Android Games Review: Angry Birds (Rovio)

Butcher the nasty pigs with your great merciless birds, taking out everything else on the way!

Truly loved, hugely successful, incredibly downloaded. Rovio’s supremely popular offering, Angry Birds, is quickly becoming so famous that it may soon be described as a “classic”, even though it was first released on the iPhone only a year and a half ago, in Dec 2009.

Gameplay:  The rules of the game are super simple – with a slingshot, fling your powerful birds at just the right angle so that they land on (and crush) the thieving green pigs. Or, even better, just destroy the structures that they are sitting on. The more you wreck, the more points you get – of course, you have to kill all the pigs to clear a level – and the more points you get, the more stars you accumulate.

As you progress through the levels, you get to use many different species of Angry Birds, each with their own special ability (those that drop bombs, those that speed up, those that split into 3..) And, for those that are really keen, there are even bonus stages that can be unlocked by finding “Golden Eggs” that are hidden around the levels, so that ultimate score-chasing is not the only way to enjoy this physics-based puzzle game.

Addiction beyond addiction: This game is crying out to be given the highest possible rating, and that seems to be the consensus between at least half a million people. And yes, I am certainly a fan – I can definitely say that I have fallen victim to the addictive nature of this game and have completed every level that exists with a maximum 3-star rating. However, that is on the iPhone version…

Here, at Android Games Review, we are dealing with the Android version, which was released after the huge success on the iOS. And on the Android, we start to see cracks appearing in the previously flawless market leader.

  • First problem – it lags. The power of Android phones varies from device to device, and some are clearly less suited to gaming than others. On most Android phones as of July 2011, the game is laggy, causing a huge problem when higher skill levels are required with more advanced birds, in order to progress past harder stages. A frustrating number of mistakes are made due to the processing being too slow, and this diminishes the user experience.
  • Secondly, it crashes. Given its brilliant stability on even low-powered iOS devices, it is hard to believe, but after playing for 10 minutes or so with the sound turned on, multiple and quick button presses “can” (sporadically) cause the game to freeze up on an Android phone. Now, it’s not the first ever game to freeze or crash, but for a blockbuster worldwide top-seller? A little poor.
  • Finally, it has inconveniently-placed adverts. The presence of adverts is absolutely fine, since the game is free after all, but for some stages, the advert actually hinders an important part of the view. This renders the level needlessly complicated, even with the zooming out functionality, and may lead to more users giving up and throwing the game away. You can’t even pay to get the adverts removed, so again, just poor planning really.

Verdict: 4/5 Without a doubt, this game is a must-have for any lover of puzzles. Anybody who enjoys destruction (i.e. most of you) would absolutely love it. Anybody who likes to play a quick, short and casual game while sitting on the train, would love it. In fact, if you don’t play it at least once, you may find yourself falling short at the social level, unable to keep up with casual conversations with friends (yes, it is that popular). However, Android users – just be aware that when people say Angry Birds is awesome, they are usually talking about the iPhone version. The developers have clearly not spent enough time on the Android version, and it shows.

Angry Birds In-Game Video

Tips from Android Game Reviews:  

  • Don’t worry about star ratings until you’ve cleared at least 2 episodes, since the scoring system appears extremely random. You’ll only start understanding it better after playing 50 – 100 levels.
  • If you get stuck, there are numerous walkthroughs on the internet showing you how levels are completed, and how to get 3 stars. So, no need to buy / download a separate walkthrough app.
  • In fact, if you’re stuck, just post a comment and I’ll talk you through any level!
  • Don’t play this game if you are very impatient. You have to complete consecutive levels to progress through and trust you me, some levels are very very hard.
  • It’s not actually worth the time completing the game fully, except for the one golden egg that you get. They don’t even have an ending screen.

Angry Birds QR Code
(Click on the image or scan the barcode with your phone to goto the Android Market)

Developers: Rovio

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