Bird Mania 3D is a game I’ve stuck with, insofar as I still break it out on occasions when I’m looking to kill a few minutes.  That said, it’s never held my interest for extended lengths, due to the monotonous nature of its gameplay.  This is of course fine on a handheld like the 3DS, where the game is a solid fit.  On a home console like the Wii U however, more is needed.  Does this follow up, Bird Mania Party, fit the bill?

WiiU_BirdManiaParty_gameplay_02Teyon has recognized the need for more content (in part) hence the Party moniker.  It adds a couple of multiplayer options, which I’ll touch on in a bit.  First though, let me briefly talk about the main package.  If you’ve played Bird Mania on 3DS you’ll already know what to expect here, for better or worse.

This endless flyer is focused on accumulating high scores.  It has online leaderboards thankfully, so the points feel like they actually mean something.  There’s 22 achievements, the same number found in the 3DS version.  That game was released back in 2012 – why doesn’t this version doesn’t have a higher count?  For that matter, why were no new music tracks created?  Making matters worse, no audio will play from the GamePad!  Control is handled via traditional buttons or the stylus.  The Wiimote is also supported (curiously held like a pointer), with optional nunchuck support thrown in.

WiiU_BirdManiaParty_gameplay_04Multiplayer can support up to 5 players.  This is the justification in bringing the game to a home console; otherwise it would be an even poorer fit compared to the 3DS.  Competing for points and seeing who can survive the longest could be entertaining with the right group of people, but I just can’t see it having staying power.  Wii U has no shortage of excellent multiplayer games after all.  There’s also a co-op mode, which alternates each bird having the ability to dash or grab stars.  We found it interesting for short spells.  However I don’t give either mode more than 10 minutes before you’d have your fill.

Teyon has touched up the basic Bird Mania formula some, and for that I am grateful.  But overall no new ground has been broken here.  Three years ago this probably would’ve been a pretty good release.  Now though, it just feels like Bird Mania Party has missed its window.  At least it’s cheap at just $1.99, but the shortage of compelling new content left my attention waning.  Unless mutliplayer is a huge selling point for you, you’d really be better off sticking with the 3DS version.  It’s tough to advocate for such an uninspiring update.

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