Chillingo’s Licensed Woody Woodpecker Game is a Twist on Indie Hit Tiny Wings

Chillingo’s Woody Woodpecker, a new mobile game based on the popular and long-running cartoon character, has been selected by Apple as the iOS App Store Game of the Week. According to our traffic tracking service AppData, Woody Woodpecker is yet to make a splash in the charts, but its prominent placement on the mobile App Store will give it a considerable amount of exposure, particularly for the low price point.

Woody Woodpecker may not seem like the most timely license, given that the redheaded bird’s last appearance on TV was in 2002, but Universal’s internal studio Illumination Entertainment, previously responsible for Despicable Me, is reportedly developing a Woody Woodpecker movie, which might at least partly explain renewed enthusiasm for the bird and his iconic laugh.

Gameplay in Woody Woodpecker is similar to popular iOS game Tiny Wings. Players select one of five Woody Woodpecker characters — Woody himself, Winnie Woodpecker, Ms. Meany, Buzz Buzzard and Chilly Willy — and are challenged to race the remaining four over an undulating course. Pressing and holding on the screen while going downhill enables the player’s character to gain speed, while releasing at the crest of a  hill sends them sailing into the air.

In a twist on Tiny Wings, however, each character also has two “tricks” at their disposal. A speed boost allows them to make up lost time after a poor jump, and a weapon allows them to inconvenience the other racers. Alongside navigating the course itself, environmental hazards gradually start to reveal themselves over the course of several levels, also — thunderclouds make an appearance early on, for example, and being struck by their lightning causes a significant reduction of speed.

Unlike Tiny Wings, Woody Woodpecker is split into discrete levels rather than simply challenging players to get as far as they can against the clock. Players are rated between one and three “thumbs” upon completing a level, based on their score and the position in which they finish. Levels are split across three different themed worlds, and unlocking later worlds is dependent on acquiring sufficient thumbs.

There’s also a multiplayer mode in which players can compete against random opponents using Game Center. At the time of writing, there didn’t seem to be many people to play with. There’s also no facility to invite friends to a game, only random opponent matchmaking. This means it’s currently difficult to get into a multiplayer game, though the exposure from the App Store spotlight will doubtless help with this.

“We worked closely with Universal Partnerships & Licensing and [the developer] Tintash to ensure the timeless humor and classic look and feel of Walter Lantz’s original creation translated well into this arcade racing game,” said Joe Wee, co-founder of Chillingo.