Small Giant Games’ Oddwings Escape, an anticipated release in the Finnish gaming community, has launched this morning on the app store. Bringing with it Oddwings provides some fun flying physics and controls as you pilot your bird to pick up coins, solve puzzles, and manage your energy to fly as far as possible.

If you can count the first 20 minutes as a proper test I can say the game is pretty fun and worth the free download – I haven’t seen exactly the same type of game before, and I like the art style and the quirky characters (as much as you see of them). The characters are where Small Giant’s revenue model comes into play – every character has their own strengths like speed or turning, and are unlockable and upgradable with keys and coins.

These days you can’t throw a bird into the air for a sake of it – you gotta give it a little back story for those “strong characters” that light up VC’s eyes when thinking about liscensing. Oddwings’ backstory is that you’ve got to rescue the wacky Oddwings from the flight lab of the evil Dr. Rooster – a Dr. Frankenstein style character.

One nice feature in the game is the ability to race against your friends even if they’re not in the game – you can race against their saved “ghosts”, which makes it a little more interesting.

Looking at funding, Small Giant is part of the new breed of Finnish game companies that have raised millions before a game launch. In 2013 they picked up €547,000 and transitioned that into a $3.1 million funding round in October of 2014. The company’s core team came from Sulake, the creator of Habbo Hotel, and in March of 2014 the ex-CEO of Sulake, Timo Soininen, joined Small Giant as CEO.