Take to the skies and deliver death – well poop – from above in I-Play’s best game to date…
If you live in a large city, especially those of you in London, you will know of the disease infested flying rats we lovingly call pigeons. These aren’t the nice plump wood pigeon’s you see in the countryside. No, these are the skinny, mangy and balding pigeon’s that plague are beautiful rooftops. Tourists may enjoy feeding them in sightseeing hotspots, but look up at a tall landmark and you might regret it with a swift poop in your eye. Some say it’s lucky… Well, if the premise of this game is to be believed, luck has nothing to do with it, as these pigeons are part of an elite air unit, hell-bent on raining poop on us poor unsuspecting humans.
The premise is simple enough. You take control of said pigeons and must take out the targets below you with your trusty pigeon butt. There are three locations in total spanning London, Paris and New York, each of these contains 15 missions which are briefed to you via your squadron leader. These generally comprise of taking out a set amount of targets within the given time limit, bonus points are given for not only successfully hitting targets, but if you string together multiple hits with out a miss, as well as hitting other targets not part of the mission. Once the time has ran out, or you have met your quota, you are rated by gold, silver or bronze medals. The missions are location based, with the standout one from London requiring you to take out the Queen! Surely that’s treason… even for a pigeon!
It’s not all one way though. When hit, many humans will throw objects at you. This can be food, which actually gives you energy, or more random objects such as hammers from builders, bowler hats from business men or tennis balls from, well, tennis players. These hover in the sky and act as obstacles for you to avoid. If you hit them your health is reduced and if you are hit too many times then its bye bye birdie! Occasionally you can pick up powerups, examples include carpet bombs, which call upon your pigeon brothers to cover an area, and the runs, which gives your Pigeon a dicky tummy resulting in a rapid fire mode.
The controls in Pigeon Squadron work very well. If you’ve played iBomber then you’ll feel right at home, you tilt the device left and right turn your bird, and forward and back to speed up or slow them. To fire you simply tap the required bomb button. The game is tilt only, and unfortunately doesn’t allow for calibration, so you’ll be sitting forward and looking down most of the time, which is a big no-no in this age of the AppStore.
The graphics won’t blow you away in this game, but they are fun and functional. I particularly like the illustrations of the pigeon’s during mission briefings, as well as the animation of your bird when in flight. The play arena of each location is a largish section of the city containing blocks and boroughs of different types such as business parks, shopping areas, gardens and beaches. These rotate around your bird as you turn, and the people and vehicles in the city move along set paths, occasionally deviating if struck from above. A map is available which shows your targets, but you’ll mainly use the onscreen arrows which point to your next destination off screen as you fly.
Overall, Pigeon Squadron is fun and polished budget title. The missions are both creative in the narrative and the gameplay, and features such as the stats which outline how many human statues, or tourist busses you hit adds to the enjoyment . My only gripe is that eventually you may tire of doing essentially the same thing but with different targets. But if you are playing this on a mission-by-mission basis while traveling to work, then it will certainly give you it’s $0.99 worth of play.
I hope we’ll see more of Pigeon Squadron, as I feel there is nice little IP here which could break into other gameplay types and genres.
Pigeon Squadron is out now for $0.99. get it on the