There are so many match-three puzzlers on mobile that it takes something special for a new arrival to stand out. Developer Amrita Studio is banking on birds to help it fly clear of the competition. Which seems pretty sensible if you think about it.

BirdsIsle sees you matching colorful fruits and other items in a lush tropical setting in order to grow your collection of exotic birds and improve their island paradise.

Playing on a wooden bird table in the middle of the jungle, you need to touch and drag items arranged on a grid to make lines, which then magically disappear, allowing more items to slide into their place.

Make a line of three and the items will simply vanish, but make lines or squares of four or more and you’ll witness more dramatic effects, such as explosions and special moves that clear multiple items for you in a flash of sparkly light.

There are missions to complete in each stage, such as defending against wood boring beetles, and you only have a certain number of moves to clear each board, making BirdsIsle a real tactical challenge.

With each cleared stage you earn gold and gems to spend on new birds and power-ups. You earn happiness points, too, and when you’ve amassed enough of these you’ll receive free gifts and boosters.

In truth, there are other great match-three puzzlers with the same kind of gameplay as BirdsIsle. But what makes this game really stand out is everything else it has to offer.

Designing and building your ornitary, acquiring a collection of beautiful birds and keeping them happy, learning various interesting facts about their environment, and generally following along with BirdIsle’s story really elevates the game above its stablemates in the puzzle genre.

BirdsIsle is totally free-to-play, too, though you can get a little help when you get stuck by spending extra diamonds, which you can buy with IAPs.

Grab it on the App Store right now.