If there’s one thing iOS gamers absolutely, positively can’t get enough of, it’s cute, flightless birds. The latest title to capitalize on this somewhat baffling phenomenon is Tokkao’s Air Chix (out now, $0.99), a Copter-a-like 2.5D adventure which sees a brave little chick hopping aboard a paper plane and piloting it through a series of sidescrolling stages.
As Chix glides automatically from left to right through levels, your job is to collect as many pieces of fruit as possible while avoiding hovering chunks of Aztec-esque architecture. Air Chix is all about speed: the more quickly you scoop up fruit, the faster you earn power-ups and thus complete each stage in the littlest amount of time possible. Now, colliding with obstacles doesn’t bring about instant failure – à la similiar titles like the recently released Mighty Fin – but it does slow you down, so skillfully ducking and weaving up and down the screen is a must in order to achieve a high score.
Thankfully, incredibly responsive tap-and-release controls and faultless flight physics mean navigating the drifting debris is a cinch. On the downside, the fact that Chix’s craft bounces harmlessly off obstacles saps some excitement from the proceedings and strips the game of the “aw, just one more go” quality usually associated with these type of titles.
Don’t get me wrong, Air Chix does have a lot going for it. Fetching visuals – including eye-grabbing day and night cycles – and those intuitive, one-touch controls impress, while the game comes loaded with a ton of content including a plethora of levels (even more since the latest update!) and full Game Center/Openfeint integration. Yet there’s no getting around the fact that its core gameplay is a bit ‘bare-bones’ and does get repetitive. A more diverse array of obstacles (maybe even some enemies), power-ups and unlockable gear or air crafts could help elevate this one above its peers.
iFanzine Verdict:Fun but too easy. Air Chix’s relaxed pace and undemanding difficulty curve won’t win over fans of the less forgiving likes of Dino Rush or Mighty Fin. Still, younger gamers will likely love this bright, breezy adventure and enjoy working their way through its generous helping of content.