Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review: Angry Birds - The Only Reason You Need to Buy a Smartphone

Title: Angry Birds
Platform: Android (also on iPlatform)
Release Date: September 28. 2010
Developer: Rovio
Publisher: Rovio
My Rating: 10. Seriously, get a smartphone
and play this game.

   Very rarely is there a game that hits its target so well that it deserves a perfect score. However, Angry Birds is definitely one of those games. Developed originally for the iPhone and eventually making it ways to the Android, Angry Birds is a game that is quick and easy to play, but addictive enough to keep you coming back for more. Get a smartphone, it is free on the Android OS, and be prepared to be taking half-hour bathroom breaks. This one will keep you coming back for more.
   There is not much of a story in Angry Birds. However, for a cellular device game, this is perfect. What story there is is passed along in the few cut scenes. Basically, green pigs stole eggs from birds with amputated wings. Actually, nobody says the birds have amputated wings except for me, but they cannot fly, so I will explain it away by claiming the green pigs amputated their wings while stealing their eggs. Of course, birds do not like it when their eggs are stolen. Now, they are sling-shooting their way through the pigs' hideouts in an all out war to recover their eggs.
   Each stage in Angry Birds challenges you to slingshot through a fortification made of wood blocks, ice blocks, and stone blocks to kill some green pigs. There are a handful of different birds that all come with their own ability, strength, and weakness. You usually get four or five birds to destroy all of the pigs with. As you break the different blocks, blocks around the one also fall or otherwise take damage. In many of the stages, taking out the pigs is the easy part. Finding the correct way to destroy the blocks in order to get at the pigs is the challenge. You must kill all of the pigs to advance to the next stage. Bonus points are awarded for causing damage to the blocks. You can get up to a three-star rating on each stage. Getting all of the stars in an episode unlocks a bonus level. Also, some stages have golden eggs that can be collected to unlock bonus levels. Check out this trailer on YouTube for a look at the simple but fun gameplay.
   For me, the visual style in Angry Birds is pleasantly refreshing. I love 2D video games, always have, always will. Angry Birds takes full advantage of the high-density resolutions on smartphones while keeping it simple. Everything about it looks like a high-definition Nintendo game. The color palette is small, simple, and fitting. The blocks come in three varieties. It is very easy to tell them apart. The birds are colored and shaped appropriately to give a visual clue as to what they do. When blocks are hit, they break apart, fall appropriately, and even cause damage to obtructions below. The whole thing is very entertaining to watch.
   The sound effects in Angry Birds are great. The birds go "weeeeeeeeeee" as they fly through the air. You can hear the blocks breaking and pigs getting hit. The whole experience with the sound effects will keep you cracking up.
   The controls were very clean cut on the phone. Put your finger on the slingshot, pull back to line up your shot, and release to go. Quick and simple. I did sometimes slingshot a bird backwards while swiping across the screen to look at the pig/block arrangement; however, you can quickly restart the levels, so you mostly just feel dumb for doing it.
   Angry Birds will easily be one of the top five memorable games of 2010 for me. This game is a well-targeted time killer that hit its mark dead on. The first experience is great, the seasonal version is fun. Not only that, but I can see many opportunities for added gameplay mechanics if and when they decide to make an Angry Birds 2. If you have not yet made the jump to a smartphone, now you have the only excuse you need. Well, that and fart-sound ringtones, of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment