The infamous cartoon woodpecker comes to iOS in the form of a side scrolling racing game, very much in the mould of games like Tiny Wings. You may very well dismiss this as just another cash in attempt, but that wouldn’t be entirely fair, as Woody Woodpecker for iPhone does bring a few extra tricks to the party and of course has great character appeal.
The basics of the game are identical to Tiny Wings. Your chosen character moves along a sideways scrolling hilly track semi-automatically, with the only direct control that you have limited to touching the screen to start angling the character downwards. When you are in the air this makes you fall towards the ground quicker, and when travelling downhill it makes you speed up, but slows you down when moving uphill. You must use all this to create momentum for your character to fly off the tops of hills. It was addictive in Tiny Wings, and the developer has got the physics and feel pretty spot on, and you will soon be flying through all the stages.
There are a few speed boost pads to help you out if you miss-time a leap or fall, with obstacles such as and slowing you down.
Woody Woodpecker adds a racing element to the mix, with Woody racing four of his classic pals in a fight to the finish. You get two extra tools to help you out, both of which recharge over time. A massive speed boost that really has to be timed well to work properly, and an attack specific to each character to launch at your fellow racers to mess up their momentum. It is a manic race to the finish, particularly on the final hill. There are characters flying everywhere, and it can get frustrating when you mess up a jump, even though you know it is your own fault.
Each character has different stats to make things interesting. Chilly Willy has a high top speed but lower acceleration, while Ms. Meany has poor handling, for example. This difference actually adds a fair bit of replay value to the title.
Also adding to the variety is the inclusion of three different locations, each with its own set of levels. The great addition of online multi-player using Game Center will be sure to add several hours to this games lifespan, along with the included achievements and leaderboards.
The game captures the feeling of the cartoons pretty well, with that all important crazy music score present and correct, and the litle quips from the characters in play is nice. The graphics are bold and bright, with the characters looking as they should, although I wish there was a bit more animation for each character as they fly through the levels. I was expecting a little bit more in this regard.
Overall, this is a pretty decent attempt to mash the Tiny Wings basics with some Mario Kart overtones and is a pretty decent ride for Woody Woodpecker fans old and new. While it doesn’t rewrite the book, and the gameplay isn’t quite as satisfying as other games of this type, if you are looking for a roller coaster ride starring Woody Woodpecker then you won’t be disappointed.