This is, in case the name wasn’t enough of a clue, a port of Angry Birds. If you’re a fan of the game on another format, and just want to know if it’s a good port, then you need read no further – it works perfectly on Windows Phone, and contains all but the most recent update. That is to say that it has the worlds up to and including Ham ‘Em High, but lacks Mine and Dine. It also has something the other version lack – as a full Xbox Live title, the Windows Phone version of Angry Birds has achievements added to the mix. In all, it’s a good adaptation – though it would be nice if Rovio would release the latest update already!
Now, for the rest of you. And by ‘the rest of you’, I mean the three people on the planet who haven’t heard of Angry Birds already. This is a game about launching birds. Angry birds, mind you – angry because some awful pigs stole their eggs! And so, of course, you have to get them back by massacring every last pig in a series of suicide attacks.
You do this by launching a variety of types of bird at said pigs, who are invariably hiding in, on or under defensive structures. Through careful aim and a bit of luck, you bring down these structures, crushing pigs under piles of debris, launching them from ledges, or simply plowing your bird beak-first into them.
At first your birds come in but a single flavour – plain red. These are launched, then they land, and that’s it. But soon the game starts to throw new types as you. The tiny blue bird which, when on a tap of the screen, splits into a flock of three. The oddly triangular yellow bird, which accelerates in a straight line, ploughing through thinner objects. The black bird which detonates shortly after impact. Things take a turn for the macabre when you come across the large white mother bird, which, er, drops explosive eggs when tapped. Yes: in order to retrieve your eggs, you launch different eggs at the pigs. Nobody said the game had to make sense!
These abilities prove key, with your birds’ special abilities essential in clearing, toppling or otherwise circumventing the defences surrounding those villainous pigs. It’s a simple game; it’s also a compelling game. And the compulsion derives from one thing: luck. Remember when I told you that the game involved “a bit of luck”? That was a lie. This game is all about luck.
You get a knack for judging the angles you need to launch at, for timing your abilities, and quickly become adept at hitting your targets. And if that’s all there was to it, the game would become easy. Too easy. Even with all the levels in the world, you’d get bored as there’d be no challenge. So, rather than making the game more challenging by making levels require pixel-perfect aim, which would lead to many players giving up in frustration, the game ups the challenge by increasing the amount of luck you require to succeed: because no matter how good you get at judging your trajectories, unless you’re some sort of savant you’ll never be able to perfectly predict how the defences will fall, where every piece of debris will land. And when levels require you to set off chain reactions, to cause the enemy’s stronghold to collapse in exactly the right manner, you end up relying on luck to see you through.
Only it doesn’t feel like luck: it feels like skill, and that’s crucial. After finally conquering a monster of a level, you feel you’ve achieved something, that you’ve surpassed yourself, not just that the whims of fate have thrown you a bone. In this respect Angry Birds matches that other giant of casual games, Peggle, and it’s easy to understand why both have been such huge successes. And here’s the thing: I haven’t got a problem with it. It deceives you, but it does it with a smile and leaves you feeling good about yourself. I can think of far, far worse ways to spend my time – and with sets of levels to complete, plus several secret levels to unlock, this is a game that keeps on giving. It costs £2.29, and it’s worth every penny.
Angry Birds xBox Live Achievements
- Split it! (5 points): Unlock a new bird type.
- Speed is the Essence (5 points): Unlock a new bird type.
- Boom Boom! (5 points): Unlock a new bird type.
- Mother of all Bombs (5 points): Unlock a new bird type.
- Return to Sender (5 points): Unlock a new bird type.
- Seeing Red (5 points): Unlock a new bird type.
- Defeat of The King (10 points): Finish Episode 1.
- The Mysterious Escape (10 points): Finish Episode 2.
- Green Baron (10 points): Finish Episode 3.
- Episode 1 – Total Destruction (15 points): Episode 1: Get three stars in all levels.
- Episode 2 – Total Destruction (15 points): Episode 2: Get three stars in all levels.
- Episode 3 – Total Destruction (15 points): Episode 3: Get three stars in all levels.
- Smash Maniac (15 points): Smash 250 000 blocks.
- Woodpecker (10 points): Smash 5000 wooden blocks.
- Stonecutter (10 points): Smash 5000 stone blocks.
- Icepicker (10 points): Smash 5000 ice blocks.
- Pig Popper (10 points): Smash 1000 pigs.
- Block Smasher (15 points): Smash 50 000 blocks.
- Just Getting Started (15 points): Finish World 1.
- Egg Hunter (10 points): Find 10 golden eggs.
Angry Birds Gameplay Video
Angry Birds Screenshots
Version Under Review : 126.96.36.199
There is a trial version available and the full version is available for $2.99, we are not sure what are the limitations of the trial version.
Our Rating for Angry Birds