the day, most players will return time and time again simply because it's fun, soothing and extremely relaxing. The gameplay is a perfect example of providing deceptive depth whilst being as accessible as possible. In fact, it's literally impossible to get any more accessible than this.
The standout part of the package - and arguably its major draw - is the art design. Tiny Wings is breathtakingly beautiful and serene to behold thanks to that are supported by crisp, pixel-sharp graphics. You're probably sick to death of words like "charming," "adorable," and "cute" clogging up App reviews like they're going out of style, but they're absolutely appropriate here.
At the risk of sounding like a right softie, it'll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Tiny Wings is barely a game at all at the end of the day. Rather, it's a relaxing and enjoyable experience that doesn't get bogged down in the details. This makes at a poor choice for many potential consumers... so if you crave cutting-edge gameplay and fierce competition above all else, I'd stay away. It isn't for you.
However, more casual players or anyone seeking an artistic distraction will soon find Tiny Wings becoming a key part of their App collection. It's better than any stress ball after a hard day's work.
- Accessible one-button gameplay with surprising depth
- Sumptuous and serene presentation
- As relaxing as a decent massage
- Repetitive much?
- Arguably less game than art project
Summary: Tiny Wings is adorable, gorgeous and utterly serene... but may be too cuddly and pointless for many gamers. We'd recommend this little gem to absolutely everyone, but go in with your eyes open. Don't let unrealistic expectations ruin a fantastic little app.
Developer: Andreas Illiger
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
Price: £0.59 - App Store