Trolly Bird Review

Title: Trolly Bird
Developer: David Martinez
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download:  4 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download, Direct Download
EU Availability: Digital Download, Direct Download

Before we begin this review, let’s give you a little history.  There was a Mobile game not long ago that got very popular very fast.  It involved tapping the touchscreen of your device to make a bird flap and fly through a maze of pipes that looked oddly similar to the pipes from the Super Mario Bros. series.  You may already know what game I’m talking about.  It was called “Flappy Bird”.

Flappy Bird was free and got its revenue from ad hits and downloads.  Soon after it hit its peak, though, the developer took it off the Mobile Stores, saying that it was an overnight sensation and over with.  Fans thought otherwise.  In the months since it was taken off, there have been countless lookalike games appearing, some even bearing the same name.  It’s gotten so bad that Google and Apple will not accept an app anymore that contains “Flappy” in its name.

The lookalike games have spread from Mobile to consoles as well.  Not long ago, a talented LittleBigPlanet player managed to create the game inside a LBP level.  A pretty impressive feat, though it wasn’t exactly on bar with the original game.  PlayStation, Mobile, however, did.  A few weeks ago, PlayStation Mobile was updated with a game that plays very similar to the original Flappy Bird.  This is our review of the PlayStation Mobile title, Trolly Bird.

Story

When we review games like this, it’s hard to stay true to our format.  Trolly Bird doesn’t really have a story or plotline to it.  It’s a very basic game that is played in a very basic way.  There is no end cutscene.  There is no story summary to tell you why the bird is going where s/he is going.  They just are there and doing what they are doing.  So, it’s not too easy to write a Story section on a game that, for all intents and purposes, has no storyline at all.

If there were a description, it would be that our red Trolly Bird friend is on his way to a destination.  Maybe it’s a nesting site, or maybe he got separated from Mrs. Trolly Bird.  Your guess is as good as mine.  But, the one thing we know is that he’s having trouble flying and needs help to navigate himself through a maze of tightly-made pipes.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Trolly Bird is exactly the same as the game it is trying to copy.  You are set on a single stage that is constantly moving to the right, and your bird is in the air.  The speed constantly stays the same, so it’s not too hard to get your concentration off once you really get into the flow of how the game plays.  As you go through this stage, your goal is to make sure the bird does not hit anything.  This includes the top of the stage, the ground, and the pipes.

Your bird flies in a very strange way, if you think about how birds normally fly.  Your bird is constantly falling in the game, and he must flap his wings to be able to fly higher into the air.  At the end of a flap, though, he arcs and then starts falling again.  The goal here is to judge his movement through each arc and be able to time the flaps to be able to get him through each pipe without hitting anything.

Hitting something gives you a Game Over and a Score.  The score is determined by how many pipes you manage to navigate through before you hit something and the game ends.  When you receive your score, you are shown how many pipes you managed to go through on your current game.  It also gives you your current High Score.  So, it gives you something to work for beating.

As far as this goes, that’s pretty much the entire point of the game.  There is no deep story.  There are no difficulty levels.  There isn’t a final boss to get to.  You are endlessly going through randomized sets of pipes to beat your previous high score.  That’s all there is to it.

As far as length is concerned, this is the shortest game we have ever played and reviewed.  A single game when you start out will likely last a few seconds.  As you get better, they will get longer, but the length of the game is how long you stay interested in this method of gameplay.  Certainly, it’s good for a pick-up-and-play game for short bursts.  However, there’s just not much to it.  Unless you really get into it, I don’t see this lasting more than an hour or two, tops, outside of random plays when you’re out and about.

Controls

Everything is very simple and basic in this game.  The controls are no different.  This was actually one aspect I wanted to see if could be changed.  Most games, even PS Mobile games, can have customizable control schemes.  I didn’t think the game was going to be too hard, since the PS Vita has buttons and every PS Mobile game I’ve played and reviewed in the past had options for buttons.  Not this game.

Trolly Bird can only be played by tapping the touchscreen.  And that’s all you do.  No movement controls, no different gestures.  You just tap the screen each time you want to flap.  I believe it would be really beneficial if the developer were to update the game with button controls, even if it’s just using the X Button instead of the touchscreen for the flaps.  It would certainly make the game a bit easier.

Presentation

If there’s anything to be praised for this game, it’s definitely the presentation.  There is only so much one can do with a Flappy Bird lookalike, but the developer did well with Trolly Bird’s presentation.  There really isn’t much to the soundtrack and noises other than the bouncing sound of the flapping wings, but the visual presentation is a bit different.

The original Flappy Bird had decent visuals for a Mobile game, but Trolly Bird does a better job at this.  There aren’t any blemishes in any of the hand-drawn visuals and everything looks crisp, clear, and runs at a solid frame rate.  It’s very colorful, and looks well-done.  Though a lot of it looks very, very familiar.  The Blocks during the high score.  The pipes (though a different color).  The way the hills look in the background.  It looks like it was ripped straight out of Super Mario Bros.

There is a decent load time when you first start up the game, as all PlayStation Mobile titles do.  Once you get past that, though, loading is very short.  Whenever you get a game over, you’ll get the Restart screen in about 2 seconds time.  That’s pretty good for a PlayStation Mobile Game.

Overall

All in all, if you’re looking for a competent Flappy Bird lookalike on the PS Vita, this is your best bet.  It plays and feels just like the original game, and looks a lot better as well.  However, you flap, flap, and flap some more.  If you’re looking for a deep Mobile game, you’ve come to the wrong place.  There isn’t much to do, there is no music, and has yet to be updated with any sort of social aspects with the High Score Leaderboards.  It’s a fun little game, but has much to be worked on.

The PlayStation Vita Review Network Rates Trolly Bird a 6.5/10

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