Line Birds is the latest creation of Djinnworks, and is the latest in their “line” of games including Line Surfer, Line Jumper, Line Runner, and several Stick games, too. For the most part, the game is fairly straightforward and rather simple. To put it in the most easy-to-relate-to way that we can: if you’ve played the Barrel Rocket stages in Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii, then you pretty much know exactly what this game is like. There are a few minor differences, but that’s more or less what you get in this game.
Basically, the premise is that you get to choose one of a group of cartoon birds (albeit a bit less “angry” than their more famous contemporaries), who you will then guide across a graph paper background, dodging obstacles consisting of simple vertical lines. Along the way, you will also avoid little drawings of airplanes and collect bird seed, three pieces of which allow you to activate a “special ability” by tapping on the left side of the screen.
Watch out for those pesky propellers.
Special abilities include the ability for the bird Kirby to automatically retain his altitude, while Pablo is “the time modifying master.” Other birds can be unlocked by either flying a specified distance with any of the birds preceding them, or by buying them (with real money) from the shop. In fact, one bird seems to only be available with a purchase from the shop, where you can also purchase 15 bird seed using real cash.
However, special abilities seem to be more of a distraction than a help while playing the game. The core of the game involves touching or tapping on the right part of the screen to make your bird flap its wings to ascend over some lines, or letting go to allow it to drop beneath others, as you attempt to fly as far as you can go without crashing. There is no horizontal movement on the part of the player throughout the automatically-scrolling, and possibly randomly-generated stages, so the player only needs to focus on moving up and down.
This game is aptly named.
There is an involving sensation of momentum that goes with it; the longer you touch the screen, the more momentum builds to propel your bird skyward at a faster speed. However, this makes it more difficult to move back down quickly, though downward speed builds the longer you keep your finger off the screen. As a result, tapping the screen appears to be the optimal method most of the time, though you will not get the most speed out of your bird this way.
Interestingly, special abilities aside, we seemed to have an easier time once we began using Pablo instead of Kirby, which leads us to suspect that the more difficult birds to unlock might be easier to control and maneuver through the line-filled obstacle course.
Overall, the Line Birds experience is a fairly simple “high score” game that’s mildly addictiv, and a good way to kill some time, but not as deep as some of the other fowl fare out there.