Bird Mania 3DS Review

Filed under News
System: 3DS (eShop)birdmania_logo.png
Developer: Teyon
Publisher: Teyon

Genre: Arcade/Action

Players: 1

You could say the 3DS eShop has barely scraped the surface of its potential, with only a small library of quality digital games including Pullblox and Dillon’s Rolling Western. The 3D Classics have been a step in the right direction, giving 3DS owners the ability to play classic NES titles such as Kid Icarus or Kirby’s Adventure in 3D. Sadly, Bird Mania doesn’t do much for the eShop’s potential, instead giving us what should have been an iOS/Android game on our 3DS.

Bird Mania 3D is a skill-based action game featuring a little bird named Mojo. Similar to iOS hit Jetpack Joyride, the addictive gameplay sets you the challenge of flying as far as possible before you eventually steer Mojo into a tree or something. You have a few different control options: up and down on the d-pad, up and down on the circle pad, up and down with x and b, or simply just sliding up and down the touchscreen with the stylus – my favourite option. Collecting stars and popping balloons will boost your high score, dashing with the L button through other birds increases your score multiplier but dashing through bees will reset the multiplier to zero.

birdmania_screen1.jpg
Is there a story behind it all? Oddly enough, there is. Mojo awakens to discover the rest of his flock have already headed south for the winter, leaving for Africa, so he chases after them. Bad news for Mojo, he’s never going to reach Africa. ‘Play’ mode is the only game mode available; a never-ending, randomly generated level of enemies and obstacles. Other clickables on the menu include an offline-only ‘High Scores’ section. This magnificent addition lists a heap of low scores to beat (the highest being 500), resulting in the leaderboard being dominated with your own scores after playing for ten minutes.

Obsessive players are rewarded with ‘Achievements’, which is a rarity for games on Nintendo consoles. Unfortunately, there are only about twenty to earn and they don’t give nearly enough reason to keep playing like Jetpack Joyride does. While Joyride offers achievements which can be earned over a hundred different play sessions, as well as missions to grow levels and coins to buy upgrades, Bird Mania’s achievements can only be earned in a single, long, death-defying session with no upgrades available. No power-ups, no super stars to make you invincible for a short period of time, nothing. You won’t see any new enemies or other elements thrown in along the way either, except for the occasional drizzle or the sun going down, and the only increase in difficulty comes with increase in speed.

birdmania_screen2.jpg

The whole presentation of the game is nice though. Cute, well-drawn graphics and a catchy tune is all you need for a mobile game but it doesn’t quite cut it for a 3DS game, especially when the game looks worse with the 3D switched on. Expect the foreground to become blurry in the attempt to pop out into your face, and that’s before you start gaining speed. I can’t picture any game like this working nicely in 3D, although Teyon deserves some credit for keeping that background looking gorgeous in either dimension. 

Score: 3.5/10
Bird Mania 3D feels like a mobile game. It wants to be a 3DS game and tries hard with its presentation, but there’s a huge lack of content. A large variety of enemies, some power-ups and a level system might have made this game a real treat. As it stands, unless you’re actually looking for a cheap, time-waster you can just pick up and play, give this one a pass.

By David Rennie (Dave)