Angry Birds – A 10 Year Retrospective
So I’ll be the first to admit that this retrospective has gone on longer than I expected, but this is the 10th anniversary of Angry Birds, after all. But, since I do want to talk a bit about non-mobile birds merchandise, I’ll just give you a quick rundown of the remaining mobile titles.
Angry Birds Pop [3/11/2015] – This is the predecessor to Angry Birds Pop Blast, and I’d say unless you’ve already extinguished all the levels in Blast, don’t bother with this one. One interesting element of this game is that the points you receive for bubbles depends on where they fall on the bottom of the screen, but otherwise this game pales in comparison to Blast. The levels aren’t as interesting, and the personality of the characters just isn’t there. It’s amazing what a difference an animated film can make.
Angry Birds Match 3 [8/29/2017] – Unlike Angry Birds Pop this isn’t the predecessor to anything, but it is just as unimaginative. I’m a huge match 3 fan, so I was particularly disappointed that there wasn’t more to separate this from the rest of the offerings on Google Play. If you really need every mobile game that’s Angry Birds based then go for it, otherwise I’ve reviewed plenty of other match 3 games that are certainly more worth your time.
Angry Birds Evolution 2020 [6/14/2017] – I wish I could have spent more time with this one, because it most likely would have made it into the last section. It’s basically an Angry Birds RPG where the combat system is like a crazy pinball game, and somehow that just feels right to me. At the very least besides the main storyline there are weekly events and PvP Pigball tournaments, so there should be plenty to occupy your time. The visuals are great and the atmosphere feels a lot like the animated films. One thing I’ll give credit to Rovio for is that they seem to have broken the stigma that games influenced by movies aren’t very good. And if you think it has something to do with the fact that the franchise started out as a game, I’ll simply point you to Street Fighter as a counter example. Anyway, all of that aside, this one has a lot of potential.
Angry Birds Blast! [12/21/2016] – Can I be frank? I wasn’t expecting to have such a blast with this game (sorry, I couldn’t resist). If Angry Birds Pop was the boring side of Angry Birds Pop Blast, this was the inspiration for the fun half. The level design is interesting and often challenging, there are several mini-games to play, and the characters exude personality. Complete tasks, compete in events, and try to finish the main campaign which is several hundred levels long. Along with Pop Blast, this is proof that the right developer can take a so-so game mechanic and turn it into something worth playing.
Angry Birds Transformers [10/30/2014] – This was probably the first Angry Birds IP merge I played that didn’t adhere to the typical “launch birds from a slingshot” paradigm, and for people that was most likely a turn-off. I thought it was great, and after revisiting the game for this article I was pleased with how enjoyable it is. Mechanically the game plays like a target shooter, where your character runs across the level and you tap where you want them to shoot. To defeat the pig robots, however, you still get the satisfaction of trying to determine where the weakest spots in the structures are so that you can topple the pigs with minimal effort. And of course there’s dynamite. Plus, if you’ve ever played any of the Crazy Chicken style of shooting games you’ll be delighted to know that there are random things you can shoot for no reason other than just to do it. Unlock several characters, than upgrade and accessorize them using coins and gems that you collect (yes, the accessories actually mean something in this game). If they ever decide to pull this game for some reason I hope they replace it with another one using similar mechanics.