Game Reviews

Angry Birds Star Wars

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Angry Birds Star Wars

Let me describe the exact moment that I was sold on the idea of mashing together Angry Birds and Star Wars.

A pig - dressed as a Stormtrooper, naturally - is shooting a laser blaster into the air. In a moment of experimentation I fire my Red Bird - playing Luke, with signature mop-top hair cut - into the oncoming fire, and swing an itty bitty Lightsaber.

The laser beams bounce off my blade. One flies towards the battlefield, rips through a pig, bounces off a metal plate, and hits a box of dynamite. The whole thing explodes, toppling a tower of Sand People pigs in the process.

Ham shot first

That was the moment that I decided that this isn't just some quick cash-in. By marrying the source material of the film to the mechanics of the game so effectively, these unlikely bedfellows actually come together to make a pretty great game.

There are, in fact, loads of examples of the game paying homage to the films. The credits roll in as a text crawl on a star field, the transition between levels is a faithful screen swipe, and new mechanics are unlocked in sync with the plot of the movie.

The game itself is, from the outset, standard Angry Birds. You use a slingshot to propel birds into pigs, hoping to knock out all the bacon-flavoured enemies on each level. But the birds are now dressed up as Star Wars characters, and have new abilities to boot.

May the porcine be with you

Luke's got a Lightsaber that chews through building blocks, Han's got a blaster, Obi-Wan can force push blocks, and C–3PO - as useless in the game as in the movie - sort of falls apart like a wet piñata.

But, while the action is predictable, this is undoubtedly the best take on the Angry Birds formula yet. It has classic levels on terra firma, and anti-gravity levels based on Angry Birds Space. It has levels about causing wanton destruction, and smarter puzzle-led levels about choosing each shot wisely.

The levels just feel more enjoyable than ever. The new powers help, as do the more unpredictable enemies. But it also feels like these levels are tweaked and tested so as to be generally less frustrating and random than their predecessors.

There's rarely a bum note (and, if you do get stuck, you can call on the Mighty Falcon - basically, the Millenium Falcon - to help you out).

Your squawks betray you

You know, Angry Birds Star Wars is just plain fun. And take it from me - I've played a lot of Angry Birds levels for Pocket Gamer's guides, and I've often become so frustrated that I've wanted to march outside and kick a sparrow up the arse.

But I played all 120 levels of Angry Birds Star Wars this week, and not once did I have to be talked down by a representative of the RSPB.

I also don't really like Star Wars much, but even as a casual observer I was impressed by the attention to detail and the way the game playfully respects its source material.

You might think this is a merchandising opportunity too far, or brand synergy you could do without, but once you get this game in your hands even the most hardcore defenders of the empire will likely be won over.

So, while I still think that Rovio should probably try something new at this point, Angry Birds Star Wars is a very enjoyable game. It's more imaginative than its predecessors, it's packed with content, and it is - by far - the best version of Angry Birds yet.

Angry Birds Star Wars

Angry Birds Star Wars is faithful to the source material, filled with content, imaginative, and fun. Film tie-in or not, this is the best 'Birds yet
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.