Sugar High Review

An Admirable Imitation


They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's true, iOS darling Tiny Wings should be absolutely flushed right now, as the new kid on the block Sugar High desperately wants to be that game when it grows up. But we hope it stays exactly the way it is: familiar, accessible, and twice as adorable.

Biscuit the dog is in the sweet-induced craze the title refers to, dreaming of endless parades of snacks, candies, fruits, and a cornucopia of other delicious treats. Sugar High explores this hungry little dog's dream world as he hurtles toward all the desserts he could ever want.

Like Tiny Wings, Sugar High is an endless runner, and the savory sweets littered throughout Biscuit's dream world act as obstacles and collectibles to give you a run for your money.

Several types of fruits, such as oranges, act as ramps that allow Biscuit to circle them and collect powerups. Others act as bouncy launch pads to send Biscuit flying through the air. It's up to you to keep the hungry pup diving down slides and maintain a suitable momentum to avoid the vicious clock monster on his tail. Yes, a clock monster.

In this, it's easy to see where Sugar High quickly becomes a different kind of monster. You're constantly outrunning the clock monster (faced against time, literally!) and so it's difficult to find the zen experience Tiny Wings delivered. As you keep Biscuit scrambling away from his pursuer, you uncover an exciting challenge -- a nice juxtaposition between the sticky sweet candy land and the thrilling race against the clock. It's far too easy to get sucked in, and frankly, that's how we like it.

As you collect sweets, pull off daring tricks, and use the slides and environments wisely, you can max out the Sugar High gauge, which sends Biscuit into a sugar-induced frenzy. Once activated, this mode sees the goofy little dog hitting each slide with fervor, a funny spectacle that keeps you gunning for another bonus. It follows the time-honored tradition of hopping up normal play and getting gamers amped, the way any "powered-up" mode should.

Unfortunately, at some points you’ll find that the “smooth glide” of Tiny Wings is replaced by a chunkier, slower ride through the world of cakes and candy, making it tough to attain the high score of your own fantasies. This should be an easy fix, however, and it would be a boon to players if subsequent updates addressed the issue.

Exploring each saccharine locale is a dessert in itself. The colors pop, and there are so many candies and cakes it could induce a diabetic coma. Infectiously cute beats accompany you and Biscuit as you gallivant through the tasty dream world, and improving your score is always a reason to revisit Biscuit's overindulgent dream.

Sugar High won't win any points for originality, as its core is completely taken from another popular release, but it takes the same formula down a different route that amps things up and creates an exciting twist on the peaceful Tiny Wings. It may not be "the" app to buy in the genre, but it's certainly an acceptable addition to your collection.