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.