Angry Birds Space Review
The latest installment in the Angry Birds franchise, but with an interesting twist.
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Meet , the newest installment to the Angry Birds franchise by Rovio Games. One of many low-cost app games for mobile devices, gives a lot of game for a small amount of coin, adding in a new twist to the physics puzzle format of the game.
If you've ever played Gravity Wars back in the day, you'll recognize some of the new elements to the latest addition to the Angry Birds franchise. For example, our furious fowl friends are situated in space, braving gravity wells of planets and obstacles to kill their porcine antagonists, the pigs. While the basic element of the slingshot remains the same, you are given a different array of birds to attack your enemies, with new ways to kill them.
What makes interesting is the fact that some of the more complex puzzles in the game require excellent spatial reasoning, as you are often forced to let the gravity of different objects do the work for you, or the secondary effects of your actions to set up your next move. If you can, it's always a good idea to push space ships close to gravity wells.
Physics dominate the gameplay of , as the game itself is a long series of physics puzzles using gravity wells and objects to accomplish your goals in-game. While many of the elements work as they should, it's a little bit baffling that Rovio did not make some of them a little more realistic. For example, any object moving in space eventually stops moving, even without resistance (it would not in space). Relying on the physics of the game to change the gameplay is a good thing, as it makes the puzzles more challenging in some places, and at the very least, they are more interesting.
Because the app is primarily designed for tablets and smartphones with a capacitive touch screen, is controlled almost entirely through the touch screen. To start your turn, simply tap and hold your finger to the bird in the slingshot, pull back, and release. To toggle your bird's special abilities, tap the screen again. And that's it!
While this is a deceptively simple game that's grown quite popular, don't take that to mean that it's easy to control. You will often need to make minute aiming adjustments in order to hit the spot you'd like right on the money, and that takes fine motor skill if you're playing on a smartphone.
Because the game is centered around a long series of puzzles, it has some replay value, but not much unless you really want to hit every possible accomplishment or star. Because the game has so many puzzles, you're not likely to get bored quickly, however. As you go through the levels, you unlock new worlds after the boss battle to each, and each world is very different than the last, usually changing the game's aesthetic or simply getting more difficult or complex.
As a nod to past hits, there are several golden eggs hidden on planets in the puzzles that will transport you to a new level that is modeled after another game. For example, the first two look very similar to levels from Super Mario Brothers and Space Invaders respectively. We won't spoil the rest for you, you'll just have to find those on your own.
Pacing & Flow
There's very little to complain about with in terms of pacing, especially since each level is so short. You may grow weary of waiting for your birds to stop orbiting a planet, but all in all it does not take very long for the level to terminate after you've killed all of the enemy swine.
Because doesn't rely on much of a story to advance the game, the only windows where you are introduced to a plot are generally short cutscenes in between worlds that are animated in a sort of comic book fashion. You never learn the names of your protagonists, nor is there ever grandiose exposition on your motives to kill the pigs. You see them steal eggs, you play as a bird. It's that straightforward; the pigs must die.
There are very few cutscenes and cinematics due to the absence of a rich plot, but that's quite okay. The cutscenes and cinematics that are there are fairly well animated, extremely short, and do not really trip over themselves to beat you over the head with a plot twist: they give the game more of an arcade feel, and that's exactly what needed them to do.
Graphics & Atmosphere Overview
The character models, backgrounds, and sound effects bring many familiar elements to the new member of the franchise, while making it different enough to remain interesting. For example, many of the sounds of the characters have been changed to make them seem modulated in a campy sci-fi fashion, but many of the other sound effects are virtually identical. You can definitely tell you're playing Angry Birds.
Possibly the very first thing you'll notice about the game is just how well done the graphics are compared to the previous iterations of the game. While Rovio didn't completely re-invent their graphic scheme, they did kick it up a notch with transparent gravity wells, pretty backgrounds that make the backdrop of space believable, and new character designs that while a bit corny, definitely fit the motif.
Because the game does not need a lot in the way of graphics processing to run well, remains as simple of a game in terms of graphics as it always has been. The game relies largely on sprites and motion animation, and no 3D animation. While the same isn't true for the physics of the game (seriously, how do objects slow down in space without resistance?), many of the graphic elements to the game are very similar, with the very visible exception of the environments.
During the levels, there isn't really ambient music of note. While the familiar theme song is absent, a new one replaces it on the title screen, which fits the space motif acceptably. It's not the most groundbreaking music in the world, but it doesn't need to be.
As far as sound effects go, you can get by playing this one without them. While it is true that the stock effects "work" for what's being asked of them, it gets extremely annoying to hear the fake bird rabble at every level, and even more so with the trill crunch of the wood and audio version of clipart that is the stone and ice breaking.
is a worthy successor to Rovio's Angry Birds franchise of games, adding in clever alterations to the gameplay to take the latest installment into space. For fans of the franchise, does not disappoint, and adds many new physics puzzles to sate users hungering for more Angry Birds.
While it is a good bargain for the price, don't expect this to be a game that will stay on your mobile device forever, as the replay value isn't very high unless you love to try to 100% games often. Still, it's hard to go wrong for 99 cents.
If you're looking for a time waster that will allow you to partition your accomplishments in many small puzzles, and can go with you anywhere, is a good option to try, with a tried-and-true gameplay and premise. is available on iOS, Android, Amazon, and Chrome devices.
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