Some games opt for varied challenges. Some implement puzzles, or tricky levels, to keep things fresh throughout the experience. Pigeon Wings opts against these complications, hones in on speed, and nails it. Whether you’re racing other pigeons, dodging cave walls, or duking it out with boss characters, Pigeon Wings doesn’t take the foot off the gas, and it’s a wild ride while it lasts.
There’s not much background to Pigeon Wings. Bad guys in big planes want to kill you. In order to upgrade your ship and become strong enough to defeat them, you need to participate in a marathon of 20-second-or-less 2D plane races. Makes sense, right? It’s not the next Great American Novel, but racing games are notorious for lackluster storylines, so it’s easy to let this slide.
Much like the storyline, your ship’s controls are also simple. There’s an accelerate-button, a boost-button, and the rest is taken care of by the iPhone’s gyroscope. Speed is necessary for victory, but it’s also the player’s primary enemy. Most levels contain adequate signposts, but cave levels can be tough to navigate, due to low visibility. Thankfully, Pigeon Wings makes it simple to restart a level with essentially no wait time between runs, so it’s very easy to get into a speedrun-mindset, and just brute-force a level until you make it through.
The game’s music is electronic, and it’s just the sort of music to get players into the head-space of a high-speed pigeon pilot. Graphically, the whole experience is mostly pleasing to the eye, though in cave levels, the ship’s light-beam doesn’t appear as smooth as the rest of the graphics. Otherwise, it’s nice to look at, not to mention that the cutscenes have a great sense of humor.
I enjoyed Pigeon Wings from beginning to end. It’s refreshing to find a game that knows exactly what it wants to be, and does it cleanly, with very little fluff or exposition. At its current price of $1.99, I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you have a penchant for racing titles or high-speed runners.