You Should Play: Tiny Wings
[These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.]
Maybe you’ve already heard of Tiny Wings. Perhaps you dismissed it sight unseen, thinking it some kind of Angry Birds knockoff. Or maybe—like me!—you started playing it and couldn’t figure out what the big deal was, and gave up on the game too quickly.
But here’s the thing: Tiny Wings turns out to offer an impressive amount of fun once you figure it out. It’s a game that you get better at over time, and one that you can play in the minutes between when you finish your popcorn and the previews start.
You control a charming bird, one who suffers from the genetic abnormality that gives the game its name. To help your feathered friend fly further, you decide when he brings his wings down (for improved aerodynamics) and when he spreads them as wide as he can (for coasting).
So here’s why you should start flapping those Tiny Wings for yourself:
It’s lovely: Tiny Wings actually generates the hilly landscapes through which you fly algorithmically, meaning different levels sport different looks every day. The game’s soundtrack and the bird’s whoops of delight only add to the charm.
It’s mellow: As I mentioned, there are no angry birds in this game. There’s no bloodshed or violence. And when you lose—that is, when you stop keeping the bird aloft any longer—the sun sets in the game and the bird coasts to a stop and goes to sleep. I have no problem with bloodshed and violence (in video games, I mean), but I still appreciate the respite from both that a peaceful round of Tiny Wings affords.
It’s simple: Tiny Wings sports but one main control: Tap the screen, anywhere, to bring in your wings. Release to spread. Repeat.
The right kind of challenge: First and foremost, you end up competing against yourself in Tiny Wings: Can you beat your last high score? Can you up your number of coins, cloud touches, long slides, and other in-game stats? And then, when you feel like you must have peaked, you can use the game’s Game Center and/or OpenFeint integrations to see how you stack up against your friends. When you learn that your no-good bestie’s high score quadruples yours, you’ll find the inner reserve necessary to keep the bird flying longer.