Angry Birds ACTION! is a new soft-launched avian flinger with a twist, and we've got our grubby mitts on it
Angry Birds ACTION! has just been soft launched in New Zealand. And before you start bemoaning the fact that there's another Angry Birds game, this one does things a little differently.
Rather than pinging birds at pig-infested structures, here you're shooting along the ground in a pinball-inspired series of stuff-smashing levels.
You're trying to rescue eggs, as well as clean up the mess that you, red bird, are supposed to have made after a party the night before.
There are shades of Puzzle Bobble and pachinko here. You drag back on red bird to send him sprinting into arenas full of breakable objects and eggs. Hit the eggs and you rescue them.
As usual you've got a number of birds to ping around, and they have one ping each. If you create enough destruction you'll get extra moves though, meaning focusing on positioning and smashing stuff can be a reliable tactic.
Different boosts, buffs, and hindrances pop up as you play. There are poles you can swing around, cannons you can fire yourself out of, bombs you can blow up, and gusts of wind that let you curve your shots.
And it's all quite a lot of fun. It's nice to see Rovio doing something different with the Angry Birds template, and as you'd expect the game looks polished.
It's free to play, and there's an energy system, but I've seen much much worse examples on the App Store, and since this is still in soft launch it's a bit too early to comment on the monetisation.
But there's certainly something here, and by the looks of it it ties in to the Angry Birds Movie, so expect it to twang out of soft launch sometime later in the year.
If you'd like to see the game in action, check out the video we've posted at the top of this article. It also features James Gilmour's sexy croaky voice, if you're into that sort of thing.