I never much cared for Woody Woodpecker as a child, but he's on the Hollywood Walk of Fame so you've got to give him some credit. And he's got his own iOS game now, too, which is more than most of us can say.
Woody Woodpecker the iOS game, then, allows you to experience your burning desire of playing a variant of Tiny Wings with Woody Woodpecker the cartoon star. But wait! You can also play as four other characters that have names like Chilly Willy, making a franchise with a naming convention so blatantly obvious I find it remarkable there's not a Biggus Dikkus in here somewhere.
Because stealing Tiny Wings outright would have been considered a cheeky faux pas, developer Tintash decides to turn its distinctive slippy-slidy gameplay across rolling hills into a more traditional racing game, where Woody or Willy compete with the others across thirty teeny-tiny courses (set over three environments) for those elusive first places and accompanying Game Center achievements.
The trio of environments show some imagination, dishing out a golf course and circus alongside a mandatory Arctic ice level. Each has its own particular quirk to get in your way, and none do much other than frustrate. Take the Arctic's icy ceiling that completely ruins you for drifting too high - a frustrating trap so close to the ground it would have completely hobbled Icarus long before he even saw the sun.
Managing your momentum is crucial - misjudge a leap and you'll find yourself slowed to a crawl - and you've also got recharging speed boosts and character-specific weaponry to utilise, ranging from rockets and oil slicks to perfume, because Tintash know all too well that women can break hearts by using their femininity.
The biggest problem isn't the lack of originality, but the awkward and unpleasing way the two core ideas mesh together. This game simply doesn't work, and the bite-sized levels offer little in the way of challenge or entertainment, the difficulty artificially increasing as you progress due to annoying traps and the occasional missed slide. There's no impetus to learn or improve, however, and challenges are overcome simply by hitting restart and hoping for the best.
To compound matters further, stages have been designed to be awkwardly short - in an effort to squidge everything into Chillingo's trademark cache of multiple weeny levels, no doubt - that you barely ever feel like you're doing anything other than wasting your precious time. This is a game that leaves almost no impression and completely washes over you, so much so that I'm having a hard time remembering this game and I only stopped playing it about ten minutes ago. What's it called again?
At least the character's trademark annoying laugh keeps you grounded. Woody Woodpecker is a fairly successful (if brazen) attempt at nicking off with Tiny Wings' formula, but Tintash's decision to dirty its waters with a wonky racing element leaves a bitter taste.
VideoGamer.com Score5 Score out of 10
- Two-player multiplayer works alright
- Mixing racing and Tiny Wings doesn't work
- Instantly forgettable
- Annoying traps