Angry Birds Space (by Rovio) on your Android Phone

Angry Birds Space – the ever-popular raging birds go extraterrestrial!

Given they’re even making a film about these deadly aviators, it was only a matter of time before the Angry Birds did arrive in outer space. Of course, they’re still chasing those stupid pigs, who are now out to steal their precious egg planets (whatever they are). Mind you, if you thought Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio were just the same game with different theming, then you will be happy to learn that Angry Birds Space has a very different feel to its gameplay, compared with its predecessors. So much so that you may actually be a little taken aback.

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 aim of the game is pretty much exactly the same.

Now, however, you have changing gravity that can both help and hinder your attempts. Near a planet, your birds will be sucked towards the centre of the huge body mass, while in gravity-free zones, the birds will travel in straight lines continuously. If you hit the right speed and angle, you can also end up with birds orbiting planets, as is the case with the asteroids and ice blocks.

Subtle change, big difference: It’s surprising how changing one feature of a game can transform it so much. The multiple gravitational fields make the game much much harder and, in our opinion, reduce the feel-good-factor considerably when playing this game. Suddenly, from a casual sling-throwing game, you’ve got a complex physics action puzzle that takes a crazy amount of skill and brainpower to complete.

Given most people (in the world) have now played Angry Birds in one shape or form, it is natural for the developers to expect a higher level of skill than when they first released the game. We presume that their thinking is this: if you have never played Angry Birds before, you will play the original, or one of the sequels (Seasons / Rio). Thus, the only people playing Angry Birds Space will be die-hard fans of the game. Hence, the game can be harder, as fans will enjoy the challenge. Genius or arrogance? We’ll let the public decide.

New birds seem meaningless: When new birds were added to Angry Birds Rio, they had very different and unique abilities, which made it clear why they were introduced. However, the new / jazzed-up birds that we have encountered so far in Angry Birds Space have simply been disappointing. Why would you ever want to super-freeze the enemy (which incidentally doesn’t even kill them)? Why would Rovio want to complicate the oh-so-useful speed bird making it harder to use? Maybe that’s just an issue with the accuracy of the phone’s tap recognition, but generally, we’re not impressed.

Not as rewarding: We can guarantee that people will, on average, get fewer 3 stars in Angry Birds Space than in any other Angry Birds sequel, owing to that extra difficulty level. Even if that didn’t bother fans, they will surely be irked when they find out that even if they do complete episodes to full 3 star level, they don’t get any achievements. Golden eggs have been replaced with warp levels, which are fun in their own right, but there just isn’t the same satisfaction from completing the game fully. Hopefully, Rovio will address this in the future when the game is updated.

Ads make the game unplayable: Of course, you could just buy the full version and you’re sorted. However, any free version of a game, even if it is limited, should be playable. Angry Birds Space Free has levels where you simply cannot complete the stage if there is an ad displaying in the top-right, as you need to interact with that area of the screen. The placing of the sling is also questionable – it needs to be further right, so that there is enough space to pull a bird back. Finally, the lack of zooming out is also a noticeable limitation. All in all, the gameplay is solid enough (if we ignore the crashing on certain low-powered devices), but there are definitely some flaws that need addressing.

Verdict: 3.5/5 The game has only recently been released, and we believe a lot of the above issues will be addressed in the coming days and months. Anyone that likes a difficult challenge and has got a little bored of the same old Angry Birds will probably love this version, so for this reason, we will rate it higher than other games of similar quality. However, the game is no longer for people looking for a simple and casual game to keep them entertained at the bus stop. If you do take this version up, be prepared for a long hard struggle.

Angry Birds Space

Tips from Android Game Reviews:  

  • If you are playing the Free version, MAKE SURE YOU SWITCH YOUR INTERNET OFF! As per the review, the game is unplayable when you have ads constantly displaying.
  • When playing levels with lots of asteroids, imagine you are playing a billiards game. Try and cannon the asteroids into each other so that they chain – you will need to do this cleverly to complete a lot of the levels.
  • If you see TNT, destroy it. In previous versions, it wasn’t essential, but with the changing gravity, you will almost always need to blow a big section of rocks up to kill the pigs.
  • Take advantage of the arrows that the developers have placed here and there, showing you which way around a planet you should throw your birds in order to do the most damage. However, note that this does not mean ALL of your birds need to go in that direction.
  • Do get in touch if you need a walkthrough of any of the levels. Some of them, especially those where you need to use the edge of a planet’s gravity zone to swing your birds around, are ridiculously tough.

Angry Birds Space QR Code
(Click on the image or scan the barcode with your phone to go to Google Play)

Developers: Rovio

Pick of the Week >> Space Keeper

Recent Android Game Reviews