In the land of hackneyed truisms, it’s the early bird which catches the worm. In the land of Android, it’s the bird who is guided with the minimum amont of touchscreen strokes that catches his wriggling prey first. Following in a long line of physics-based arcade apps, Early Bird is well-executed enough to derive some serious longevity for casual and hardcore gamers alike.
In contrast to another extremely popular ornithological app, Early Bird has you chucking your feathered friend, not at a series of shaky structures, but at a target. Lob your bird within pecking distance of his slithering victim and he’ll grab his meal for the level.
Of course, the more of the 96 available levels you play through, the tougher it gets to dine out on an invertebrate. Perilous thorns, swinging pivots and well-timed wall bounces are all carefully placed to protect many a worm from his mortal fate. These are introduced at a gentle pace across the app leading to an immersive difficulty curve where the temptation for ‘one more go’ is an ever-present vice.
Controlling your bird is extremely easy. Slide your finger across the touchscreen in the direction you want to fly and that’s exactly what happens. Points are allocated depending on how quickly you reach the worm and how many feathers (touchscreen strokes) it takes to get you there.
While we’ve all seen this done before in one guise or another, few developers have accomplished the feat with such panache and an effervescent set of cartoon graphics. Plus, the temptation to achieve a golden three star rating on every level is one which never fails to get under our skin.
The Bottom Line
Early Bird certainly isn’t the most original app on the Android Market but it’s one of the best-executed.
Version reviewed 1.0.0
Requires Android 2.1 or higher