More than just a cheap Star Wars TIE-in, Angry Birds Star Wars is an enjoyable extension to the Angry Birds lineup.
By Ned Jordan
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
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