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Angry Birds

Angry Birds

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  July 17, 2011
Format Reviewed:  iOS/iPhone
Language / Country of Origin:  English
Online Capability:
Users can share their scores with their friends and see top gamers’ scores if connected online.
Prequels: None.
Sequels
: Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio.
Equipment Needed: None beyond mobile device, computer or console.
Maintenance Required:  No special maintenance required.

Review:

Plot:  
Angry Birds is about exactly what you think.  Ok, maybe not.  A group of evil green pigs have stolen your eggs and you are out to destroy them in their hideouts and homes.  Using a slingshot, birds are launched at the pigs, bringing down stone, glass, and wood, and eventually, the pigs themselves.

Gameplay:
The mechanics of the game differ based on the platform that you are using.  With the iPhone version, the entirety of the game consists of pulling a pre-loaded, bird-filled slingshot back and aiming it in the direction that you want with the touch pad.  This is very easy to pick up and play, without much instruction or intuition.  The game is simple physics, noting how far and fast a bird will go before crashing and landing (and destroying the pigs’ structures).

There are various types of birds presented throughout the course of the 200+ level game, including a blue bird that can split into three smaller birds, a yellow bird equipped with a burst of speed, a white bird who can lay an explosive egg mid-air, and a black bird that explodes like a bomb.  The pigs also come in different shapes and sizes, with the stronger ones protected by helmets.

The player does not get a choice as to which birds are used in each level.  There is a dictated sequence, which amplifies the puzzle.  If you have two blue birds, one yellow and one black, you must decide how to use them to the best of their ability, in the order presented.

The game is not intrinsically difficult, but is sometimes frustrating because you can see how to complete a level, but struggle to find the right angle or obtain the correct positioning.  I found myself frequently launching a bird, getting frustrated at their trajectory, and immediately hitting reset to start over.

Cultural / Historical Value:
This game is widely played by people across the globe and is a cultural phenomenon.  It is one of the most highly downloaded applications in Apple’s App Store.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
Angry Birds is an example of a highly-addictive game that is built with simple mechanics.  Despite the straightforward concept and storyline, it is a game that can keep players engaged and interested for hours on end.  Developers should take note.

Replay Value: 
This game has a high replay value.  Depending on how well you complete a level, you are awarded a variable number of stars, up to three.  Players will want to keep improving their scores to obtain the maximum for each level.  There are also various “golden eggs” hidden through the game that unlock rewards.  Additionally, new content is added over time.

Likely Audiences:
Everyone.  Puzzle enthusiasts, bird lovers, pig haters, anyone with a penchant for destruction and a desire to see things knocked down.

Overall Score:
85/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
MobyGames

About the Author:
Shannon L. Farrell, MLIS, MS
is an Assistant Professor and Liaison Librarian at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins.  Having been an avid gamer for the last 25 years, she has a great interest in incorporating videogames into library and educational environments.  She has conducted research on the topic, examining current use of videogames in libraries and the resources available for collection development purposes.  Shannon is a member of the ALA Games and Gaming Round Table.  Since she plays videogames on a daily basis, Shannon is a regular contributor and editor of reviews for VideoGameCat.  She also maintains the VideoGameCat Twitter (@thevideogamecat) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thevideogamecat) accounts.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
International Mobile Gaming Awards 2010Best Casual Game Nominee

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Comic Mischief

Players

Series

Characters

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