Bird Mania Party Wii U Review
Multiplayer up to 5 players
There is some detail in gameplay once you figure out how the game works exactly
Fast loads after game over get the player right back into the game
Lacking “how does scoring work” tutorial
Must only use the touch screen on the main menu
Lack of unlockables and objectives
Bright color palette but lacks animation
An Enhanced Port of a Handheld Game –
The Wii U eShop downloadable title Bird Mania Party is essentially a port of Bird Mania 3D, a 3DS eShop title originally released in 2013. While this Wii U version is definitely the better of the two, it is still a mindless, short lived endless runner.
Not to be confused or correlated with Angry Birds, Bird Mania Party for Wii U is an endless runner designed around getting a high score by collecting stars as opposed to traveling as far as possible like in comparison games like Jetpack Joyride. The player has two options for controls, either the analog stick or touch screen can be used to move your bird up or down while either trigger button initials a dash attack. Although the controls are as simple as can be they are floaty and take some time to get used to.
When the game is first booted up, the player is greeted with a very easy-to-read indicator on how to control the game but leaves the player in the dark about how score and bonuses are determined. The hidden gimmick behind getting a high score is being aware of the score multiplier ability. If you dash through opposing birds, the score multiplier will increase by 1X, then crash through another bird before the 2X timer runs out to generate a temporary 3X multiplier and so on. However, if the player attacks bees, the score multiplier is instantly reset. Balloons also yield higher point counts as well. Thing is, the player has no clue there is actually some depth to Bird Mania Party thanks to these score enhancers without just playing the game and pay attention to the detail of the gameplay. While the one screen control indicator is helpful, it would have been beneficial for the game to explain its mechanics instead of having the player figure out the nuances as they go. There are other details like how your bird slowly loses altitude when it is raining out but flies straight during normal day/night cycles that is also never explained but an important detail in this game’s design docs.
Once the player actually realizes there is a little bit of depth to this $1.99 download, the approach on how to play completely changes. Instead of mindlessly trying to collect stars at a slow pace, it is way more beneficial and entertaining trying to reach a super high multiplier without crashing. This game is designed to be played for only a few minutes at a time as one-hit and it is game over. Unfortunately, the game takes a couple cheap shots at the player as enemies sometimes are hidden behind clouds but sometimes not; dying this way is a frustrating and unfair. Also, tree tops and green bushes act as hazards but yet the player passes right through the tree truck. This design is a little confusing and misleading.
Multiplayer and online leaderboard separate this Wii U version from the 3DS original. Up to five players can now play at one time, each trying to get the highest score possible. While multiplayer might be fun for a few rounds, its luster quickly fades and basically acts as a one-trick pony Mario Party mini-game. Luckily, the game now keeps track of single player and co-op scores and posts them automatically to the online leaderboard. There is also some replayability in the optional unlockable Achievements but players will ultimately grow tired of the random level design but repetitive gameplay. Without a scope of new things to unlock or objectives to complete, Bird Mania Party is basically 15 minutes of fun.
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com