App Review: Angry Birds Space

I used to play a lot of Angry Birds, just like every other human being on the planet. After a while, though, it got tiring. There’s only so many times you can hurl a bird into a pig and remain satisfied. They tried to mix things up with themed levels (birthday parties and Halloween, frinstance) and the (very) occasional new bird (orange bird), but nothing that really added much to the core fundamentals of the game.

But Rovio is back with a brand spanking new sequel called Angry Birds Space that manages to bring some new things to the table and breathes some more life into the franchise. By adding gravity that varies wildly across the map (or completely taking the gravity away), they’ve added a new dimension to the strategy. It’s no longer a straight shot from point A to Point B. Now it’s: Fire the red bird just past the small planetoid so it curves his trajectory enough the he enters into a decaying orbit around planetoid B, eventually slamming into the pig.

There is one new bird and a modified version of the Yellow Bird, called the Lazer Bird. The new bird is best used in conjunction with the Blue Birds. He can ice up a part of the pig’s base and allow the Blue Birds to tear through previously difficult to destroy materials. The Lazer Bird is kind of a combination of the Boomerang Bird and the Yellow Bird, in that you use the Lazer Bird in both capacities. After launching the Lazer Bird,  you tap the screen to send it in any direction, giving you a much more versatile bird.

They’ve also added actual bosses. Now the King Pig is an actual menace that can’t be killed by a direct hit from a bird, rather than just another pig on the map. Now the last levels play a little differently from the rest of the game, though I don’t know if everyone is going to be a huge fan of that.

The game also feels less smooth than the previous incarnations. There have been a number of times where my aim has jittered after I’ve released the bird, sending him higher or lower than I aimed. There were also a fair number of game crashing bugs during the two hours I played. And there are only two hours of gameplay. I beat the first set of levels with mostly three stars in less than an hour and then rushed through the second set. The difficulty curve seems lower than in the previous games, perhaps to ease people into the new mechanics.

There is another set of levels available at time of launch, but you’ll need to plunk down another 99 cents for those. They’re supposed to be more difficult, but I haven’t tackled them yet.

Angry Birds Space is worth the 99 cents and with the new physics rules, it’s definitely fun, but there was also less content than I expected there to be. I’m assuming they’ll be releasing more content over the next few months, but even for an iPod app, it was a short affair.

I give this game Two Beers and a Pot Roast.

Dylan Charles

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