Angry Birds - iPad Review

Angry Birds is a game that needs little introduction. Just about everyone has heard of it by now. The other day passing through Walmart, my wife and I stopped at a huge rack of plush Angry Birds that came in a variety of sizes and types. I kept waiting for her to hurl them at me as if we were reenacting a level from the game, but thankfully that didn't happen.

For those who have not yet played the game, the formula is both simple and addicting, which no doubt are the main reasons for the game's success. You use your finger to draw back a slingshot and how far back you pull and what angle you aim at propels your feathered artillery toward green pigs (or are they piggy banks?) to shatter them.

There are different kinds of birds, and some have secondary effects while they are air born that you tap the screen to trigger. There are a variety of structure housing/protecting the pigs and you have to figure out the best way to burst through them to destroy your targets.

Angry Birds Boxshot

Graphics - 8:

Cute stuff. I mean, these characters got turned into stuffed animals and they are pretty adorable. The various moving parts all look good as platforms crumble and piggies break. Everything is crisp and easy to make out. There could be some extra stuff going on in the backgrounds from time to time, but overall it looks good.

Sound & Music - 7:

The sound effects do a decent job of illustrating the collisions that take place, but there's really not much that I found particularly memorable either. In fact, as I sit here, I can't recall any music, though I'm sure there was some.

Gameplay - 9:

The mechanics of drawing the sling back and shooting are simple, but perfect for this game and really for the iPad device. Now, there were times I would occasionally misfire if my finger 'stuttered' across the screen and prematurely let up, but it did not happen and each level only takes a couple of minutes to play through (at most) - so experimentation is key and you will trial and frequently error on your way to completion.

Intangibles - 8:

There's a lot of levels. There's quite a bit of challenge to be had here. And you can use different tactics to beat most levels, though some work better than others. My wife seemed to enjoy the game more than I did, but I still got quite a bit of play out of it.

Overall - 8:

It's the perfect type of game for the iPad, and at the time we got it, Angry Birds was like 99 cents. Considering the hours of play both my wife and I got out of it, I would say it was a worthwhile investment. It has a very broad appeal too. All of my kids have played it to some extent, with my youngest in particular being taken with it. There are a lot of other games out there now that have mimicked this basic formula, but there's a certain charm to the Angry Birds that still helps it to stand out from the crowd.

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7 comments :

  1. Believe it or not, but I haven't bought an Angry Birds game yet. Tried the demo, liked what I tried, but that was it.

    Have no idea why that's happened, because I do like casual games.

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  2. Angry bird itself was fenomenal, it's all about the game that everyone can play and enjoy. And Rovio really made it, with simple but great graphic, gameplay, and well level designing. As long as Rovio kept make new bird with new ability this game will have their own market.

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  3. Thanks for the comments. I like the game, but what I find interesting is my wife still plays it heavily. She got it not too long after it first released, but she was still chucking the explosive little buggers at structures last night. She plays it in short bursts, but regular bursts.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Who hasn't played anything from Angry Birds?

    *raises hand

    I will say, I'm interested in giving it a try, just to see what the formula is like, and to see how simple/complex it is...

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  6. It's a pretty simple formula, it sort of reminds me of the old Scorched Earth games - anyone recall those? Similar to worms I guess too - projectiles where you try to angle the shot into a particular space and then there's different birds with different types of 'ability' or firepower. My wife was playing again last night, even though she's already beaten it. She'll only play 10-15 minutes at a time, but a good diversion for her all the same.

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  7. I've demoed several flavors on Android and PC just to see what all the fuss was about. It's fun for a short time and has some solid mechanics, but the hype is way overboard. I don't see it as any kind of revolutionary/must have game and I hope the fad wears out soon.

    Without getting into a rant about how I hate Rovio's ego/attitude, I wish them luck and will continue with the demos every 2 or 3 months when I get the urge.

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