MUST.EAT.BIRDS. in Review – Quirky Fun

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My first impression after playing MUST.EAT.BIRDS. was, “wow, this game is crazy”. The main characters are cute, round, orang “nomsters” – (monsters?) that want to protect their cakes (and picnic) at all costs from invading birds. Crazy. So why should one get this game?

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Interface/Menu
Tapping the nombster icon (the big thing in front of the rainbow) takes you to the menu which has four options: missions, challenge, awards, options, and by tapping the ‘?’, a help section. There are 9 missions which may not seem like a lot, but they do get very challenging (I am currently stuck on mission 5). Also, there is a letter-grading system marked by A,B,C,D, and fail which may help the perfectionist player with replayability.

In challenge mode, there are four maps where you try to achieve a high score before the birds eat all you cakes. Unfortunately, there is no global high score system, and you can only “challenge a friend” by sending him/her an email. There are 9 awards (cakes) which you can strive for, including a cake for eating 5000 birds, and … a cake if you manage to eat yourself 5 times. These awards are quite difficult to achieve, so you have to work at them. The options menu is very simple, allowing you to change the volume of the catchy Japanese tunes and the SFX volume.

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Graphics
Despite the quirkiness of the game, the graphics are very polished and bright. Characters of course, are totally weird and crazy because of the great work that went into creating them. You can tell a lot of care went into creating the backgrounds, the cakes, the birds, and of course, the nomsters.

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Gameplay
The objective of the game is to shoot the nomsters into the air so they can eat the evil birds that are invading their picnic. It is kind of like castle defense, except it has been dubbed a new genre, “Picnic Defense”. So you may be asking yourself, how do I shoot the nomsters? Well it’s quite simple. The nomsters are sitting in a catapult attached to two forks. All you need to do is to put your finger on the nomster and drag back. The further you pull the nomster, the faster and further he (or she?) will go.

This is where strategy and skill come in. You have to learn at what angle it is best to shoot the nomsters, and how far back you should pull the catapult. Sometimes, it is necessary to kill many birds with one nomster, or even better, a combination of nomsters. If you shoot one nomster at another, one will eat the other (yes they are cannibals), creating a bigger and better super nomster. You can eat yourself as many times as you want as long as the nomsters stay airborne and don’t go off the screen, or hit the ground. Bigger nomsters help to eat more birds, resulting in bigger, better combos.

Combos rock! If you get a large enough combo, then you will reach a stage called MAXIMUM BAKE! which is basically where one nomster goes crazy on the screen, getting bigger and bigger, clearing out all the evil birds. As you progress in the missions, you will begin to have limits on the supply of nomsters, meaning that if you run out of nomsters before you reach your “total birds killed” goal, then you lose. This greatly enhances the replayability of the game.

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Conclusion
Must.Eat.Birds. is a one of a kind game that has created its own genre, Picnic Defense. It is quirky, which only makes it more enjoyable to play. The graphics are beautiful, and it is hard to get tired looking at the different settings and different types of birds. The concept of the game is brilliantly thought out, even though it is hard to imagine somebody conceiving this kind of crazy idea for a game. However, in the end, it is the craziness that is attractive, and the implementation of the concept that keeps me coming back for more. For 99c, this game is a no brainer.

This game review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Alex Lu.

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App Summary
Title:MUST.EAT.BIRDS. (V 1.1)Developer:Mediatonic
Price:$0.99App Size:4.9 MB
  • Stunning visuals
  • Quirky atmosphere
  • Fun music
  • Great controls
  • Good rating system and replayability
  • No global highscores

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