Android Games Review: Angry Birds Seasons (Rovio)

Valentine romance, Irish clovers, Halloween pumpkins.. and more evil pigs to slaughter!

It’s quite pitiful how the angry birds are so bad at protecting their eggs. You really do start to wonder if those eggs really are going to hatch, given the countless times they’ve been kidnapped by the evil green pig brigade. Even at Christmas time, a merry period of celebration, or on Valentine’s Day, a day for lovers, the birds and pigs are at it again.. And so it was, that Angry Birds Seasons was born.

Gameplay:  If you’ve never played Angry Birds before, how have you lived you may want to read our review on the original Angry Birds first, as the gameplay is pretty much exactly the same.

The only real difference is that, since the stages are seasonal, the objects to destroy are themed differently. So, for Christmas, you have presents to open; for Valentines day, you can crush the floating hearts (that sounds so wrong); for Halloween, break open the dark pumpkins and lanterns; on St Patrick’s Day, cull the four-leafed clovers, and so on. All of these just contribute to extra bonus points, so the essence of the game remains simple – just take out all of the pigs on any one stage with the birds that you have and progress onto the next.

Even worse: In our review of the original Angry Birds, we couldn’t give the game 5 stars since it slightly lacked in stability, as well as attention from the developers to the nature of lower-powered Android devices. These issues didn’t really detract from a brilliant game and fun experience, so it was more a point of note rather than a criticism. Along with the rest of the world, we do love Angry Birds, no two ways about it.

However, Angry Birds Seasons is, quite simply, considerably worse. As a game sequel is released, the majority of users would expect enhanced features, especially core fans that have completed the previous versions. Hence, it is natural for a sequel to be more ambitious than its predecessors. But, big problems arise when even the predecessor is only just able to keep its head above water, in terms of processing and performance… Then obviously, the more ambitious the developers get, the more performance issues are encountered, and the game experience itself deteriorates quite badly.

More lagging, more crashing: Stages throughout the game require so much memory that they can crash when navigation is relatively quick. Music is a big problem, so it seems, as it appears to be the main culprit of the game slowing down. At the point when new adverts appear, the game is virtually unplayable, and the lag leads to an incredible number of misplaced shots. All of this combined unfortunately renders the game one of the most frustrating that we’ve ever played.

Enhanced difficulty: It is admirable that Rovio finally spent some time working on the Android version, so that some stages seem to be slightly different to the iPhone version. However, they clearly haven’t tested the game as well on the Android platform, as a lot of the stages are incredibly difficult. Having cleared the previous game to full 3-stars on every level, every episode, we’d deem ourselves as pretty good at the game.. and yet, the amount of time it took us to even clear some stages, let alone 3-star, was verging on insane. Again, more frustration, less enjoyment.

Verdict: 3/5 The game was so frustrating that we were extremely close to rating it a 2-star. However, at the end of the day, the game dynamics are basically the same as the fantastic Angry Birds original, so anybody picking this game up should always have a good deal of fun. We hear the Mighty Eagle is coming to the Android version soon, which will allow frustrated users to “pay” their way out of a stage, and this couldn’t be better news. All we now need is for Rovio to understand how much more work is required for the Android version, spend much more time developing for it, and then release a paid version where users don’t encounter adverts. Then, finally, we can say that the Angry Birds have well and truly arrived on the Android platform…

Angry Birds – Seasons Greedings

Tips from Android Game Reviews:  

  • Don’t start a stage until an advert has fully loaded. Likelihood is, you’ll just encounter lagging, causing either a crash, or a misplaced shot.
  • A lot of stages are more about the order in which you destruct everything, rather than shot precision. If you’ve tried the same stage over and over again with no increase in stars / points, you’re probably shooting down objects in the wrong order.
  • The boomerang bird often doesn’t need to.. boomerang, as it’s quite destructive. Don’t feel like you have to use every bird’s special ability in order to clear a stage!
  • There are a crazy number of Golden Eggs in the Easter Episode, so maybe spend some time finding them as they are quite fun!

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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