When your city’s under attack, the last thing you’d expect to hear is: “Don’t worry – the pigeons are here to save us!” Fortunately, the pigeons in Pigeon Wings Strike are no ordinary pigeons. They’re cool. They wear shades and everything. Oh, and they fly adorably cute little planes that happen to shoot MASSIVE LASERS.
This is, as it goes, rather handy, given that the skies are chock full of drones and massive craft spewing bullet hell in your general direction. Chances are, you won’t survive that long in this deranged cartoonish mash-up of ALONE…, R-Type, and, um, Pigeon Street. But every time you send a new avian hero into the fray, there’s a chance you’ll eke out a few extra seconds, and zoom your way to a new high score.
From the off, Pigeon Wings Strike takes no prisoners. It belts along as you slipstream fellow pilots, and then inevitably quickly crash into a wall. Pretty soon, though, you’ll begin to master the superb controls – tilt up/down to change altitude; left button for speed; right button for boost/EAT LASER DEATH, EVIL SCUMBAGS.
And, yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The previous paragraph did use ‘superb’ to describe tilt controls – but that’s because they really are.
Subtle wobblage of your iPhone’s enough to adjust your path to shave nearby bullets; but in passages where Pigeon Wings Strike has you zip up and down in a gut-wrenching manner to avoid obliterating plane and pigeon alike on a tower block’s innards, or in an inconveniently dark tunnel, you’ll be glad for a bit of the ol’ gyro, rather than maniacally prodding an up button.
Feather your nest
Last long enough and Pigeon Wings Strike reveals a smattering of assistance. Grab gold and blue collectables and your plane is powered up, enabling you to shoot harder or fly faster. Although the scoring mechanism is opaque, you accrue coins, too, which in the game’s hanger can be spent on crates.
Some provide you with new characters with unique powers – Emma the squirrel holds the air speed record (and one for “most ejections”); Louie the rabbit encourages all the pigeons around him to use their guns, too.
So this one’s blisteringly fast, relentlessly exhilarating, and endearingly ridiculous. But, we’re sure some will gripe that Pigeon Wings Strike lacks depth, given that there’s no real progression – just that sole challenge to stay alive. That doesn’t matter a jot, though – this is first-rate pick-up-and-play arcade fare, perfectly tuned for iPhone.
Pigeon Wings Strike is available for iOS. The game is free with ads. Said ads can be removed for a piffling 99p.