Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tiny Wings Clones

My husband has an iphone; I have an Android phone. My phone can run Google's Navigate app, which could take the place of a GPS if it didn't take so much battery life, but he gets the shiny games. Most games get an Android port, like Angry Birds or GameDevStory. But Tiny Wings is still only for iphone.

I've looked at four imitators, and while they do recreate that wonderful tension-and-release feeling of setting to flight a weighty object, they just aren't Tiny Wings. I'll do a quick rundown of my initial reactions.

Dillo Hills made me install Adobe Air, and has a lot of visual distractions (birds, sunset background, and textured hills). I have no idea why the armadillo makes dog noises, but I'm interested in the gliding mechanic they've added.

Moon Chaser is pretty well-made, but it makes this annoying sound whenever you crash--something that is bound to happen. After a crash, it feels bulkier, maybe since you're a ninja walking up a hill instead of gliding. It's free though, so you don't have much to lose by trying it. Here's a video showing some of the play:

Tiny Bee looked promising, but it uses Feint for objectives, which slows startup down. Stupid objectives. It gets the flying-thrill thing right, except for when it has to slow down for some reason mid-game (maybe it's because I recently updated my Android OS?). Any slowing down during play basically ruins the experience.

Dragon, Fly has an excellent tutorial, and manages the thrilling thing, but has very minimal graphics. Still, it's  probably my favorite of the three, as it doesn't have the weird bells-and-whistles of Tiny Bee and Dillo Hills, yet gives the thrilling flying sensation that Moon Chaser doesn't do as well.

Finally, none of the imitators had anywhere near as good of music as the original Tiny Wings. For a game about flying, I think it's essential to have music that feels like flying.

In other news, I can now call myself a published journalist with this article about gaming trends. Other trends I think might be in the gaming future: ways to find cooler mobile games.