Angry Birds Star Wars (iOS) Review
More than just a cheap Star Wars TIE-in, Angry Birds Star Wars is an enjoyable extension to the Angry Birds lineup.
When I first heard that Angry Birds Star Wars was in development, I knew that I was in. I mean, come on, Angry Birds and Star Wars? That's a chocolate and peanut butter kind of thing for me. I still readied myself for some mild disappointment, though - in Star Wars parlance, I had a bad feeling about this. I figured that it would pretty much be a version of Angry Birds Space with some Star Wars graphical flourishes tossed in to make the game a 'Star Wars game'. After spending time with Angry Birds Star Wars, though, I'm happy to say that there's a lot more to the game than that.
The game's levels follow the story of Episode IV, beginning on Tatooine and then making their way to the Death Star, and are interspersed with occasional humorous comic book panels that help to serve as touch points for keeping track of where you are in relation to the film's storyline. In the Angry Birds take on the Star Wars story, the pigs take on the roles of just about every antagonist in the movie, be it Tusken Raiders, Stormtroopers, or Darth Vader himself. The birds are the heroes, of course, and most of the familiar colored menagerie of birds from the other Angry Birds games appears here, albeit appearing as if they've donned Star Wars costumes for a Halloween party. The red bird dons a blond wig and a tunic to transform into Luke Skywalker, a brown wig and a vest turns the yellow bird into Han Solo, and the black bird is wrapped with a Jedi cloak to become Obi-Wan Kenobi. Other familiar Star Wars characters such as Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO make appearances in the game as well.
The Star Wars transformation of the Angry Birds themselves goes beyond wigs and robes, though; each of them gets a unique skill inspired by their Star Wars counterpart. The red bird wields a lightsaber which can be swung with a tap on the screen and is great for cutting through the outer wall of a pig structure so that more damage can be done to their interiors, the yellow bird carries a blaster and can fire a barrage of bolts in any direction as it flies through the air, the black bird can use Force Push powers to send a shockwave at the pigs, and so on. The levels are designed to take advantage of these new powers as well, adding elements like reflective panels that need to be used to angle blaster shots.
Not to be left behind, the pigs have some new powers of their own. Stormtrooper pigs sometimes fire blaster shots into the air, acting as antiaircraft guns that will knock a bird out of the sky if your timing is off. On the other hand, if you can manage to knock the blaster-wielding pig off of his platform, the wild blaster shots he'll fire as he's falling might do some major damage to the fort and even take out some of his fellow pigs. When the Darth Vader pig makes an appearance he just might use the Force to keep some blocks suspended in midair. Take him out the blocks go down with him, which may or may not be a good thing. I'm particularly fond of the pigs flying TIE fighers ' knock one out of the sky and the way it careens out of control after losing a side panel will be sure to bring a nostalgic smile to your face.
The level-clearing eagles have been replaced by, what else, the Millennium Falcon. As you earn stars in the game's levels you'll be awarded Falcons to use on any level that you've unlocked. With the Falcon, you tap the screen to indicate the attack point and it comes swooping in with blasters firing. The amount of damage that you do with the Falcon attacks that you use on a level will determine your score, and while you can't earn stars this way you do earn medals, which gives you motivation to beat each level both the traditional way and with the Millennium Falcon.
In addition to the Episode IV levels that are spread between forty Tatooine and forty Death Star levels, finding golden eggs or reaching certain total stars levels will unlock the bonus levels. The bonus levels are more challenging than the regular game levels, and feature exploding C-3PO and electric arc firing R2-D2 birds. An in-app purchase of $1.99 will unlock the forty Path of the Jedi levels, which follow Luke's training under Yoda. Finally, a 'Coming Soon' placeholder promises Empire Strikes Back levels as a free download in the future.
Final Rating: 95%
Transmitted: 12/22/2014 1:12:16 PM