Great combination of two storylines; Clever abilities; High attention to character and setting details; Awesome sound effects; Tons of levels; Extremely addicting
Difficulty may cause some to give up
"Angry Birds: Star Wars" feels the force with a fun storyline, new characters and all-new abilities that add up to a killer game.
After launching in December 2009, "Angry Birds" took off and became a cultural phenomenon that produced a cottage industry of stuffed animals, clothing and spinoffs and reached 1 billion downloads as of this year. Finland-based Rovio today (Nov. 8) released the most recent of those spinoffs, "Angry Birds: Star Wars," which combines all the addictive gameplay of the original with the classic storyline of the "Star Wars" saga. Although more recent games such as "Draw Something," "Words with Friends" and "Letterpress" have taken over the market and pushed "Angry Birds" to the background, this iteration aims to bring it back to the top. Is "Angry Birds: Star Wars" a hit, or is it a weak attempt to prop up an aging franchise?
It all starts a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....
"Angry Birds: Star Wars" Story
The gameplay starts out easy, we'd say even easier than the classic "Angry Birds," but soon escalates. Storm Troopers send out more shots from their rifles, and the foes grow in number. More perks of the game appear, too: Dynamite on one level let us blow up four Storm Troopers at once.
After several levels, Luke gains his own power: Tap the screen right before making landfall and he uses his lightsaber to slash the competition. Plus, you can use the lightsaber to deflect lasers from the Blaster Rifles so you don't get hit in midair. And once you get past even more levels, the birds turn into Jedis, who can obviously use the Force on their side. On the final set of levels on Tatooine, we, as Han Solo, had to destroy the Storm Troopers using our own Blaster Rifle.
Gameplay differed from level to level. In some levels, there are special tools like the Millennium Falcon to help you eliminate those pigs once and for all. At times we became exasperated when it seemed like we just wouldn't be able to beat a level, but then a little Storm Trooper piggie made a face and snorted at us, and it was "game on" again. Our only concern: The challenges that frustrated us may be too difficult for younger children. They may just give up.
We appreciate the slingshot estimator, which shows approximately where your Angry Bird will land depending on which angle you launch him from. And the pinch-to-zoom element is helpful: We could zoom out to see the whole scene to evaluate the challenge as an entirety, or zoom in to see exactly what we needed to do to take out one particular piggie.
We were instantly greeted with the "Star Wars" theme music, tweaked a bit to go along with the "Angry Birds" motif, which continued throughout the game. Each time we defeated a level, the "Star Wars" music cued up again, amping us up to play another round. Each time you fail a level, a Darth Vader piggy laughs/snorts in your face, which made us want to smash the little piggies to smithereens.
We loved the sound effects throughout: The birds made little "oomph" noises as they fell after making impact. Darth Vader cackles his little piggy laugh, and the background music for each scenario enhanced the story.
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