Coco Loco is a tasty, if unoriginal, alternative to Angry Birds.

If you took one look at Coco Loco, you’d likely judge it as yet another Angry Birds clone, with little reason to give it a second look. Fortunately, that judgment would be misguided, as Coco Loco is a great game on its own merits.

You play as the Marshies, who have found the highly sought-after “Land of Chocolate”, where all they want to do is swim in the cocoa all day long (they’re marshmallows for crying out loud). The natives don’t find this activity amusing, and have captured the adventurous Marshies, to be rescued by you.

Rescuing the Marshies means you’ll have to fling special types of Marshies at the obstacles and cages they are trapped in. This “rescue” aspect is reminiscent of Angry Birds Rio, wherein the objective was to rescue caged birds instead of taking out green swine.

Each Marshie that you use to rescue has its own special ability that makes the obstacles either more challenging or easier. You may have to use a Sumo Marshie, who has a ground stomp ability to crush any blocks or structures in the way below, or an Exploding Marshie that will explode when you tap the screen.

Freeing the Marshies is a bit more complicated than knocking over obstacles or crashing directly into them. In most levels, there is a river of chocolate that can be freed, and will then knock into the obstacles freeing the Marshies. Jelly may also be in the levels, and can only be knocked out of the way with an explosion of some sort.

All of these elements make each level feel different from the last, meaning that any combination of them can show up in any level. In several levels for instance, there could be a combination of jelly, liquid cocoa, and other structures getting in the way.

Coco Loco

Yes, Coco Loco does take its basic gameplay and structure straight from Angry Birds, and that much is readily apparent immediately upon starting the game. What it does with that formula however is improve upon it in a few ways.

The Marshies that you use to knock over obstacles can be switched out at any point in time, and in any order. This makes sense, so that you don’t feel restricted just because the Marshies aren’t in your preferred order. Another improvement is in the way the social aspects are handled. For each level you complete in Coco Loco, you can choose to send that score to Twitter or Facebook. In this way, you can better share which particular level you’re better at compared to others.

Being a Universal app, Coco Loco does work on both the iPhone and iPad natively. However, don’t be surprised to find that the iPad makes playing the game much easier and enjoyable to play. The extra screen space allows for more accurate launches, along with a more detailed look at the intricacies in the graphics. Not to say the iPhone version is bad, but the choice is clear if you happen to own both devices.

Coco Loco is an interesting creature for sure, as it’s not quite good enough to knock those perturbed birds off their perch but it is good enough and fleshed out enough to warrant a cheap download. The game is especially worth it if you’re a huge fan of these types of games and can’t stand the wait for Angry Birds Space.