They really are quite upset!
So far, since owning my iPhone, there has only really been a handful of games that I can say I have really enjoyed on it, some of which I have already reviewed here on the site. But of them all, I can safely say Angry Birds, from Chillingo,Â ranks amongst one of the most fun, yet also one of the most infuriating, games I have played on the phone. It revolves quite simply around some rather upset birds, hence the name of the game. What has this particular group of bids in such a state? A group of pigs, green pigs at that, who have stolen their eggs with a view to eating them. But the birds are not about to sit back and let this happen.
The only problem is that the pigs are not going to make it easy on our avian friends and they achieve this by taking cover behind and within structures constructed from pieces of stone, wood and glass. It’s the players job to take the pigs out with the help of the angry birds. This is done with the player firing the birds across the scenery from a slingshot, either trying to take out the pigs directly or destroy the structures built by them so they collapse on the pigs.
But it is not just a case of firing a single type of bird as best you can to take out the pigs. Instead there are five different types of bird, each with their own ability. The first bird you are given to fire across the screen is a basic little animal, good for taking out a pig with one hit or knocking down a wall or two. But just as you get used to those, the game throws another into the mix, be it a small bluebird which at a chosen moment separates into three birds, like a little cluster bomb, or the yellow bird that at the chosen moment receive a huge boost of speed which can send it crashing through structures and blocks. There are also bombers who will drop eggs which act like bombs, which kind of defeats the purpose. We are out to save the eggs and we do so by throwing more eggs at them? It’s madness but hey, let’s not let it get in the way of a fun game. Then my favourite type of bird, the exploding blackbird.
Although at first, during early stages, you can throw the birds around however you see fit, it’s during the later stages you need to use the correct bird for the right job. The three materials used to construct the pigs barricades all act differently, with glass being relatively easy to shatter, followed by wood and then stone. Particular birds are much more effective at dealing damage to certain materials, so the player has to plan their attacks, not only where to aim with each specific bird type, but also whether it would be more effective to fire your feathered friends into the fray head on or drop them in from above.
When it comes to the stages themselves, there is definitely no shortage with well over three hundred of them. In general they get tougher as you progress, although even further into the game the occasional deceptively easy stage pops up. It is not just the occasional easy stage that comes along. Every so often one will appear which, from the very moment you see it, you know it is going to be a problem. When one of these does come along, one of two things can happen – you can either get stressed out and reach the point of swearing and then turning off the game or you can, as I do most of the time, become obsessed with beating it before getting that good old fuzzy warm feeling when you do eventually beat it. Rest assured though with the number of stages available in the game, there is more than enough to keep the game fresh and fun for a decent length of time. At the time of writing this, I still have a fair few stages to complete in the game.
The controls for the game on the iPhone could not be any simpler. Your birds line up in the order you will fire them and the first one automatically hops into the slingshot ready for you to launch. Then, using the touch screen, you touch the bird and pull back while adjusting your launch trajectory before you release the slingshot and send your bird ammunition soaring towards the enemy. Tapping the screen as they are in mid flight activates any special abilities that specific bird might have such as dropping egg bombs or activating the speed boost. A simple control system, but one that gives the player all the control they need to play the game.
The graphics, for a game on the iPhone, are pretty impressive with their bright, colourful and cheerful cartoon like style, which suits the game perfectly. Both the scenery and the characters alike take on that style. It is not only the game play and graphics that are comical, the sound also fits perfectly, with each type of bird yelling and whistling away as you launch them through the air, sending them crashing into structures which shatter and topple with sounds of destruction filling your ears.
I have had a few games on my iPhone now but there is only a select few that I will keep on there, and Angry Birds is definitely one of them. With its simple, yet addictive game play keeping things fun, the short stages are perfect for when you have a few minutes to fill. But it is also good for when you are looking to play something more substantial, with the huge number of levels in the game meaning it gives plenty of challenge, especially considering some of them are devilishly hard. The cartoon-like style of the game is also sure to keep a smile on your face. So do yourself a favour and pick it up when you can.
This game is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch here, for just 59p