Birds. For an iPhone gamer, that word is likely to elicit one of two reactions: joy, or the rolling of eyes. And both seem to be inspired by the same popular title, Angry Birds. But if you fall into the latter camp, wherein just the mention of the game leaves you wishing there was an Angry Colonel Sanders in the App Store who needs to quickly set up an Angry Thanksgiving dinner, then Infinite Dreams, Inc. has just the game for you in its latest release.
Shoot the Birds is a very simple game with a very simple premise: shooting birds. Birds that, as it just so happens, carry a similar aesthetic sense to our angry friends, but with the exception of one particular breed, have more of a bird shape to allow them to avoid treading too closely to potential copyright territory.
As many birds of difference shapes, sizes, and colors fly overhead, it is your job as the resident pumpkin-headed scarecrow to dish out a little bit of down-home justice with your crossbow. Sure, a shotgun of sorts seems as though it would be a better fit for the farmland setting, but that would take away all (or at least a significant portion) of the fun.
Using your finger, you draw back to prepare the crossbow to fire; the further you drag your finger, the more powerful your shot. Move the arrow (which indicates your trajectory) to where you want your shot to fly, wait for the right moment, and let it go to fire. And just like that, you’ll find yourself frequently foiling the flights of fowl.
So many birds left to kill, so little time.
There is more to it than that, however. For one thing, you have a time limit, and hits help prolong your mission, while near-misses will take away precious seconds. For maximum bird-shooting efficiency, you can wait until several birds are near each other (in a row, ideally) before letting your arrow fly, skewering the whole lot like a feathery shishkabob. Plus, what goes up must come down, and so firing arrows in a direction more vertical than horizontal can see your arrows fall back to earth, taking down birds both ways.
The game’s objective is simple: shoot as many birds as possible within the time limit given. There are also a number of goals to accomplish before you can continue to the next round, though they don’t need to all be accomplished in one turn. These include such feats as shooting a certain number of birds, reaching a certain score, or blasting as many feathered friends as you can in a single shot.
Shoot the Birds is fun, mildly addictive, and not too difficult– you’ll want to keep coming back to reach that next goal. The only major downsides are that the rounds tend to be over too quickly, and there really isn’t much else to the game. But even with that said, Shoot the Birds is good for killing some time and is just the type of game the iPhone excels at, even if it’s not quite as involving as some other games out there.