Birdland: Take flight in this new aviary game

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There's another newcomer in the animal husbandry space, and this time it's not fish or farms or even cute little snuggly dogs and cats. Birdland, released in late February, has been fluttering up the charts since being released. If you can't stop collecting toucans in Jungle Extreme and birdcages in PetVille, you'll be happy to know that you can now take care of your own birdcage in Birdland.

When you first start out in Birdland, a quick and simple tutorial walks you through the basics. Your birdcage starts out empty, but as soon as you learn how to buy birds from the shop you will quickly fill up your cage until your money runs out. Birds need a food dish that is always full in order to keep their hungriness meter high, and they need to be played with to stay happy. Clicking on your bird allows you to poke and interact with them, which will make them fly around. Decorating your bird cage is another crucial part of the game, and there are a variety of nice looking decorations to use to make your cage stand out. Buying sticks and perches will encourage your new feathered friends to fly around and hang out on different perches.

Of course, like most Facebook games you can level up to unlock new birds, decorations, and accessories such as food dishes and perches. Leveling up is done through helping your friend's cages and selling your mature birds. For those who like to keep their birds and not sell them, I hope you have a lot of neighbors! Leveling and coin earning seems to be a bit slow in Birdland, so you will have to visit a lot of neighbors in order to expand your cage and buy more birds without selling them as you go.

The social features in Birdland are on par with just about every other social game, but it is evident that Birdland is still early in development with plenty of room to grow. You can visit your friend's birdcages, invite friends, share adoptable animals with them, and post your achievements to your Facebook wall. Of course, you can invite your friends to play with you, but thankfully Birdland will automatically neighbor with you all your friends who are playing. This is convenient because you don't have to try to determine who is playing and waste your neighbor invites on people who won't play the game.

Technically, there is nothing spectacularly innovative about Birdland. It is very similar to aquarium games such as FishVille where there isn't much to do but fill your aquarium up with fish and decorations. It is this simplicity, though, that may help Birdland succeed and spread to a broad audience. Everyone likes birds, right? On the surface, Birdland is appealing to the eye, sounds great, and manages to keep us interested for some time. It will be interesting to watch this game grow and to see how far its wings can spread.

Give Birdland a try and let us know what you think.
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