Fire away! The insanely addictive Angry Birds is now available for time-killing fun through the Mac App Store. Right now, Angry Birds for Mac has the same four episodes and levels as the mobile versions, including the golden egg bonus levels. While we wish our $4.99 (currently on sale, $9.99 regular price) bought us a few new episodes and some new birds, Rovio promises free updates with new levels. The company also says that non-mobile edition exclusives are in the works.
This game has never looked better. Angry Birds' bright colors popped on our MacBook Pro's screen and, thanks to the larger screen size, we were able to clearly see the red bird's tightly closed eyes as it flew through the air. Likewise, the pigs' rickety fortresses swayed and shook slightly when every level started--something we hadn't noticed while playing on our iPod Touch. The sound is much improved, too. The birds' twitters and the pigs' grunts came alive, as did the forest's background noises and the drum roll at the beginning of each turn.
We were initially concerned about controlling a touchscreen-native game without a touchscreen, but we were pleasantly surprised by how well Rovio has taken advantage of Apple's glass touchpads. One finger controls the bird in the slingshot and a mouse button click activates a bird's special power, such as dropping eggs. Use two-finger horizontal scrolling to move to the left or right of the screen; use pinch-to-zoom to move in or out; and tap three fingers on the touchpad to pause the game. Although we occasionally launched birds while trying to scroll over to the pigs' fortress, overall the controls felt very natural and intuitive.
If you're already addicted to Angry Birds on your mobile device, you'll be just as addicted on your Mac. The controls are simple and the benefit of a bigger screen and better speakers make the game even more immersive. Though we wish there were more episodes available now, the promise of free future upgrades with desktop-only episodes makes this app worth purchasing.