Game Reviews

Early Bird HD

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| Early Bird HD
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Early Bird HD
|
| Early Bird HD

Angry Birds pretty much mastered the formula of the three-star rated physics puzzles. Early Bird HD doesn’t reinvent the genre, but it does provide enough cute characters and smart challenges to keep things fresh.

You play a young bird who must get to his dinner within a certain number of steps. The fewer steps you take to reach the tasty worm, the higher your score. The level ends when you either get the worm or run out of turns.

While Angry Birds has its slingshot pulls, Early Bird HD does swipes. Almost like a blast of air, your short, medium, or long finger strokes determines how high or far the little bird goes.

Wonderful toys

Beyond the strokes, you have to contend with different obstacles that will help or hinder your progress. For instance, some flowers will bounce the bird around like rubber, while moving planks can block him from going forward.

The learning curve is smooth, as each new item has its positives and negatives literally drawn on the screen. The user-friendly setup hides a devilish difficulty that gets stronger in later levels.

The spice of life

Early Bird HD could have easily been a rote Angry Birds rip-off, but it's executed extremely well. The Looney Tunes-like graphics and sound give it a classic feel, while the dozens of levels put the hero in constantly changing circumstances.

One zone, Flurry Peak, throws ice in the mix, totally changing the dynamic and forcing you to essentially learn how to navigate all over again.

It's also pretty generous: the iPhone and iPad editions are currently free, with more than 70 levels available. Beyond that, the advanced Phoenix levels are available via in-game purchase.

You can expect to repeat some levels over (and over) again, but Early Bird HD never seems to get frustrating. It's not the most original title, but it manages to do everything right.

Early Bird HD

Early Bird HD is cheap, challenging fun for the Angry Birds set
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