Successful match-three puzzlers almost always contain the same ingredients: colorful presentation, addictive gameplay, and an easy-to-grasp concept. As a string of hits from Candy Crush to Toon Blast demonstrates, this is all it takes to dominate the charts.
BirdsIsle, from developer Amrita Studio, is a bit more ambitious. While it has the sort of lean, addictive gameplay that makes match-three puzzlers so irresistible, it also comes with a bird-collecting meta-game that’s every bit as compelling.
The game sees you matching fruit and other items in a tropical paradise. Touching and dragging to move, you need to slide items together to make lines and other shapes. Once formed, these lines and shapes vanish from the screen, and new items slide down to take their place.
Clearing a line of three triggers a straightforward vanishing act, but longer lines, and squares, bring about explosions and other effects, clearing multiple items at once.
Each stage comes with its own target to aim for. You’ll be asked to clear particular items in particular numbers, for instance, and if you don’t manage it you’ll fail the level. That means you need to play a cunning tactical game to avoid frustration.
Every time you clear a level you earn gold and gems, and you spend these on power-ups and, more importantly, new birds.
Acquiring birds and filling your aviary is the essence of the meta-game. BirdsIsle lets you design, build, and decorate your own aviary, before filling it with the most colorful, exotic birds in the world.
You’ll also have to make them happy, by clearing stages and earning happiness points, which in turn give you boosters and gifts.
BirdsIsle has a genuinely gorgeous story stringing its stages together, full of fun characters, things to do, and even the odd educational titbit
Download BirdsIsle for free right now on the App Store.