March 22, 2012
Angry Birds are back but this time they are venturing into space with a whole new look. This take on Angry Birds is more difficult than its predecessors and vastly different in physics. The use of gravity and other gameplay features make this Angry Birds one of the most rewarding experiences to date.
You begin the game with a play symbol right on the planet, I guess that means we can jump right in then. Prior to that the main menu has the option to turn off the sound in the game, view credits/leader boards as well as view your achievements. Space Eagle feathers can also be purchased through the main menu which will be explained later what their use is. Once you get into the game you select your planet and begin playing the game, you can scroll through planets and stages at your leisure. During a stage you are given the option to pause which can let you return to the stage selection, replay the level if you messed up somewhere or for other reasons and view tutorials on the new birds represented in the current game. It really is pretty simple, play game, buy feathers and start over if you failed too much at your goal.
Graphics consist of 2D environments and character animations. It's not too detailed but it looks crisp enough to where it is easy on the eyes and accomplishes what it needs to, I mean you are flinging birds in space so the cartoon look is perfect. Colors are very vibrant and it does look exceptionally well for a mobile title and actually looks more polished than previous entries. Cutscenes of the game offer comic book style pages to explain what is happening in the so called story as well as give you a visual aid for tutorials on how the new birds work before you begin a level. The game is low in detail but luckily enough it doesn't really matter as it still looks great.
The main theme and pretty much the only song in the game is a remixed version of the classic Angry Birds theme this time with more of a space/galactic feel to it of course. Music is very sparse and sound effects take over the game in what you will be hearing. Each sound effect is placed for everything you do from pulling back your slingshot and letting it rip. These are simple but yet satisfying sounds placed throughout the game and the most dominant is the sound of the birds shrieking and the pigs snorting upon every level. There is of course the sound effects from blocks of wood, ice and exploding crates that compliment each level. It makes sense no music is played through the level as each stage requires a certain amount of concentration, although those pigs don't help much in the process.
The premise of Angry Birds Space is to destroy all the piggies using all or most of the birds you are provided with. You get stars based off of the score you receive which depends on how many obstacles you break and how many birds you have left over. If you do not destroy all those little piggies than you can't proceed so that should be the primary focus, pretty simple right?
Now with Space there are three things you have to keep in mind; what bird you are using,how the gravity will affect what you do with that bird and how you can use the environment to your advantage. There are several different birds available in the game that all do different things so the player must know how they work inside and out before levels can be mastered. Red Birds are very basic and pretty much fling in the direction they are tossed in, they are used as a starter to give a general idea of how the mechanics work. Now the Blue Birds are more special as they can be referred to as the "shotgun" birds in the game. You can toss these goons the same way as the red but this time as they are in flight you can touch the screen and that one bird spreads into 3 going in a spread direction. Kind of like the spread shot from Contra games. The Purple Birds are our homing devices, once in air you tap a specific spot on the screen and that bird will zoom his way through in that direction, very useful for getting objects from the back. The Bomb birds are just like the red ones except that when you tap the screen they will explode instantly wherever they are at. Here come the Ice Birds very similar to the Bomb Birds except these freeze blocks and pigs upon impact and by pressing the screen can cause an even bigger freezing area, this is great for harder blocks to get through as once they are frozen makes it easier for them to be broken up. Last but not least there are the Green Birds aka. the fatties, these guys go hard, they fly in a straight line and will bust through just about anything that gets in their way. There are these birds that puff up like puffer fish and just float up and knock objects out of the way upon expansion it's odd how rarely these guys are ever used.
Now that you know about the birds a little better you have the physics to deal with. With the addition of gravity it makes levels very unique in the strategy required. You have planets that have an orbit around them so tossing these birds in may cause them to rotate, these planets of course have low gravity. Other planets have a higher gravity so when the birds enter the atmosphere they descend much faster than normal. Comets and the like are also spread throughout the stages to knock into floating pigs or have them forced into a level with high gravity to cause a massive impact on whatever is below. Sounds complicated, not to fear, if you ever get stuck there are always Space Eagles which are periodically rewarded throughout the game. These guys come smashing through the level and even will eat some planets in the process. The second part is the alternate game that these eagles present, aside from the main game if you use an eagle you get a second scoring system based on if you can destroy every object in the level using one eagle and I mean every object. This presents an all new challenge for those who are looking for a little something extra. If you run out of these Eagle Feathers you can also purchase more in the game or wait until you are rewarded more in time.
Finally after you 3 star each level in a section you are given a new Egg stage, the point of this stage is to use three eggs to complete a level. The difference with these eggs are they can be exploded at will and cause a black hole vortex thing that sucks up everything towards the middle and shoots it out. If you have blocks below have this nifty little egg explode above it and the black hole will send the small blocks shooting towards it to hit pigs that are higher up or other objects that are too far out, it is a very interesting mix-up in challenge that is presented for those who 3 star everything.
With 60+ levels you have plenty of big bang for your buck there is no doubt about that. More levels are on the way in the near future as well. Stages are challenging enough to where 60 quick fling and smash obstacles will take longer than expected, the inclusion of achievements helps out too. You also have the second option to play game with the Space Eagle which can be rewarded to the player throughout the game or purchased through an in-game store. You will want to come back again and again to achieve that 3 star ranking for each level until your fingers bleed. This is a very deep game for something that's so easy to pick up and play.
Angry Birds space offers so much in terms of challenge and critical thinking it's simply amazing. One major issue is that there are few levels where luck comes into play way more than skill not that there isn't a skill required to have the luck you need. With more levels to come it is a must own for anyone with an iOS device or Android device. For the price and the sheer amount of addictive gameplay that comes with space it is an absolute essential and a pure gem, with as much flack as mobile games get this is truly a diamond in the rough.