Android Review: Early Bird

We all know the saying, “the early bird gets the worm.” Well imagine this concept turned into an entire game. That is exactly what the folks at Booyah Incorporated have done. What I first thought would be a low quality Angry Birds clone, turned out to be the most played game on my Android smart phone. Although Early Bird does involve a bird, it has a very distinguishing gameplay that sets it apart from most games available on Android.  Read on for the full review:

Gameplay

The objective of Early Bird is simple: devour the worm while collecting bees on the way. This is done by using swipes across the screen to launch the bird. However, you are limited to a number of swipes per level, so use them wisely; no one likes a pouting bird. If you complete a level with swipes to give, then you will be awarded bonus points.

The little white mark on the screen is the fling mark made. The length and quickness of the fling controls how far the bird will go.

Early bird is similar to Angry Birds in the way levels are set up. For now, Early Bird has four worlds, each having a unique theme and containing 24 levels each. Different themes will determine what obstacles your bird must get through. For example, in Flurry Peak, which has an icy theme, there are ice slides in which the bird can slide down without wasting swipes.

The first levels are easy, which is to be expected with most games. These contain very few obstacles so that the user may become more accustomed to the controls.

This is the bull’s-eye that the bird must land on to get the worm. Here he is pulling him up with all his might.

On each level, you have the opportunity to gain three stars based on the points you earn. To obtain three stars, you usually have to have at least two unused swipes, collect most of the bees, and land the bird on the bull’s-eye. There are also plenty bonus points in the game for high distance bouncing and sliding down ice paths. Obtaining three stars in each world can be a daunting task, but it is definitely possible. With each new world you must think of new ways to get your bird to the worm. The same fling-to-the-bull’s-eye method won’t work all the time, so be prepared to face a new challenge with each level.

Gameplay: ★★★★★

Graphics

As with many other games of its type, the graphics fit the game’s objective without over, or under, doing it. It provides simple two dimensional graphics, which depict scenery pertaining to the theme of the world. One aspect I like about the overall graphics is the color usage. A wider array of colors is used in Early Bird, compared to other games. The developer obviously took time to make the idea of the game coincide with the graphics.

Although the graphics are better than most of the games on the Android market, they still have their faults. A lot of edges in the game are rough and show pixels. Blurriness also becomes an issue in the menus. The last problem I have noticed was that textures do not flow very well. This is one of the more noticeable graphic problems of the game because it is directly seen in the gameplay.

There are, however, some positives to the graphics. All of the colors fit very well into the theme of the game and they aren’t extremely rough. The worlds are also themed properly, making each world new and exciting.

Most of the menus in Early Bird are on wooden signs with words and pictures on them. When you choose play, you are brought to the world menu. There is a mini graphic of each themed world along with its name, and how many stars are collected on it.

This is an example of one of the worlds. It gives the name, a small picture, and how many stars are collected so far.

The structure of the menus is simple; select which world and level you want to enter, then play. This type of setup is apparent in many other games of this kind like the Rope.

Graphics: ★★★★

Audio

Unlike many other Android games, Early Bird actually has background music and sound effects that play throughout each level. The background music is slower. The good part about this background music is that it changes with each world. So once you hit level 23 and 24 of Early Bird and you are tired of the same background music, it will change. The music has a nice, friendly tone to it.

The sound effects in this game also amaze me because most developers don’t put that much time, thought, or effort into games on the Android Market.

There are a plethora of sounds in-game when the bird and worm make noises. The game also contains noises for: collecting bees, flapping wings, bouncing on the ground, bouncing on flowers, sliding down ice slides, being shot out of flowers, being zapped by lightning bugs, and many more.

Audio: ★★★★★

Replay

Due to the addictive quality of this game, I kept on trying to reach perfection by obtaining 3 stars on each level. The levels get harder as you progress, but they aren’t too hard as to where it is almost impossible to score all three stars. Now, you probably won’t get a perfect run through the first time, but I am positive this game will be picked up time and time again until all stars are gotten.

Another good thing that this game has going for it is OpenFeint integration. If you enable the OpenFeint service, you can not only see the leaderboards, but also unlock 26 achievements ranging from 5 to 40 points.

Here are some examples of some OpenFeint achievements.

The only fault this game has is number of levels. There aren’t enough levels to keep you going for days on end. If it wants to compare to other big games like Angry Birds, then it needs more levels. I was able to beat the whole game with max stars in about a week.

Replay: ★★★★

Value

The game is free, and the only drawback of that is, the game now has ads. Ads or not, you really can’t be beat with it being free. You don’t have to spend any money, and if you don’t like the game, then no harm no foul. This game can and will provide the gamer with hours of entertainment before they even think about getting bored with it. Although, the game used to be a dollar, it is no longer a dollar and the developers have decided to make it ad supported. There are no plans for a paid version at this time. Current users who paid are asked to not update.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

This is definitely one of the better games on the Android Market. Although it may remind you a little of Angry Birds, Early Bird will define itself within just a few minutes of being played. I would definitely recommend this game to anyone and everyone.

Overall Score


† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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