Review: Angry Birds

There are few games available for mobile platforms that capture both the simplicity that mobile gaming offers and the complexity of a full game experience.  Many mobile games offer an hour or two of enjoyment before they become dull.  Many others simply fall flat the moment you leave the pre-game menus and start actually “playing.”  The grand minority of mobile games are those that hook you for hours, days and even weeks and months.  Angry Birds is one of those titles that has mastered the potential of mobile gaming.

Like so many other mobile games, Angry Birds is simplistic in its nature.  The actual game mechanics require little more than a feel for the in-game physics and a small sense of strategy in planning where to utilize each type of bird in your arsenal.  Beyond that, there is little else the player needs in order to have fun playing Angry Birds.

As soon as the first level begins, players are instantly drawn to the cute, cartoony and colorful art style of the game.  The use of color, sounds and the specific art style work very well together and lend the game a charm that will immediately create a spark inside of nearly any player.  This very first impression of Angry Birds helps to sell the player on the experience.  Many other games have outstanding art design as well, but in many cases, that’s about all they have going for them and ultimately they leave the player with a bad taste in their mouth.

From the moment you launch your very first infuriated avian, you will be hooked.  There is only one way to describe the satisfaction of watching one little bird cause wooden walls to shatter, collapse or disintegrate, causing those dastardly, rotten green pigs to fall to a well-deserved death: brilliant.

Now, I know what you’re saying:  “This formula could get old really quick.”  Those were my initial thoughts when I first started playing the game.  However, Rovio has taken the time to make sure every level offers something unique.  Each level has a different puzzle, design or theme that helps keep the experience feeling relatively exciting or engaging.  The challenges can be great and there have been many a time where I wanted to throw my mobile device across the room in fury, but this is also what keeps me coming back.  You see, it’s not enough to simply get all of the pigs and move on to the next level- a true addict will take the time and energy necessary to earn three stars on every level.  This is one of the most challenging aspects of the game, and manages to pull off being challenging without sacrificing its fun factor.

For those who have finished the original Angry Birds, or just want a few new locations, Rovio has been continually updating its spinoff game Angry Birds: Seasons, basically the same Angry Birds formula with new levels that are based off of different seasons of the year.  This makes for some very cute changes to the game (pigs hiding in pumpkins, pigs dressed as Santa Claus, etc), and once again helps keep the tried and true formula of Angry Birds feeling fresh.

If Angry Birds has one negative aspect, it’s the fact that on many systems, especially with the advertisements, the game does not run as smooth, and can cause the player to make miscalculations in their aim.  This detracts from the experience, and unfortunately moves this game from a 5 star rating down to a 4.

If you enjoy mobile gaming, Angry Birds is for you.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  The game will hook you from the start, and you’ll have something fun to do whenever you find yourself waiting for a movie to start, riding the bus, on a long car trip, or some other boring endeavor.  For $.99 for the paid version, and FREE for the ad supported version, you can’t beat the price.

★★★★☆

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