RocketBird Review

RocketBird Review

Jan 13, 2012

Some games thrive on backstory, detailed plots, and compelling characters to draw you in. Other games are inherently interesting enough not to need any trappings, and Rocket Bird is one of them. In fact, with no story and no tutorial, you find yourself playing the moment you start the game. But luckily the learning curve is short and you’ll be on your way in no time.

RocketBird seems like the result of someone having a funny dream about a jetpack-enhanced chicken, and this is the realization of that dream. The game gives you a third-person view of the bird on its path, or rather a view of the bird’s behind and the rocket on its back. He’s wearing a crash helmet and flaps his little wings intermittently and it’s just too adorable. He’s flying along a pastoral countryside, just zooming along as fast as possible. The goal of RocketBird is distance covered without crashing. As you fly, various obstacles appear suddenly in your path, such as fences, pine trees, windmills and cows. You use the accelerometer to navigate, and are actually able to make some pretty steep turns when avoiding sudden trees. You have a meter running down beside you as you fly, and it’s essentially a fuel gauge. To gain speed and keep your meter topped up you must steer into any lightning bolts that appear in your path. These give you a sudden hyper -boost, accompanied by a brief and rousing “Halleluiah!” But beware, the sudden boost can make navigating a bit of a challenge. Don’t avoid the lightning bolts though, because when the meter runs out your journey will end rather abruptly. When you do crash, you land with a *bonk* and a cartoon cloud of chicken feathers.

I never expected to find a game that is simultaneously hypnotically calming while at the same time being randomly stress inducing. I don’t think that the bizarre combination was the developers’ intent, but it is an interesting result in any case. I’ve found myself playing the game right before I go to bed and then closing my eyes to see the flying continue. But as you go faster and faster a sudden crash can be quite jarring.

I just wish that the game makers had spent a bit more time on making sure that the different levels are properly different in appearance. With over 20-levels I expected some newness in each but instead found more of the same: watching the same clumps of tree constantly pass by eventually made me feel like I was in a Tom & Jerry cartoon.