Angry Birds – A 10 Year Retrospective
Angry Birds, The Early Years
Angry Birds [12/20/2009, Full Review] – Angry Birds is one of those genre benders that combines the physics fun of a game like Topple with the concept of the castle siege. I’m pretty sure this is the only one you’ll run across that focuses on the war between birds and pigs, however. I’m never quite sure going into a game like this what to expect, but I’m happy to report that Angry Birds is amusing, challenging and above all quite fun. (Score: 8/10)
Angry Birds Halloween [10/25/2010, Roundup] – Yep, your tally is correct. This is item number eleven, but I figured I’d be remiss not to mention it with Halloween just a few days away. You already know the game, but now you can play it with a Halloween theme. Don’t let the pumpkin costumes fool you, either. Those are still the same egg stealing pigs that must pay, and you’re in control of the birds to do it. This special holiday edition features 45 new levels of pig crushing, physics defying mayhem. Even if you’ve exhausted yourself on the original, you owe it to yourself to pick up the newest addition to the franchise.
Angry Birds Rio [3/28/2011, Roundup] – I’m probably going to get myself into a lot of trouble with this roundup, but I’m actually getting kind of tired of the Angry Birds hubbub. Still, when there’s a new release it’s worth mentioning, because there’s no question it’s going to be popular. This time around there are a couple of twists, as the game is actually a tie-in with a new animated film coming out this summer called Rio. It’s also a bit different in the sense that instead of just trying to destroy the enemy, you’re also trying to rescue trapped birds. Sure the mechanics are roughly the same, but at least it’s a slightly different focus. The game comes stock with 60 levels, and the one thing you can be sure of is that Rio will receive updates just like the other two Angry Birds titles have over time. If you’ve not actually succumbed to the Angry Birds pressure yet, Angry Birds Rio would probably be as good a place as any to start. If you’re a die hard fan, I’m sure you already own the game by now.
Angry Birds Space [3/26/2012, Roundup] – Raise your hands if you didn’t know Angry Birds Space was coming down. Shame on you – didn’t your momma teach you never to lie? Seriously though, welcome to the next generation of Angry Birds folklore. For the few who might not actually know what Angry Birds is as a whole, it is basically a series of games about a bunch of birds exacting revenge on the evil pigs who stole their eggs. You play through a bunch of levels, 60 in this case, using a combination of physics and wacky bird abilities to knock through the pigs’ strongholds and take them out. The game features both zero-gravity and planet based gravity puzzles, as well as regular updates to bring you more levels through the main game or via IAP. The birds have new powers, and there is even a space eagle that can wreak much havoc. For the “I’ve beat it all” Angry Birds fan there is a level pack called the “Danger Zone” featuring 30 of the most difficult Angry Birds levels ever made. Now personally I’d love to see Rovio do something new for a change instead of continually milking their most successful property, but I must admit that this installment does actually sound pretty far out!
Bad Piggies [10/1/2012, Roundup] – Far be it from me to neglect the force that is Rovio when they release something new. In this case, however, I’m actually quite intrigued. In this first true follow-up to Angry Birds, you take on the roll of the pigs as must try and safely navigate to the eggs they want to steal. Unfortunately they have lost the blueprints to all of their vehicles, so it’s up to you to help them reconstruct their transports and effectively execute their thieving schemes. There are 60 construction packed levels, with an additional 30 to unlock by achieving 3 stars in each of the base levels. There are 33 objects to help fuel your creative juices, and as a last ditch effort you can recruit the mechanic pig to build the vehicle for you (I assume via IAP). Visually the game looks to fit well in the Angry Birds universe. And, as is typical for these guys, don’t expect a universal version of the game.
Angry Birds Star Wars [11/12/2012, Roundup] – I’m not quite sure what to say here. I’m pretty sure that neither Rovio nor Lucas-Disney is hurting for money at this point, so I’m not really sure what this cross over is trying to accomplish. It sounds like this focuses on the events of Episode IV (the first film for those who don’t follow roman numerals), although you can unlock special “training” levels on the planet Dagobah, which takes us into The Empire Strikes Back. You’ll get the chance to use lightsabers, blasters and everyone’s favorite Jedi powers in an attempt to thwart Darth Vader and his evil Pigtroopers. I’m sure there will be a whole lot of bird slinging going on as well. The game comes with 80 levels, though I’m not sure whether that total includes the unlockable R2-D2 and C-3PO levels or not. You can also purchase the 40 Dagobah levels via IAP. I’m sure there are plans for many additional free levels as well. The only down side as usual is that you need separate apps if you want to enjoy the game as it was meant to be on both your iPad and non-iPad devices.
Angry Birds Star Wars II [9/23/13, Review] – I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve given Rovio grief a time or two about being a “one trick pony” with the Angry Birds series, albeit a very popular and long running trick. Still, I decided to give the franchise a go again after quite some time of not playing new installments, and not too surprisingly it still maintains that “easy to play, hard to master” addictiveness that made the game skyrocket to the top of the charts in the first place. Of course it doesn’t hurt that in this case they’ve melded with one of the preeminent sci-fi franchises of the last 3 decades. From the opening song fans will realize that Rovio has done a nice job of merging the two universes. The characters are well designed, and the cut scenes do a humorous job of telling the Angry Birds version of a tale that takes place a long time ago… you get the drift. There are more than 30 characters to work with, and you even get the chance to walk the dark side with the pigs! You can also swap out characters in the slingshot at any time. Another new feature that’s pretty cool is that you can add characters to your roster by purchasing actual figures at your local toy store. Angry Birds is back and quite possibly better than ever. (Score: 7/10)