Saturday 17 November 2012

Little Bird flaps onto iOS

Physics apps for teenagers
Little Bird App

Where's My Water, Angry Birds, Bike Baron, Coco Loco... the list of fun physics games on smartphones has never been so populated, so is there room for another contender? Does Little Bird from Indie creator Roentgen LLC have the panache and playability to join this instant fun list of games that require just a little bit of thought (and finesse-never forget the role of finesse in physics games!)?

Well looking at the figures it seems that Little Bird by right away rolling into the list of top 50 games on the Appstore is already generating quite a following. Perhaps even the words "cult following" might already be started to be whispered in certain circles. It's quite certain that it's creator knows videogames having been an ardent arcade game follower for many years. Of course as many an app creator has found this is not nearly enough to ensure success in the mystique filled world of the appstore. However look a bit more deeply into the developer's resume and you'll see that he is also responsible for the viral video "Whack a Kitty". Not having seen the Youtube sensation  we can't comment, but if the same skills that can make a video go viral are applied to an app it could certainly be a harbinger of good things to come.
Indie physics apps
3 great ideas in 1 screenshot. Awesome!

So skilled developer who knows what's popular, does that make for a good app?

In this case, yes! Initially the game seemed quite lacklustre, the quite chagrined looking bird morosely rolling across the first level under accelerometer control picking up a few coins on the way to an exit. An exit which naturally is best reached swiftly to get the level achievement. At this stage play on! We can't emphasise that enough, it might be a slow start but rest assured the Little Bird app has a lot of tricks up it's sleeve. 

Moving on to level 2 and those tricks start to make the game shine and stand out from the normal type of physics apps. At this stage it's probably appropriate to mention the art style which is very reminiscent of PSP classic Loco Roco, cutesy, sweet and vivid pastel colours lending a great depth of fun a la Rainbow Islands to the app. On to level 2 then...

Notice the screenshot below , that basket moves. So, what exactly does that mean? It means ideas and thrills in abundance! It means that rather than rolling around the levels by tilting the iPad or iPhone under an, albeit well rendered, artificial gravity there is more... a lot more. The game is filled with little inventions and contraptions like the basket that zooms across the screen when the bird enters it, the moving platforms, the lurking creatures in dark crevices, the cannons, the...

Invention is the spice of life
Little Bird's endless inventions
It's all the fun things that Little Bird can do and which can be done to him(?) and by him all in the name of Newtonian -lite physics that apps are so well at doing these days that make this a fun app to play. We hope that later editions will up the level count from 20 to a lot more and that more achievements will be winging our way. In the meantime it embodies all that is good in the world of apps and particularly physics driven fun apps. 

The price of admission is free and the wonderful inventions that await in Little Bird fully justifies the time that has been lavished on creating it and that will hopefully be lavished by gamers playing it.

Show your love for indie physics games at: the Little Bird Facebook Fan Page


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