Angry Birds Space

When it comes to iOS games, there aren’t too many that come out that people are waiting for with baited breath. Infinity Blade I and II come to mind, but other than that, not much else. And then there’s Angry Birds Space, the latest version of the popular Angry Birds franchise. And that’s when the world exploded.

This is the game that my father has been waiting for. My dad, the guy who got a Playstation 2 for Christmas a few years back and returned it because it made him “too violent” has been patiently waiting for Angry Birds Space. Yes, this is the game your parents want — but it’s probably the one you’ve been waiting for as well. 

The Angry Birds Dynamic

By now, you should already know a bit about the Angry Birds franchise and how it all works. You’re in this pack of birds (Pack? Flock? Coven? Whatever), and some green pigs stole your eggs. That pissed you off, so now you’re using a slingshot to attack them with your bodies, tearing down their buildings until you destroy each and every green pig on the level. Fun, right?

The birds are back, and this time, they're pissed.

The birds are back, and this time, they're pissed.

The big difference here is the physics engine, and how it performs differently in space. There’s a great video about it on YouTube which you really should watch, but just in case you didn’t, the gist is that objects perform differently in space than they do on Earth. That difference is gravity, which pulls down objects as they soar through the air, creating the arc that we’re all used to in the traditional version of Angry Birds. That’s one of the big reasons why Angry Birds Space is so much better than the original, and it adds an entirely new dynamic to the game. It’s awesome.

So What’s Different?

By placing the Angry Birds concept in space, you now take the arc out of each throw, which makes your trajectory dramatically different than it would be in the regular game. But the even cooler part is that there is gravity in the game, represented by blue rings that circle planets or moons in the game. As you pull back your bird to prepare them for launch, there are a series of dots that show the projected path of the bird. If the dots intersect with a gravitational pull, they arc to follow the pattern of gravity present in the object, thus changing your course.

Watch the arc change as you travel from zero gravity to gravity.

Watch the arc change from zero gravity to gravity.

Already you can guess that this is going to make the game more difficult, and it does. There are often times when there are multiple gravitational objects in one space and you have to time your launch such that your bird transfers from one to the other. Sometimes you have to fling the bird the opposite direction than you usually would so you can use the gravity of the planet to fling the bird toward an otherwise un-hittable object. It’s pretty cool.

New Birds

Admit it: You were bored with the old bird system. That’s OK, we all were too, and no one likes that stupid boomerang toucan — don’t worry, he’s not present in the game. Instead, as you progress through the game you get more and more birds with varying abilities. Some are familiar, like the blue bird that splits into three when you tap the screen, and the red triangle that you started with in the original series.

Gravity also lets you go around a planet multiple times until you hit your target.

Gravity also lets you go around a planet multiple times until you hit your target.

But there are also new birds, like a bird similar to the yellow one that goes faster when you tap the screen, except now where you tap is the target for the bird. There’s also a bomb bird, but this time you can explode it after you hit an object, plus it makes this really cool sound that’s reminiscent of that scene in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones where Obi-Wan is being attacked by Boba Fett and these mines get dropped in the asteroid field (too nerdy? Sorry). Each bird that I discovered adds a new and better dynamic, and doesn’t leave you frustrated like the old game would. Again, no more toucans — at least from what I’ve found.

Is It Fun?

Heck yeah, it’s fun, and it completely changed the game for me. Admittedly, I’ve grown a bit tired of Angry Birds over the years. It’s fun, but there’s only so many times you can fling birds at pigs before it gets old. The gravity/no gravity variations here make much more enjoyable to play, and more challenging as well.

Boss levels? Rad.

Boss levels? Rad.

I will say that it’s quick to get through if you don’t go for perfect 3-star levels every time. I “beat” the game in just a few hours, although now I have to go back and get some of the bonus and hidden items to complete my quest. Well, that and the crap part.

The Part That’s Crap

The game is $0.99, so that’s great — but you only get two zones to play in, totaling 60 levels. For a game that plays so quickly, that’s a pretty small number, even if one more zone is “coming soon,” so Rovio added another zone that you can access for $0.99.

$0.99 for extra levels? That's crap.

$0.99 for extra levels? That's crap.

Is the game fun? Definitely. Is it worth $0.99? For sure. And is it worth buying the extra zone for $0.99? Sure, it’s still a great deal. But it’s absolute crap that it’s in there in the first place.

Final Thoughts

This could’ve been a 9- or 10-score review, but it’s not. Instead, I’ve got this at a 7 purely because of the garbage that is in-app purchasing. It drives me nuts that we don’t just get the extra zone, when most people would’ve gladly paid $1.99 from the start to get it all.

And that’s ultimately the problem with this business model. Had Rovio added the zone from the start and charged more, they might have lost out on a few sales because people thought that extra buck pushed it over the price limit, but now I just feel cheated. Other $0.99 games don’t require you to pay to access extra levels, why should this? It seems like Rovio is trying to capitalize on the franchise’s popularity, and it stinks.

It’s unfortunate that this has to taint the game for me so much, because with the exception of the IAP problem, I really do enjoy playing it. The levels are fun, the graphics are amazing on the Retina display and it’s just fun to play. As much as it ticks me off, I’ll probably become one of the saps that buys the extra zone because it’s just that enjoyable. And that’s the part that I hate.


Summary

Play the classic Angry Birds game, but in space!

7
  • anothersuername

    So i will start by saying, I wrote I would stop reading this blog after the Scramble review and the lack of acknowledgment regarding the scam they have that is the token based play. Your in my Reeder app and I never took you off, so i now see this article!

    You give the game a 7/10 because of what you site as greed from the devs in wanting more from a popular game. To me, a one time fee is nothing. Especially when the total cost of enjoyment of the game is 1.99. Scamble and Zynga on the other hand?? and Now after they Draw Something, if you want the complete experience of say hanging, or scramble, I hope that you are Tim Cook, because essentially the token based, pay as you play format is NEVER ENDING!

    I applaud you for calling our Angry Birds, but again, its a one time fee. Why not call out Zynga, for not even mentioning in the description of the app that AFTER you PAY 1.99 for the app, you still have to buy tokens to continue to play. I bet a lot more people would not have bought it knowing that its essentially a “free app” That is essentially entrapment!

    I honestly never expected such a scathing review from you guys, especially after the bland, “we love Zynga and Scramble and paying forever to play a stupid game” review. It strikes me as odd though, that you chose this situation to bash, when its actually not that much of a rip off, when the token based thing is spreading, and worst of all, there is no warning when reading these app descriptions. So I give this blog a 7/10! I normally like you guys, and I applaud you for calling out greed, just do it to the REAL greedy ones, like Zynga!

    • zhai

      you do relise that your rants means nothing, zynga has only put tokens in one of its games (scramble). You don’t have to buy the app if you can stand lots of ads, even if you do buy the app the tokens come back with time. i mean i have like 25+ games and haven’t run out of the timed given tokens yet so idk how you can run out of them so fast it only takes what 5mins to get a token back?

      another thing IAP is a CHOICE, i don’t agree with the 7/10. if you don’t want to buy an IAP then don’t. simple

  • http://www.twitter.com/ConnorTurnbull Connor Turnbull

    “I will say that it’s quick to get through if you don’t go for perfect 3-star levels every time.”

    Haha. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to games, I can’t progress onto the next level without first getting 3-stars on the one before.

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  • biker_dude

    I downloaded this game the moment it became available and I absolutely love it. I think this review needs more clarity. It’s not just Angry Birds with a new background (seasons or rio), it has new birds and new dynamics.

    I’m also confused about this having to pay for extra levels. I’m not a gaming guru who gets 3 stars every time but as I’ve progressed I not had too pay again for any additional level.

  • http://www.autostatic.net irfan

    As much as I have enjoyed the original Angry Bird.. I never bought it.
    Again I downloaded FREE version of Angry Bird Space, but after 2 hours of playing it.. I caved in and bought one.
    The game was a keeper!

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  • http://diariodidi.tumblr.com/ diariodidi

    I love this game! I have it in my phone, tablet and computer and always surprise me.

  • http://FcZAWDqnvjykd2Xn.net FcZAWDqnvjyk

    476978 419144Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content! 10846

  • http://www.angrybirds365.com PeterRedBird

    There is a new update came out last week, called pig dipper, introducing 30 new underwater levels. have you checked it?

    OP: too many spam comments…

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