Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Angry Birds Star Wars Review

Usually I would be mildly annoyed as yet another product comes out with the Star Wars name branded on it, as George Lucas (or Disney, now) continues to whore out my beloved IP for petty cash. However, when I heard that this particular title was in fact a cross with seminal avian-flinging fun fest Angry Birds, I admit I was a little excited.

The Angry Birds games have been a runaway success for developer Rovio, with their simple, addictive gameplay and charming visual style making whiling away a long commute a thing of ease.

The developers are also very generous with their free downloadable content as well, which keeps their fans wanting more. So, in all honesty, it’s no surprise that with Angry Birds Star Wars the developers have once again hit the nail on the head – or the Pigtrooper with a lightsaber, in this case.

As with all previous Angry Birds games, the aim of the game is to use a selection of suicidal avians to wipe out a level full of green piggies who’ve robbed the bird’s eggs – except this time, the piggies happen to be wearing a selection of Imperial army uniforms and Stormtrooper armour, and wielding blaster rifles.

There’s even a Pig Vader, who uses his Force powers to suspend the game’s many destructible objects in the air, blocking the birds’ attacks. The birds themselves have had an appropriate facelift, with red bird ‘Bird Skywalker’ wielding a lightsaber which can cut through objects, Obi Bird Kenobi being able to use Force Push to move items, and Han Birdo firing three pinpoint blaster shots on target. There’s also Chewbirda, a massive walking carpet who destroys everything in sight with his immense bulk.

Drawing from both Angry Birds and Star Wars’ worlds, the game offers a selection of tricky levels and challenges, which force (pun intended) the player to think laterally about your style of attack. The gravity wells of Angry Birds Space are used to great effect here, as are the new additions of blaster fire, which can be reflected by Birdwalker’s lightsaber to hit other targets.

Generally, it’s a solid addition to the series, and you could buy it for that alone – but true Star Wars fans will find a lot to like in the game’s little nods to the films. Han Birdo, for example, is launched with a cry of joy which sounds suspiciously like Han Solo’s roar of victory after the destruction of the first Death Star, while the R2D2 and Threebirdo’s bonus levels are a blast, with the prissy bird-bot’s metallic body exploding offering a reminder of The Empire Strikes Back.

Even the ‘Space Eagle’ has been changed – now if you use this method to clear the screen, the Millennium Falcon comes roaring in and blows everything to shreds, it’s brilliant. Overall, there’s a lot to like here. The game does a great job telling the story of the first Star Wars movie (but with angry birds), and even without the clever use of the Star Wards license it would be worth buying – especially as there appears to be a Hoth level on the way.

Reviewed on iPad