Overall Score 88%
War Pigeons Unbounded
They were supposed to be the perfect weapon. Small, able to breed quickly, highly explosive and of course airborne, they would have been cheap and deadly in any war. And then they escaped... One man stands between them and the end of the world. One man with a rifle. Can he stop the War Pigeons before they establish a new pecking order?
The latest review game to visit my iPhone is a little bit mental. You control a lone gunman in the centre of the screen, defending yourself against the flocks of feathered fiends that are intent on destroying you. The pigeons vary in their attacks - regular pigeons are fast, green pigeons are slow but bombard you with many more eggs (which eggs-plode on contact), kamikaze pigeons dive at you from on high, and some pigeons even shoot laser beams. Fortunately you have a range of weapons to call upon, from the humble rifle through shotguns and automatic fire to futuristic weapons of mass incineration.
There are three control methods for movement - tilt the device, use a virtual "joystick" in the bottom left or simply touch the edges of the screen - while firing your weapons is always the same: touch your action hero, then drag the crosshair to your target. Blam! Watch out for falling bodies - they're lethal even when dead. Handy pickup crates are regularly airdropped in to help you out, featuring a range of ammunition for your weapons and some handy health kits. Later levels can also see you kitted out in body armour.
The cartoon graphics are very well done and everything is clear despite the small screen. With experience, you can even identify the contents of the falling pickup crates by the symbols on them. There's not really any blood - lots of loose feathers, yes, and the gunman looks more like raw hamburger the more damage he takes, but there's not really anything to concern parents. Aside from the enormous amount of cartoon violence.
Sound quality is generally good, with the various weapons having some nifty effects, and watch out if you hear the sound of descending pigeons! The music, however, is highly repetitive after a while and you may well be looking for the sound options before too long. The odd thing here is the lack of character noises - the pigeons and the soldier are entirely mute, even in death, and some squawks and grunts might have added more atmosphere.
It took me a while to get the hang of firing, but once mastered I soon found it came naturally. I do still have a tendency to run INTO danger rather than away from it, but it's amazing how forgiving the game is in this regard. You won't usually fail from a slip of the fingers - not unless you're playing one of the more challenging bonus games. You can replay any level as often as you like, and completists can try to score the maximum stars for the level by also completing a bonus objective (such as collecting X crates, or finishing the level in armour, or shooting X kamikaze pigeons).
There's a ton of content here. As well as the main campaign, in which each new level is unlocked by beating the previous, there are tons of bonus games. There's something for everyone here - sharpshooters can try "One for One", in which you must shoot 50 pigeons with 50 rifle rounds. No misses! Hippies can choose to survive for as long as possible without shooting any birds, and your rifle is replaced for this game with a large flower! Each bonus game has a series of levels that start quite easy and get more difficult. How far can you get?
This has been a mad and rather enjoyable game, and one likely to stay on my iPhone for some time to come. War Pigeons Unbounded has clearly been put together with professionalism and care, and you'll soon find yourself hooked. Grab your rifle! The pigeons are fighting back...
NOTE: There are two versions of War Pigeons available. This is the full, unlimited version (hence "Unbounded") and is on sale at a small price. The other version plays in the same way and is available for free, but some content will be limited. You can unlock this with an in-app purchase for the same price as the Unbounded app.
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