Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Angry Birds Review

Most casual news watchers are familiar with explosives that have names like "bunker busters" and "daisy cutters." However, in Rovio Mobile's popular game, Angry Birds, multicolored chickens can take on the properties of these same bombs when pushed to the limits by egg-stealing green pigs.

Explosive chickens, adorable as they are, would be pointless without big buildings to topple, and Angry Birds provides more than 200 of them, with more added all the time. You can thoroughly demolish anything from stone castles to glass houses as you punish those evil, egg-stealing pigs.

To play, you simply load up a chicken in your slingshot, pull back while setting your angle, and let go to start the destruction. Angry Birds' gameplay is incredibly easy to understand, and the visual payoff for blowing stuff up is consistently impressive. Blue chickens split up in midair for a spread effect; heavy bomb chickens explode and send structures flying; and egg-laying hens let you deliver a yolky payload directly below.

You always receive the chickens in a particular order, which diminishes some of the strategy. Even though some chickens can be used to set up chain reactions, like using a burrowing hen to soften up a building's stone exterior and then following up with a ticking explosive chicken to blast out the walls--you don't get to do this if you don't get the chickens in this order.

Although you might fling your chickens in the same spot each time, the game's sensitive physics system usually gives different results. It's generally impossible to re-create specific trajectories and reactions, so there's some luck involved where obtaining a high score (and a full three-star rating) is concerned. There aren't really any tangible benefits to completing every mission with a three-star score, besides boasting about your score on the online leaderboards, anyway. Angry Birds has some minor issues, but most of the time, you won't notice because you'll be too busy trying to squish pigs and make full use of your chicken arsenal. The game's weapons, physics, and varied levels are really quite excellent, and they make this military-farm-complex a whole lot of fun.

Andrew Podolsky

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