Tiny Wings for iOS: Discover the joy of flight

This adorable little game is the anti-Angry Birds, a pleasant, soothing game of soaring through the clouds.

It may not look like much, but Tiny Wings could be the best bird-based game since that one with the pigs.
It may not look like much, but Tiny Wings could be the best bird-based game since that one with the pigs. Screenshot by Rick Broida

I just figured out why the Angry Birds are so angry: it's because they can't fly! They have to be flung, and even then they get only a few seconds of airtime before suffering rapid-deceleration trauma. I'd be ticked off, too.

In Tiny Wings, there's just one bird, and all he wants to do is fly. It's your job to help him, to keep him flying fast, far, and just ahead of ever-encroaching nightfall. Once you get the hang of the flight mechanic, you'll find yourself thoroughly, hopelessly addicted, always wanting to try "just one more time" to see if you can get a little farther.

Your adorably fat little bird slowly propels himself over the hills and valleys of the various islands that serve as the game's levels. The only "control" is your finger, which you tap and hold when he's sliding down a hill and release on the upturn. Time it right and our hero soars skyward.

If you tap and hold while he's airborne, he instantly gets "heavy," plummeting back toward the ground. The idea is to time it so he plummets right onto a downward slope, which in turn gives him more speed for the next jump--and sends him flying higher and farther.

This isn't hard by any means, but it took me a few tries to get the knack of it. From there, the fun lies in seeing how many successive jumps (and "cloud touches") you can pull off, and in nose-diving at just the right time to collect the occasional power-ups that litter the ground.

I love Tiny Wings' soothing pastel colors (which, according to the developer, change from day to day) and New Agey background music. It's the kind of game you'd want to play while lounging in the bathtub at the end of a hard day.

Is it perfect? Not quite. Although Tiny Wings does have objectives, it's fairly repetitive. Each island is pretty much the same as the last (except for how it's colored), and there's no support for GameCenter (yet--it's in the works).

That said, this is the best 99 cents I've spent in a while. If you're sick of Angry Birds , tired of Cut the Rope , and done with Cover Orange (which I still think is woefully underrated), Tiny Wings might just be your next big addiction.

One last thing: I think the little birdie needs a name. For some reason I want to call him Floyd. Anyone have any better suggestions?

 

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