Early Bird Review

Fill in the blank: “The early bird catches the ______”

The bus? The flu? The cricket ball?

Wrong! The correct answer is, “The early bird catches the worm.” But “The early bird catches the fun and addictive physics-based iOS game” is also acceptable.

Early Bird puts you in the feathers of a hungry little blue bird (gosh, iOS game developers sure love their birds) who needs to dig up his (her?) dinner. Your objective is clear: Do whatever it takes to catch the worm.

Given to fly.

Ah, but the hunt is not easy. The wily little worm that would be breakfast is hiding at the end of dozens of different obstacle courses. We’re not talking about dewy suburban lawns, here. Birdie has to navigate through all manner of obstacles– cliffs, thorns, moving barriers, and thick formations of red birds that will not budge for anything– in order to reach the bulls-eye that hides the worm at the end of each level.

To make things a little more complicated (because there is always room for further complication), Birdie is a fledgling who cannot stay airborne for long. Each level grants Birdie a set number of “flaps” that you execute by swiping the screen of your iOS device. A short swipe will send Birdie fluttering a small way, but a longer swipe will catapult him with considerably more power. Birdie’s flight is also aided by his environment, which can grant boosts through springy flowers and twirling daises that will keep him airborne. If you don’t manage to land on the bulls-eye at the level’s end within the allotted number of swipes, you lose.

Sorry worm. Just kidding.

Early Bird has a lot of levels to work through, and true to many physics-based games, once you pass a stage, your performance is ranked with a three-star system. Getting three stars is seemingly impossible on some levels– this is not an easy game– but the challenge will definitely compel players with an insatiable killer instinct (which is all the more funny when you consider the doe-eyed protagonist of Early Bird and his charmed surroundings). Early Bird gives you a lot of content for a low asking price.

The game is also satisfying to work through, even if you wind up one-starring a lot of levels. You’ll get stuck on occasion, but it doesn’t take long before you find yourself trying to guide Birdie to the dinner table once again. Nevertheless, the option to skip levels would be much appreciated.

Early Bird is as bright and cheerful as a Disney cartoon. It’s also charming, easy to learn, and challenging to master. Go ahead and try to catch the worm: It’s not like you have to eat it.

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