As a resident of Cornwall, I’m all too familiar with the sight of greedy birds dive-bombing oblivious holiday makers for their food.
Must.Eat.Birds introduces a whole new breed of famished fowl – those addicted to cake.
Indeed, so bulked up on battenburg are these birds that they can’t even swoop in with their own wings. Rather, they’ve opted to parachute in on a picnic en masse, as in some sugar-fuelled D-Day landing.
Victoria sponge for bravery
These birds haven’t picked on any old hapless holiday maker, though. They’ve decided to attack a group of nomsters, which are essentially giant mouths with eyes.
Using a length of elastic strung between two forks, you must ping multiple nomsters into the air. As they fly through the air they’ll munch on any bird that gets in their way.
The goal is thus to take as many birds out with each launch as possible. This is especially vital on certain missions where your nomster quota is far lower than the number of birds you have to feast on.
You can even eat your own kind, if you aim right, which forms an even bigger, stronger nomster. This is handy against certain birds (some fatter, some protected by an egg shell) who ordinarily require more than one hit.
A moment on the lips
Rack up some decent combinations and a giant cake will grow in the background. Once it hits the top of the screen you’ll enter Maximum Bake mode (announced in humorous Japanese gameshow fashion), which sees your powered-up nomsters confined to the screen, bouncing around like carnivorous pinballs.
All of these mechanics are excellent fun, and they’re complemented by some gorgeous graphics. Must.Eat.Birds is an extremely colourful game, with an eclectic mix of cartoon and Japanese culture influences.
There are issues, though. One minor problem is that there are only 18 levels in the main Mission mode, and an additional four Challenge stages. Still, many of these present a real challenge and there are plenty of awards to win (plus the incentive of online high scores through OpenFeint), all for a very reasonable price.
Of more concern is the game's technical issues. These ranged from serious slowdown on our Samsung Galaxy S to the game refusing to load up on our Motorola Milestone. Both are more-than-capable gaming handsets, which suggests some poor optimisation.
These issues hold Must.Eat.Birds back from joining the Android elite as an unequivocal must-have. Nevertheless, it’s an undeniably fun and polished game at an excellent price.