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Tiny Wings May Be the Next Angry Birds

Angry Birds has become such a staple of the iOS app store that it's practically synonymous with the game category. That's why those exploring the app store may be shocked when they see a new avian hero in town. Tiny Wings is the new top paid and top grossing app, dethroning Angry Birds with ... another bird.

Created by one man, Andreas Illiger, Tiny Wings is a one-button game with a surprisingly simple but fun premise. It's similar to endless running games like Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack, but here you're a little bird flapping its tiny wings instead of running. By holding your finger on the screen, the bird stops flapping his wings and slides down hills like a penguin before launching into the air.

The goal is to alternate between flapping your wings and dropping like a brick, using momentum to soar through the air. Despite the colorful and cute graphics, the gameplay is most similar to an ATV or Motocross game, where you have to pre-load your jumps to get the most air. The joy of the game comes from getting a good groove going, nailing one jump after the next, and racking up a high score.

While it's ultimately a joy that doesn't offer a ton of depth, Tiny Wings is a unique take on this style of game that's perfect as a quick pick-up-and-play title. It's elegant in its simplicity—so much so that I've gotten more enjoyment out of doing the same thing over and over in it than I have playing dozens of Angry Birds levels.

Tiny Wings will cost you a dollar; your money will be well spent. Check it out.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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