Tag Archives: iPod app review

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

1 Comment

Filed under Pop Culturing: Movies, Books, Comic Books and Other Arts

Zombies, Run!: First Mission Review

I used to run occasionally, but that was a year ago and the most I’ve done since then is to stare at my running shoes before quickly throwing a towel over them to hide my secret shame.

So keep that in mind as I review the first mission of Zombies, Run!.

As I mentioned before, the beginning of the mission has a three minute introduction in which there is no running. If you’re anything like me and you want to stay grounded in the game’s universe, I recommend using this as a warm-up period. Do some stretching.

This is especially important if you’re like me and you can’t run more than ten minutes without fainting. I wasn’t able to run long enough to make it to he second checkpoint, which meant I had to sit through the introduction again the next day.

I also recommend holding onto any items you find until after you complete the first mission. The game gives you information for all the buildings in Abel at that point giving you a better idea of where you should put everything. At this point, I don’t see how the base plays a part in the game. It just seems like a neat graphic for your runner to come home to.

My initial problems with the accelerometer are not as bad as I thought. It does settle down after a while and stops counting off paces when I stood stock still. The main problem with the accelerometer is the that the zombie chases are disabled. This seemed like the funnest portion of the game when I first heard about it, but it’s only available if you have an iPhone.

There’s also no way to input how long one step is. So while you know if you’ve gone 1000 steps, you won’t know how long that really is in miles or kilometers unless you’re willing to crunch the numbers yourself.

Aside from the nitpicks, Zombies, Run is a great app. It got me out of my chair for the first time in over a year and I actually look forward to running the next day, if only to find out what happens with Sam and Runner Seven and the doctor lady whose name I can’t remember. The voice acting is serviceable at its worst and considering this is an independently funded and designed game, the voice acting is, for the most part, pretty good.

They’re going to implement for free content over the next few monhs, including repeatable supply missions. I want to see how the storyline develops over the next couple of missions and I want to see how the supply missions will be handled.

The story drew me in and gave me a reason to keep running, even when I was flagging. For whatever its flaws, it does what it’s supposed to do: make running fun.

Dylan Charles

 

1 Comment

Filed under Pop Culturing: Movies, Books, Comic Books and Other Arts