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Sponsored Feature: Al4red Studios on how Fowl Ops is a real barnstormer

Fantastic Mr Fox
Product: Fowl Ops | Publisher: Al4red Studios | Format: iPhone, iPad | Genre: Action, Arcade
Fowl Ops Multiformat, thumbnail 1
Built from the ground up by friends Syed Zahir and Mohammed Redwan, action-arcade title Fowl Ops is a great example of how the iOS market can help deliver games you probably won’t see anywhere else.

Sporting hand-drawn graphics and a custom made soundtrack, the game is clearly a labour of love for Zahir and Redwan.

The pair believe that Fowl Ops has much more to offer gamers than just handmade charm. They talked to us about what inspired the game, what it does differently, and how it's even better thanks to its recent update.


Fowl Ops sees you playing as Rusty the fox. The main game involves pillaging eggs from a chicken coop while attempting not to wake Rufus the watchdog from his restful slumber.

That may well sound a little like a less violent Fantastic Mr Fox, but Zahir claims the idea for their bushy tailed protagonist came from a little closer to home.

“Our main inspiration for the game were the foxes that run around our neighbourhoods tearing through rubbish bags and causing mayhem,” Zahir says, “so we thought it would be fun to try and capture the idea of a mischievous fox for Fowl Ops.”

In fact, it’s this knockabout sensibility that Zahir believes makes the game worth playing over other titles on the App Store.

“Ultimately, it's the fun factor that we think makes the game stand out from the rest,” Zahir says. “We're aware of games that have similar concepts to Fowl Ops, but we feel that they don't deliver the classic and modern twist that Fowl Ops has to offer.”

What are you, chicken?

There’s a lot more to the game than mere egg-snatching. There are two unlockable modes to reward the persistent player, with Lightning mode offering a trickier, faster version of the main game and the other seeing Rusty riding a dog shooting down chickens with a bazooka.

Yes, you read that right. Titled ‘Rusty Ride,’ this bizarre extra was designed to help give the game another dimension.

“Rusty Ride was designed to offer a complete different experience in the app,” says Zahir, “in the main game Rufus the dog gets alerted when Rusty misses three eggs. So to give it a twist, we thought 'why not team up Rufus with Rusty and get them to take down kamikaze aviator chickens?’”

Why not indeed. Zahir believes that this oddity doesn’t just offer a welcome change, but also makes the game's 59p price tag more than reasonable.

“We tried to accommodate the game for all types of people,” says Zahir. “We knew from the outset that when we made Fowl Ops we wanted the players to feel that they had a variety of options at their disposal and would get a good value for money package.”

Not tailing off

Fowl Ops has been made even better with the recent 1.1 update as well, with it adding a much needed competitive edge to the game.

“The update upgrades the game to support both Retina display and more importantly Game Center,” Zahir says, “which we felt was the main thing missing from version 1.0, as it’s always nice to be able to compare scores and have a target to beat, or simply just see how everyone else in the world matches up to you.”

There may be even more mini-games lined up for the game as well, and Zahir encourages Fowl Ops fans to have their say.

“We do have a few ideas lined up for Fowl Ops which involve new and unique mini-games, we just want to make sure they are perfect for the game before implementing them and making sure they add to the experience,” Zahir states.

“We're even open to suggestions to see what the mobile gamers want - they just need to send us an email. We do read them!”


In terms of Fowl Ops scampering onto other mobile platforms, Zahir says that a version made specifically for the iPad is a possibility (although the current game can still be played on the tablet), but any other formats are an unknown entity at this moment.

“We've not completely ruled out Android & WP7,” Zahir explains, “but if we do move on to other platforms Android will probably be the first base we touch.”

Fowl Ops on iOS is available now, priced at 59p / 99c / €0.79 [iTunes link].


Reviewer photo
Simon Reed 21 June 2011
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