You probably thought pigeons mostly spent their days decorating city centre monuments in their own special way. But it turns out they’ve been biding their time, waiting to defend humanity against the worst of its own.
In Pigeon Wings, an unhinged and extremely rich bad guy has decided to destroy East Megalopolis, and it’s up to the heroic Pigeon to stop him. For some reason, this mostly happens by racing other pigeons. Using tiny pigeon planes.
The action’s side on. You hold the lower-left of the screen to speed up, the lower-right to boost, and tilt your device forwards and backwards to change altitude. You may hate tilty games, but Pigeon Wings feels natural, immediately clicks, and makes you grumpy when returning to similar titles that lack such nuanced controls.
Not that you do so immediately, because a game of Pigeon Wings is best followed by a little lie down. It plays at a ridiculously breakneck pace, with Pigeon’s plane belting along twisty courses. And there’s plenty of potential for race-ending crashes – you’ll die a lot until learning a safe route through each bite-sized challenge.
It also turns out taking the chequered flag is for the glory of battling massive enemy craft, in periodic shooty bouts against the antagonist’s forces. These provide a nice change of pace – if being blown to smithereens time and again can be considered something of a breather.
Pie in the sky
DNA of other games lurks: the pace and slipstreaming echo MarioKart, while the exhilarating horizontal madness suggests ALONE… is a firm favourite over at Pigeon Wings HQ.
But Pigeon Wings has a very distinct personality of its own. The daft wide-eyed pigeon looks entertainingly ridiculous piloting its tiny plane, and absurdist cut scenes find the villain getting increasingly furious with his feathery nemesis, who just sits there and says nothing in response to the jibes and threats sent its way. You know, because it’s a pigeon.
Downsides? It’s a bit short – but an endless mode’s on the way – and takes no prisoners in terms of difficulty. Nonetheless, Pigeon Wings is an immediate, entertaining, silly indie game that’s the perfect fit for mobile.
Pigeon Wings is available for iOS. An Android version is under consideration
A superb, silly, playable slice of arcade racing that’s aviary good game
Great mash-up of genres
Races in the dark can annoy