Game Reviews

Angry Birds

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Angry Birds

What is there left to say about Angry Birds?

So comprehensive is the press's coverage of Rovio's record-breaking series, and so complete is its penetration among gamers and the general public, that this long overdue Windows Phone version offers very little in the way of surprises.

But given the quality of the game in question, that's no bad thing.

Certainly, Angry Birds has lost none of its charm or immediacy in the one-and-a-half years since it first flung itself onto iPhone.

Weapon of choice

The aim of the game is to use your finger to catapult birds at pigs sheltering in increasingly complex structures. Each attempt leaves a trace, allowing you to alter successive shots accordingly.

With Angry Birds's initial offering – a rather plain, small red bird – aiming and speed are only variables. Assuming you're on target, your bird will slam into the structure and dislodge enough parts to bring it down on the hapless pigs.

Increasingly, however, each winged assassin brings a special skill to the table, such as the ability to drop egg-bombs, home-in mid-flight, or split into three separate projectiles en route.

These tricks are activated by a tap of the screen, and combined with the ever more convoluted design of the levels themselves they ensure Angry Birds keeps you hooked as the ante is slowly but surely upped.

As familiar as that all sounds, there are one or two differences between Angry Birds on Windows Phone and previous versions on other platforms.

One notable gain is the addition of Xbox Live Achievements. It's not hard to imagine even seasoned players having another run through just to add the odd batch of points to their Gamerscores.

Not so high and mighty

As Rovio giveth, however, it taketh away, both in the form of fewer levels – 165 compared to the 255 on iPhone – and the lack of the Mighty Eagle bonus.

Owing to Windows Phone's lack of in-app purchases, Angry Birds is without the biggest weapon in its arsenal. Just how much of a loss that is depends on how reliant you are on what's basically a cheat.

For those who strive to beat the game on their own merits, the absence of Mighty Eagle is no big deal.

Coupled with the franchise's now signature art design, Rovio's trotter takedown remains as addictive as it ever was. Even after a thousand or more Angry Birds articles, that's all that needs to be said.

Angry Birds

The bonus of Xbox Live Achievements aside, Angry Birds on Windows Phone makes no attempt to stray from the franchise's blueprint, and that's no bad thing
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.