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If looking at the Twitter feed on your computer is getting boring, there may be a solution for you. Celebirdies for iPhone is a neat little app which allows you to see the best tweets to and from celebrities, and the people you follow while playing a simple shooting game. Catapulting brightly colored birds out of the sky seems a bit cruel, but it's amazing what you can find out if your aim is accurate! As the birds fall, the latest tweets are shown, and you can learn all kinds of weird and wonderful gossip and facts.
Following the success of Angry Birds, many bird related apps have appeared on the market. Celebirdies is the latest, and while it isn't as addictive as some apps, it certainly has a lot of appeal. There are four categories within the game: Top Trends, Celebirdies, My Tweeps and Practice. Let's take a closer look at what each section has to offer.
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Oddly, the practice section is not really anything like the real game, but it does help you to perfect your catapulting skills. On the screen you have your slingshot, two stationary targets, and two targets which move around in all manner of different ways. To fire your shot, simply slide your finger downwards to get the right amount of height to fire your ammo, then glide your finger around to get the correct angle. The closer you get to the middle of the target, the higher your score. If you hit three targets in a row, your points get doubled, then trebled at the next three consecutive hits, and so on. As soon as you miss, it resets and you have to start over. There is no limit on how long you can practice, so you can take your time and get used to it before you start playing for real.
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Top Trends and My Tweeps
If you use Twitter regularly, you will know that there is always a list of "trending topics," at the side of the page. These topics indicate the things that people are tweeting about the most. Tweet Hunt keeps track of these and they are your targets to complete the game. The opening screen shows two branches with ten different colored birds sitting on them. Each bird represents a trending topic. You don't have to do them in order, you can pick whichever one interests you the most. Once you have decided, you go into the main game screen.
At the bottom is your catapult, placed on the background of a lovely meadow scene where the birds fly around. Your aim is to shoot down as many birds as you can in the given time. There are 12 birds that drift in and out of the screen, and every time you hit one, a recent tweet on that topic is shown at the bottom of the screen. With every level you complete, the birds fly faster and faster, so you need to have an excellent aim to keep up with them!
My Tweeps is the exact same game, but you shoot down tweets from the people you follow. If you don't have a Twitter account, you won't be able to use this feature, but that won't be a major problem. The rest of the game will probably be enough to keep you amused.
No matter how hard I try, I can't get past Round Four, but I am sure many people have done better. When you reach the end, either by completing the round or by running out of time, you get a report of your game statistics. It tells you how many birds you missed, how many you hit and your shot accuracy. Just above, you will see all of the birds you successfully knocked out of the sky. If you scroll through them, you can re-read all of the tweets you may have missed while you were concentrating on the game.
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This is where t he game starts to become a lot of fun! The Celebirdies section shows what looks like a really long clothes line. Currently, there are 16 birds perching on the wire. Each one represents a different celebrity tweeter. There are six celebirdies you can play to begin with. These include Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen and Paris Hilton. To unlock the others, you need to score masses of points in the open games. Unlockable celebirdies are Demi Moore, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian and many more.
Once you have chosen the bird you want, you go into the game and play as before for four rounds. In the fifth round, you face a big bird. This bird represents your chosen superstar tweeter. You have to successfully shoot it five times in 20 seconds. This scores you extra points towards gaining access to other celebrity tweeters.
The disappointing part of this section is that the main tweets you shoot down are actually those which were written to celebrities, rather than by them. You get to see a few celebrity written tweets at the start and end of each round, but mostly it focuses on what regular tweeters are saying. This wasn't a huge letdown for me, but it could be for others who think it is a quick way to see what their favorite stars have been saying.
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Tweet Hunt for iPhone is very easy on the eyes and ears with its soft colors and gentle bird sounds. The game has no glitches and is very easy to use for people of all ages. What lets it down is the simplicity of the gameplay. Although I am not brilliant at it, those with a good eye may not find it challenging enough to hold their interest for a long time.
People who use Twitter often will get the most enjoyment out of it, just because there is always something different to read. Trending topics change many times a day, and celebrities tweet a lot. This means that it is quite rare to end up reading the same tweets more than once or twice.
This app is free to download from the App Store, which makes it worth a look if you enjoy a little easy entertainment when you have nothing else to do!
- Screenshots taken on iPhone by reviewer.
- Tweet Hunt: Celebirdies, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweet-hunt-celebirdies/id448552761?mt=8