Nov 16, 2012
Tiny Owls is a deceptively simple game from games2be that can be likened to rehearsing for a highwire routine. Buttressed by bright graphics and deceptively simple (in theory) gameplay, Tiny Owls easily left an impression with me after just a few goes.
On paper, I had to guide an owl in its quest to find and rescue its offspring. In reality, it was a bit more challenging, with untouchable boundaries and unfriendly water. In other words, it was like playing Operation with bird in an ever-changing Cavity Sam.
Making use of my finger (to provide lift) and the tilting capability of the tablet (to maneuver), I guided the parent bird to make contact and “free” its kids. But touching the sides of the cavern proved disastrous. Something in those walls was kryptonite to my wings, and caused me to drop a life. Three (3) hits and I was done, but I had the opportunity to re-do the level.
As the game progressed, the exotic nature of the threats changed. The water soon contained leaping, chomping sea beasts, and there were even long-tongued creatures that tried to stop me from getting the birdlets to safety. For such a simple game, I frankly marveled at the ingenuity of play. I found the game to be infuriating at times (a good thing in my book); it rewarded patience and a steady hand. Combining leaping fish with wing-breaking walls while trying to capture a baby bird created timing puzzles that were challenging to solve, but not so challenging as to become frustrating.
The parallels to Angry Birds may be there with regards to moving ahead, but I think the game does quite enough to sufficiently define its own space in the key area of gameplay gameplay. In any case, there are plenty of worse things that can happen than being positively compared to one of the most popular mobile games, like ever.
My advice? Don’t try this game unless you have a block of time. The birds will grow on you, and you’ll probably take their saga very seriously.