This little piggy had it coming

First impressions

When Angry Birds first came out, we wondered what the fuss was all about. After playing it for five hours solid, it became a bit clearer. There was something so satisfying about getting those smug green pigs, but good! We were completely on the side of our little red birds that were literally hopping mad, ready to be launched, and as the game progressed, some other types of fowl came our way that possessed advantageous skills. The pigs’ stronghold, much like the epic tale of The Three Little Pigs, became stronger as we went along, but we were determined to triumph. We didn’t really have plans for the weekend, anyway.

How it works

The pigs are lurking in structures that are fairly flimsy in the early rounds, but get more robust as you advance through the levels. You have a catapult at your disposal, and some birds ready and willing to be ammunition. In the first few rounds they are wee red birds, but then large red ones, yellow ones, blue ones and white ones come into the mix. The blues split into three to hit multiple targets, the whites drop bombs from above and so on. You begin to learn which birds are your best weapon against certain materials, and then you use them appropriately.

Choosing the correct angle will help you cause maximum damage, which is what you’ll need if you’re to get all the pigs and advance to the next round. The more havoc you wreak, the more points you get. You also get bonus points if you don’t need all your bird ammo to get every porker. One to three stars are awarded depending on how well you do on each round, and if you really get stuck and want to move on, there is a secret weapon you can purchase for what you’ll realise is the bargain price of $0.99. All will be revealed in “When we played.” Read on …

When we played

We became pretty hooked from early. The whole angles thing really appealed to our mathematical nature, and then, of course, there were those pigs; they were just asking for it! We liked how the game gave us time to get used to the red birdies before it started introducing other options. Maybe we’re idiots, but it wasn’t always abundantly clear how the new birds operated based on the minimalist illustrated instructions. That being said, it only took one trial with each to figure them out, and then we were launching them with gusto.

There did come a stage, however, when we were starting to get frustrated with a particular level. We just could not seem to overcome it. We were about to give up when our best friend’s 6-year-old nephew piped up that what we needed was the “Mighty Eagle!” We took his advice, spent the $0.99, and tapped the eagle’s eye that appeared on the screen. Suddenly we were sending a can of sardines into the mix, and from the heavens roared in an eagle that made those pigs look like mice. It was total obliteration and gave us a great sense of satisfaction. It was the best $0.99 we had spent in a long time.

Angry Birds clearly left a lasting impression, as once we finished it, we got right into downloading the next instalment: Angry Birds Rio.

Final thoughts

There is no need to guess whether children will like this or not, because you see them playing it everywhere. It’s uncanny how good they are at figuring out just the right angles and sending those birds straight toward the pigs. You are given as many tries as you like to get past each level, and the colours, changing scenery and ever-increasing difficulty keep you constantly interested and challenged. Angry Birds is so wildly popular that they have now released “Angry Birds Space” and the games can be played on a number of different devices. It’s a winner.

Angry Birds
Seller: Rovio
Cost: Varies depending on platform
Devices: Multiple, including iOS devices, Android devices, MAC, PC