(3DS eShop)

Bird Mania 3D (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Bird Mania 3D Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

A first-class flight

3DS Download Software has been a bit of a mixed bag so far, with titles ranging from the glorious to the utterly forgettable. Similarly, developer Teyon has been responsible for both memorable, addictive fun and fuelling our screaming nightmares. For those reasons, we weren't sure what to expect of Bird Mania 3D. But now that it's landed, we can safely say that we like what we see.

The story — which is explained through a few static slides and is viewed from the main menu — concerns Mojo, a little bird who fell asleep and missed his chance to fly south with the rest of the birds. Mojo decides to set off on his own and... that's it. The simplicity of the story is a perfect fit for the accessible, uncomplicated gameplay, and Bird Mania 3D uses it as a quickly forgotten springboard to a truly addictive score attack experience.

We'll tell you right now that little Mojo is doomed never to make it to his destination in Africa, because Bird Mania 3D consists of a single endless stage. Your goal is to score as many points as you can or, alternatively, to travel as far as possible. Or, if you like, to kill as many enemies along the way as you can. Bird Mania 3D tracks all of these things and more separately, so you can use anything you like as your benchmark for success.

The game is controlled pretty much any way you like it, which makes for some pretty comfortable gaming. Mojo flies forward automatically and all you need to do is move him up and down, which you can do with either the stylus, the D-Pad, the Circle Pad or the face buttons (the last option making things easy for lefties). Mojo can also dash forward by pressing either L or R, and that about does it for controls. We found the stylus to be by far the most responsive way to play, but it's nice to have such versatile options.

You guide Mojo up and down, avoiding obstacles, attacking enemies and collecting stars. It's a simple setup, but Teyon broadens the experience admirably by introducing score multipliers, bonus balloons, a generous assortment of achievements, weather conditions, a day / night cycle and bonuses for collecting enough stars in a row without missing anything, and that's just for starters. Bird Mania 3D is a game anybody can pick up and play, but it's also an extremely pliable gaming experience, allowing experienced players to compound their points in any of several ways, with plenty of room for an evolving strategy that plays to an individual player's strengths.

It may sound overwhelming, but it's not. The experience is smooth and fluid, and death — though easily found — just leaves you with a strong compulsion to try again. It's brilliantly addictive, and immensely satisfying when you top your high score.

The presentation is simple, but very effective. The graphics are flat and cartoony, and the 3D effect adds a nice layer of depth, though it certainly isn't mandatory. Only one song plays through the game, but it's upbeat and has appropriate momentum, keeping it from ever wearing out its welcome. On the whole, the presentation is designed to showcase the game's greatest feature: its unrelentingly addictive gameplay. And it does that very well.

In terms of criticisms, there aren't many. At first it's quite easy to collide with a tree, which kills you, as it's too similar in colour to the ground, which has no effect on you at all, but it doesn't take long to get used to that. Also, we would have liked multiple save slots to make it easier for players to compare scores on the same unit, but that's a pretty minor gripe at best.

On the whole, this is an impressively solid experience that does exactly what it sets out to do: ensnare gamers, give them a satisfying experience, and keep them coming back endlessly. This it accomplishes without question. The bargain-bin price point doesn't hurt either. This is one bird that knows how to fly.

Conclusion

Bird Mania 3D is the most pleasant kind of surprise: simple, fun, addictive and inexpensive. Charmingly simple yet rewardingly versatile gameplay overcomes any concerns we might have had. For a fast and fun score attack game, you really can't do any better.

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User Comments (55)

Knux

#3

Knux said:

Wow, I'm surprised this game is that good. I think I'll download it. Awesome review, CB! :D

RR529

#5

RR529 said:

Wow, this is the first positive review I've seen of it. I've seen other reviews go as low as 2.5/10 (NWR for example). The highest review (besides this one) was a 6/10.

With such mixed opinions, I'm not sure whether to get it or not.

Joshers744

#6

Joshers744 said:

Hm. Might consider this one actually! I hate stories where the main character is doomed, but I guess that's not important here anyway :p

Savino

#8

Savino said:

Now I am confused!!
An 8 coming from Chicken Brutus means that this is a good bad game?

MrArkade

#9

MrArkade said:

I wouldnt get this anyhow but im still waiting for Mutant Mudds and VVVVVV here in europe dammit!

Ren

#10

Ren said:

nice! count me in. And congrats to Chicken! I can't imagine what your home page looks like on wii and 3ds; like a library of shame.

rjejr

#11

rjejr said:

Normally I get annoyed w/ only 1 save slot but it's hard to complain for $1.99 w/ a game that is locked to the system anyway. For a $30 cartridge it's different.

I'm guessing this is such a small DL that size probably doesn't matter but shouldn't it be listed in there somewhere? That 2GB card is going to fill up eventually if N keeps putting out DL games.

Don't know how to word this but about how long does a "run' last? That bird looked pretty fast on the video. I deleted Jetpack Joyride in part b/c I could only go about 20 seconds before dieing. A "Sea Stars" run is good for a few minutes, which is why I keep going back to it. My kid will keep playing this if he can go about a minute or so, if he dies in 5 or 10 seconds it's money wasted.

Thanks for the review.

C-Olimar

#12

C-Olimar said:

@RR529 Fanpop gave it an 8/10, and I saw a 2.5/4 as well. NWR didn't like Rolling Western, so they're not always right!

Will get this as soon as it's out in Europe! With £15, I'll be getting Colors! 3D tomorrow, VVVVVV 10th May (assuming it's £7.20) and this on the 17th or 24th (assuming it's £1.80). Teyon is Polish so I reckon this will be out sooner rather than later.

grumblegrumble

#13

grumblegrumble said:

Great score! Thanks for all your reviews, Chicken_Brutus! We do appreciate it, even if you get a little huffy sometimes (lol, who doesn't.) I thought this game deserved much higher than I was hearing reported in the Bird Mania forum thread.. a 2.5 out of 10 on one site. I just can't believe that! This is a great game and people need to try it out and see just how fun it is. It won't take your breath away but for $2, it comes pretty dang close! Tweet tweet!

AVahne

#16

AVahne said:

Didn't expect this to get such a high score! I'll look at some videos to see if I want it.

Birdman

#18

Birdman said:

Well, I guess I'll be getting this one soon. I could use a new pick-up-and-play title right about now.

Moorpheel

#21

Moorpheel said:

Wow, great review! I think I'll give this one a chance.
And congrats on your 101st review!

MeloMan

#22

MeloMan said:

LOL @ the fact that everyone was expecting Chicken to land a bad review :D
I'm actually quite surprised this came out so well. I'm not always a fan of score attack games, but I am a fan of time wasters (Tetris, Zen Pinball 3D, etc.) so this sounds like another eShop essential. And at $2 bucks, this one is a no brainer for me.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#23

Philip_J_Reed said:

I'm just glad that I now have a definitive answer the next time somebody asks "What do you want for 200 points?"

:)

C-Olimar

#24

C-Olimar said:

Just noticed Art of Balance TOUCH! Is out 24th of May, So this is probably out on the 17th or 31st, but it's really cool that we're getting so much 3DSWare at the moment! With quite few more confirmed for Q2 and Sakura Samurai likely on its way, I don't think my wallet will be able to handle it!

Henmii

#26

Henmii said:

Nice review and nice score! I never thought it would be a option for me, but now it is! It's a pity though that it has only one, endless level. But it's pretty cheap!!

Moorpheel

#27

Moorpheel said:

I read in other review that even though there's only one level, it changes from day to night and there's even weather, so it shouldn't feel that repetitive.

Flowerlark

#28

Flowerlark said:

I agree with this score. I got it & love it. Not too deep, but fun & worth the cheap price.

sinalefa

#30

sinalefa said:

@JuLeDos

He reviewed it because I am sure everyone at NL thought it would be a bad game, as CB admits in the introductory paragraph.

Kagamine

#31

Kagamine said:

Good review, I already got the game before and i agree with you on the score. It's an excellent game, definately worth 2 bucks..

CaPPa

#32

CaPPa said:

I bought Bird Mania just to support the notion of $1.99 3DSWare games. I didn't expect much from it and there really isn't much there, but I've found it to be quite addictive and found myself repeatedly thinking 'I'll just have one more go'. I think 8/10 is pretty fair.

@rjejr
A 'run' could last for 10 seconds or 10 minutes or 100 minutes etc as it is just a continual scrolling screen. My early games seemed to be over pretty quickly (although that was because I forgot about the boost button so kept crashing into birds/bees) but I'd say my runs probably averaged a couple of minutes each.

BulbasaurusRex

#33

BulbasaurusRex said:

This sounds like it could be a free Internet Flash game. I'm not paying money for something this simple.

RaylaxStaff

#37

Raylax said:

Daz is weeping, Chicken's 100th review turned out to be a good game.

ejamer

#38

ejamer said:

I'm pretty sure the range of scores is because different people have different expectations going in.

Yes, it only costs $2 so that should give you a hint about what type of experience the game offers. But judging by cost is always a sketchy proposition. Does that mean a $6 should be three times as much fun, or three times longer, or three times more complicated? (Hint: None of the above - there is no direct correlation between cost and entertainment value.)

I suspect that my rating would be somewhere in the middle of the extreme ratings it's been receiving. For $2, maybe I'll take the chance and find out.

OrdonianLink

#40

OrdonianLink said:

This looks like the game "Flying Hamster" I could be wrong as I've only seen the screenshots, who knows.

rjejr

#41

rjejr said:

Thanks CaPPa for the feedback, I think we'll be getting it then. The boost button sounds like a nice added touch.

Link977 - if I recall Flying Hamster was all about shooting guys in front of you, this game is all about NOT running into things, so the same but opposite.

iroxursox

#42

iroxursox said:

hey 101 reviews this should have been one of Teyons other titles like 101 pinball rerun to commemorate this special day

Shroom_Muncher

#44

Shroom_Muncher said:

I can't help but wonder if this game was better suited for mobile phones (like Tiny Wings and Jet Pack Joyride), just sounds like it would be fun for half hour before being a bit repetitive.

CureM

#45

CureM said:

I think it fits perfectly on the 3DS.. I always wanted games like this beside larger and deeper games, sometimes I just want to relax and only "play" that's why I'm enjoying this game a lot! hope to see more direct games that are easy to get into and hard to put down..

JohnPhilipSousa

#46

JohnPhilipSousa said:

I too would like to see more games like this. Addictive little smartphone style games can really complement the whole 3DS experience. Plus, stylus controls are more accurate than using your thumb on a capacitive screen, so I'd say it's probably better on the 3DS than if it were on, say, iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 7.

zenarium

#47

zenarium said:

Explain me something
You review bad games and you gavea great mark to this one.

So... is it good or bad?

CureM

#48

CureM said:

he doesn't only review bad games, and this game is not bad in any way it's awesome!

3dbrains

#53

3dbrains said:

What is happening?
Am I about to be rick rolled?

I SEE MANY PROBLEMS!

1. @Philip J Reed - I expected a worse review from this iphone-esque game. Now I am all confused.

2. Nintendo are supposed to want to take the majority of my paycheck. This game must be a virus or Harbinger of death. Or some sony/microsoft evil plan.

3. It just doesnt make any sense. The tree's are the same colour as the grass!

Bintoken

#55

Bintoken said:

This game is a must have! I'm addicted can't believe it is only two dollars sweet!

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