Game Reviews

Angry Birds

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| Angry Birds
Angry Birds
| Angry Birds

Never mess with an angry bird. A healthy respect for the fearless fliers is the lesson to be had from a spell with Angry Birds, if you hadn't already heeded Hitchcock's warning all those years ago.

Not that the gameplay here is designed to leave you trembling. If anything, you're more likely to be having a giggle or two during play, Angry Birds sprinkling avian warfare with laughs aplenty to ensure you don't take what's on offer too seriously.

The birds of war

The game is a subtle mix of the kind of experimental edge brought by the excellent Ragdoll Blaster and sheer bombastic blast that is Kil.a.ton.

The idea is to fling a pack of birds seeking revenge on a race of green pigs using a slingshot. Much like those that hid from the wolf in the nursery rhyme, these snouty foes have barricaded themselves inside contraptions built from scraps of wood.

These contraptions have to be destroyed before you can target the pigs directly, but often they can work against their hosts, crashing down on top of them and taking them out in the process.

You only have a set amount of birds to do all this with, each one effectively sacrificing its life to achieve the broader aim of a pig-free world. But before the RSPB get involved, Angry Birds is entirely blood and guts free.

Comical noises act as a backdrop, and the whole affair is carried off with more than a touch of humour.

Birds of a feather

It's an entirely entertaining world with which to interact, controls so simple that your only real concern is pulling the bird back in its sling with your finger. Naturally, your input determines both the shot's angle of approach and speed.

The birds themselves - available in a wide array as play moves forward - are what provide much of the entertainment.

Some drop bombs on command as they go, while others dive bomb and smash through defenses. Most effective are the big black birds that explode on a timed delay and take out large portions of the map with them.

The trick is to use each and every bird to its best ability, working out how to manoeuvre them through each setup, increasingly relying on setting off a chain reaction to take out all your targets at once, much like tipping over a line of dominoes.

Finger-licking good

The fewer birds you use - or, if you like, the more that remain alive and well - the more points you pick up. Each completed level unlocks the next, but is also re-playable at any stage for those eager to find perfection.

Though simple in style, this is a nugget of puzzling purity dished out with relish aplenty. Angry Birds celebrates failure just as much as success, replaying those tricky stages over and over simply giving you an excuse to experiment with new approaches.

This is a world that's almost as edible as the birds that inhabit it, the one criticism that can be laid at its door a lack of length.

For the skilled, Angry Birds could and should be over within an hour or so, but the fact that most will be eager to tuck into more is just further evidence of what a tasty bird this is.

Angry Birds

Plump and ripe for roasting, Angry Birds is as addictive as any puzzler gets with light-hearted gameplay that flies with the best of the flock
Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.