There’s a reason that Rovio, the team behind the massively successful Angry Birds franchise, is so, well, massively successful. And it’s games like this.
Enter Angry Birds Star Wars, the latest iteration of the super popular mobile game, tuned for every platform, including iOS, Windows, Mac, Kindle Fire, Android, and Windows Phone. That’s a lot of platforms to release one game, but given that the game is subtitled Star Wars, we don’t think there will be a shortage of people downloading it.
At a penny under three bucks, we picked up the iPad version of the game to test and review. And what we’ve found is surprisingly less Angry Birds than you might expect.
In terms of gameplay, yes, there are a lot of the same mechanics you know from previous Angry Birds games. But the team in Finland has introduced a ton of new mechanics that really bring you into the Star Wars universe while you play. Your red bird is now Luke Skywalker, complete with his trusty lightsaber (which you don’t get until a few stages in, to keep with the original trilogy’s storyline). The black bird is Obi-Wan Kenobi, complete with force push, while yellow is Han Solo slinging his blaster at enemies. You’ve also got Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO as playable characters, but we won’t spoil their powers for you (although you can look at them in action in our video here).
There are tons of other gameplay changes to this title that make it the best Angry Birds yet. As you fling your rebel alliance birds, you’ll have to time them correctly so as to avoid blaster fire from enemies on the ground. Of course, if you time your hits correctly, you might just end up knocking an enemy fighter in the opposite direction, sending blaster fire at their own troops, letting them do the dirty work for you.
In most Angry Birds games, we don’t see a huge variety in gameplay. Fortunately, with the different character abilities and the introduction of both Angry Birds Space-style levels as well as more traditional ground combat, there aren’t a lot of ways to get bored with the game.
There are beautiful graphical touches in the game that make Angry Birds Star Wars more than just a reskinning of the original game. Things like the hidden bonus eggs you find (which look a bit like C-3PO, by the way) will take you into a light speed animation that took us right back into the original series. Other touches like the pause screen and the way Tattooine has a stunning dual-moon background just took us right back into the trilogy.
It is clear that this game was put together by Star Wars fans. The colour palettes are just right, the audio is stellar (and mixed with the Angry Birds theme, if you listen closely enough), and there are plenty of little easter eggs hidden throughout the levels that true Star Wars fans will really appreciate.
Angry Birds Star Wars is easily the best game in the Angry Birds trilogy, and is an example of how to do a licensed game properly. It might be odd to think about it, but we’d probably rank Angry Birds Star Wars the best game in Lucas’s (and now Disney’s) franchise since The Knights of the Old Republic II.
For those who just can’t get enough, you can check out the extended cinematic trailer for the game below.