Tiny Wings is what iOS gaming is about. The controls are easy to pick up, the graphics are crisp and colorful, and the addictive gameplay will keep you coming back for more. Plus, the concept of a bird with short wings using hills to launch itself into the air is absolutely adorable. There is a reason this game has risen to popularity overnight: it’s one of the best pick-up-and-play games you’ll find on the App Store, bar none.

The gameplay of Tiny Wings is done in the fairly common side-scrolling one button style. Your bird flaps his wings automatically, but touching the screen makes him dive bomb. The trick is to hold your finger on the screen to swoop onto the downward slope of a hill and release on the upward slope. Some slopes are lined with coins or contain a blue orb that boosts your speed. The catch is that nighttime approaches, so you must go fast enough to avoid it. If it catches you, you fall asleep and the game ends.

The ground is divided up into “islands” that you make your way across. As you approach the end of an island, your bird will hit a large downward slope ending in a stream of coins and a huge chute that launches you to the next island. Each island is premade but differs in the depth and length of its curves as well as its visual style.

While the game only has one mode, an objective system allows you to permanently increase your points multipliers. Once you complete the three objectives– and you don’t have to complete them all in one run– your multiplier will increase by two. These objectives are well varied, from performing a perfect dip after an island change to reaching a certain island without getting any blue orbs. This is a genius way to keep people playing.

Tiny Wings is also visually impressive, with a colorful art direction that is unique to this game. The environments, colors, and so forth vary every time you play. It’s subtle but effective.

Add to this leaderboards and achievements, and you’ll be playing Tiny Wings endlessly. We can’t recommend this game enough, especially at $.99. Seriously, just go buy it. This is the best bird game since Angry Birds, and we foresee it being a big hit for a long time.

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