By Dain Schroeder on Sun, 05/02/2010
In our current economy, 99 cents don't go as far as they used to. In fact, you'd be lucky to find a name-brand chocolate bar for under a dollar these days, and you can pretty much forget about quality entertainment for such a price. Because of this sad state of affairs, I think it's especially important to note the 99-cent iPhone apps that really shine - especially the lesser-known ones. One such app is Must.Eat.Birds., created by European developer Mediatonic.
Must.Eat.Birds. is a truly bizarre experience that you'll never want to put down. The backstory for the game is equally bizarre. You control Nomster, a small orange creature who simply wants to devour somescrumptious cakes in the park. Nomster's fun is quickly ruined, however, when (somewhat inevitably) a huge swarm of birds swooped in to steal away his precious Battenburgs. Acting quickly, Nomster constructed a catapult out of utensils and jumped to action.
That's where you, the player, come in. The gameplay is fairly basic; you'll drag Nomster down on his catapult, then lift your finger to fire. Your goal is to launch Nomster at the oncoming avian invaders. As Nomster eats the falling birds, you gain points. However, if you're looking to really boost your score, you can also launch multiple Nomsters. Get Nomster to eat himself, and you'll earn a score multiplier. Get a big enough combo, and you'll enter the fabled 'Maximum Bake' mode, wherein your Nomsters continually bounce around the screen, giving you the opportunity to gain massive score boosts.
While the game is extremely fun to play, it's not necessarily the gameplay that causes Must.Eat.Birds. to shine - it's the flawless presentation and the confidence with which it's delivered. The pseudo-Japanese style, terrific art direction, fantastic musical score, and completely insane sense of humor all work together to make Must.Eat.Birds. one of the best games in the entire App Store. For the insanely low price of 99 cents, Must.Eat.Birds. should really just be called User.Must.Buy. If for some reason you're not already sold on this fantastic game, you'll be glad to know there's also a free 'lite' version available. What are you waiting for? Go eat some birds!