When Andreas Illiger released Tiny Wings [$0.99] in February of last year, nobody had any idea the kind of success it would become. Sure, it’s easy to look back and see just how well he struck a balance between whimsical art design which hooked you on a deep level and brilliantly simple game design which was perfectly suited to mobile.

While hindsight is 20/20, a much harder problem (and one we’ve explored in the past) is just how do you follow up such an unexpected hit? The answer in the case of Tiny Wings is don’t fix what isn’t broken, and instead expand upon the mechanics of the first game in a way that’s unobtrusive to what made it a hit in the first place while simultaneously changing enough to make the whole experience feel fresh.

I think Andreas has achieved that beautifully with Tiny Wings 2.0, a free update for the original game, as well as with Tiny Wings HD [$2.99 (HD)], a brand new iPad-only version that contains all of the same features as version 2.0 plus has a sweet same-device multiplayer mode.

First, the Tiny Wings you know and love remains mostly untouched, aside from updated visuals for Retina screens. The same set of goals and unlockable nests, same gameplay and music, same day-to-night game timer. It wasn’t broke and thankfully it hasn’t been needlessly fixed, just made prettier and rebranded as Chapter 1: Day Trip.

The new content comes in Chapter 2, called Flight School. Here you get 4 new birds to play as, each with their own unique personalities and names. Flight School consists of 3 worlds (with more coming soon) with each world containing 5 levels. The goal is to race one bird of your choice across 15 new levels against the other 3 birds who are controlled by AI.

You’ll have to come in 3rd or better to move from one level to the next, and the progress for each of the 4 new birds is tracked separately, so you can earn medals and completion times independently for each bird. Each bird can also “nest up” similar to the original mode based on your medals earned, and I have a feeling something cool might be waiting if you can snag gold for all 15 levels.

The Flight School also has levels with much more varied terrain compared to the mostly smooth hills of Day Trip. Even if you’re in a good rhythm, expect the unexpected as you might come up against some jagged hills, long flat areas, and even puddles which will bring you to a near halt. There are also special flowers which act as trampolines that you can use for a quick bounce if you can aim at them properly.

Flight School is smart about its changes so that at the end of the day it still feels very much like Tiny Wings, but it also feels like an appropriately new experience. Racing against AI opponents is fun and challenging, and with medals to earn on each of the 15 levels there’s a lot to work towards. I can’t help but feel that Flight School would be perfectly suited for online multiplayer, or at the very least racing against the ghosts of friends. Hopefully this can be explored down the road sometime.

Speaking of multiplayer, Tiny Wings HD on the iPad comes with a 3rd Chapter called Hill Party. This is a same-device multiplayer mode which splits the screen in half and pits two players against each other in a race to be first to 10,000 points or to see who can get the best score on a 5-level playthrough. This local multiplayer mode works a treat, and is easy enough that you can shove one end of your iPad in practically anybody’s face and be having a blast together within a matter of seconds.

Credit to 148Apps for this great hands-on video of Flight School in Tiny Wings HD:

So there you have it, Tiny Wings 2.0 is a free update to the original app and a new iPad version that both deliver a great “familiar-but-new” experience. I’ve fallen in love with Tiny Wings all over again, and I’m excited at the thought of new Flight School levels and the possibility of more multiplayer in the future.

The update to the original game is out now, and since it’s finally Retina-ready it looks pretty good in 2x mode on the iPad. If you want native iPad support, I think the new Tiny Wings HD with its proper screen size and local multiplayer mode is totally worth forking over the extra few bucks.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Mark Perkins

    Unbelievably awesome and addicting. Worth every penny.

  • Sojourn

    This game looks so good on the new iPad's Retina Display, I don't know how I lived playing it pixel-doubled all this time.

  • Tondog

    Bought it because Andreas deserves some of my money for making 2.0 a free update.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W256JGENOYNCSBWRCAE624ZGTE JohnPayne79

      i don't believe he needs it :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.vischansky Ian Vischansky

     Tiny wings was one of my first app purchases when I got my ipad. 

    All too happy to support Mr. Illiger's hard work on this project and future ones at that.

  • RunnyGnome

    Looks like this bird *Puts on sunglasses* Just got it's wings. YEEEEAAAAAAH!

  • immortalbk

    yeah, I bought this for my iphone last year. With the local multiplayer mode on the iPad, I can play with my gf. Here's my money Andreas!

    p.s. Can we have online multiplayer next?

  • Nyan

    I love This game :D It's far more entertaining than Angry Birds, to me. Probably because of how thought out the game is. And the fact there are no iAPs that define the experience whilst playing the game. Props to Andrew for making the Sequel free as well.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

    You should make this a separate, universal version for 1 bucks, instead of shitty "HD" versions....
    Or at least make the the bigger universal or also 1 buck.
    This kind of logic similiar to Rovio and Zeptolab ( or Chillingo ), and i hate that logic...
    2011-2012 is the year of freemiums and the "pay for different resolutions".
    F^ck logic

    • countermind

      Really, Tuss?

      One developer creates a whole new update just for iPad and you are bitching because it costs $3? Nobody is forcing you to buy anything. You should be happy that the 2.0 update is free - 99% of us would have happily paid for an entirely new app.

      • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

        Ofcorse, there are too many idiots who have iDevices.... paying for same content twice or more is so common to them, they even happy about it.

        And making his game universal isn't a big deal anyway....
        Few days if he have enough big original images.
        And 2 week or 1 month maximum for the onscreen multiplayer...

    • Maniacfive

      Yeah. Disagree entirely.

    • Ariectus

      Wish there was a dislike button, you're a douche laszlo tuss

      • thegauge

        No, he's not a douche. There are many people out there that, like me, have multiple iOS devices and don't expect to have to pay twice for the same game simply because the resolution is different. You don't see different versions of Call Of Duty being sold for the PC, a £4.99 version that only runs in 640x480 and a £29.99 version that runs at 1080p. Since apps were able to be made universal there's no need for this anymore.

        At the very, very least the HD versions should be made universal. If you pony up for the most expensive version of the app then I strongly believe you should be abe to play this on devices with a smaller resolution. To make it iPad only just stinks of cynical profit mining.

        Take a look at how many publishers have now moved to universal to HD universal. This strategy is old hat, predictable and ultimately only a matter of time before Chillingo, Roxio etc all realise it's doing more harm than good.

  • http://twitter.com/USOApps USOApps

     I love Tiny Wings and glad that now it's on iPad.

  • FinalStar

    Why is it wrong to believe that Tiny Wings HD should have included univeral support?

    2D Boy did so with World of Goo HD, was that a bad thing? Superbrothers: Sword & sworcery also has a universal version available, to name just two examples of popular games. Other like League of Evil even added universal later on for free, if I'm not mistaken (note: this does not mean that I demand this should have happened with Tiny Wings!)

    People complain about e.g. Rovio for releasing two different versions of Angry Birds Space HD, and probably rightfully so – but I don't see what's so very different here.

    • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

      Because USA is the main target of iOS development, and they are so retarded, they even pay a couple of times for same content.... thats why.

      • Tarzerix

        Troll

  • http://www.the-app-shack.com Matt F

    So what now, do we have to buy the iPad version of this to play its multiplayer side?

  • DeInit

    Got it on the iPad too, visuals are absolutely beautiful, new mechanics give it further replayability. The developer deserves three cheers.

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    I'd like to have it on my iPad 3, but $3 does seem like a lot for what is in essence an extremely casual game. 

    You've got to figure what $3 will buy you on the App Store.  You can get 3 large, in-depth games for a buck, or one where a bird slides down a hill again and again.

    I'll gladly wait until this goes on sale for a dollar.    

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I hope it never ever goes on sale.

    • http://twitter.com/touchgameplay TouchGamePlay

      With those attitudes I`m even wondering how you could go out and buy an iPad 3 while you could buy for the same Money two refurbished iPad 2 or probably three used iPad One or...even save a hole Village in Africa for for quite some Time.

      How can you on the one Hand spent $599 Dollar for an Device and on the other be that greedy to call a $3 App an extremely casual Game and not worth it`s current Price-Tag?

      I still hope that we will see an increase in Pricing ($5+) on the Appstore because current a lot of Appz are sold below their own Value and those Developer need to Pay their Bills/Eat/Drink/Sleep as we all do and a .99 Price-Tag will never allow us to see more High Class Appz if all still will keep thinking the same Way as you currently do.

      The iOS Community has to finally understand that we, the iOS User, are currently in Dreamland with those .99 Appz

      There is no other Place where you get that cheap Entertainment for Hours and still a bunch of Jerks are claiming that those App are to expensive and should be for Free so they can collection Millions of those on their 600 ~ 800 Device.

      I really hope that you change your attitudes because they are so wrong and could cost us in the End more then we both can even Imagine if upcoming Developers will cut their Games just because they believe that an $10 or $20 App won`t sell enough Units on the Appstore.

      • http://twitter.com/MagnetiCat MagnetiCat

        I came to post exactly this. Thank you!

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

         His post was horrible, don't encourage him.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

         It's real simple: I own an iPad 3 not because I'm rich, but because I was able to save my money, ONE DOLLAR AT A TIME. 

        I also do NOT appreciate you calling me a greedy jerk simply because I'm smart about how and when I spend my money.  If you like to flip one dollar bills into a fire just to be entertained, then you should really ask yourself who's the greedy jerk here.

    • Tim Harding

      I almost never pay for apps, or at most I'll wait for a 99 cent sale, but Tiny Wings is different.  Definitely worth the $3.

  • jeffyg3

    Great job on the iPad version. The multiplayer on the iPad is kinda cool to have it one device and I love the new additions to the game. I'm happy to support this developer...this game will definitely be on my iPad for a long time.

  • http://twitter.com/aagold3 Aaron Goldberg

    I could never get to the 5th island without doing a good slide. Let's hope the new one doesn't have such difficult challenges for a casual gamer like myself. Otherwise, DEMANDING REFUND!

    Not really.

  • LCB12321

    From Tiny wings 2.0 update

    Hopefully this 4 birds at once thing will eventually comet be online multiplayer... Maybe in a different game or another update.... I don't get why he wouldn't do everything nesssecsary to setup tiny wings online? He coups sell it as a seperate ap for 3$ and it would still be at the top of the charts for along time... Also he needs customizable fish and colors, new maps , map creator? It's time he. Uses the moneyade from tiny wings and make this a reallity... Then after that makes him millions he can do whatever...

  • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

    Make that HD universal, please, don't be a b!tch like Chillingo and many others....

  • lancheta

    Placing within first or second on Flight School is ridiculously hard in the later worlds. You have to literally memorize the hills to get a good slide, but when going that fast all hills look like blur. It is taking me a while to get used to it.

    The new content is great but the learning curve for the new hills are pretty steep

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=506066248 Matt Tacchi

    I am very much looking foward to Tiny Wings on iPad since we missed out last time around.

  • mclifford82

    As this was a free upgrade, I'll be buying the iPad version to support this guy.  Brilliant game, great music, great SOUL.

Tiny Wings Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 5