Review: Angry Birds go into outer space, pulls you into its gravitational well
As we reported yesterday, Angry Birds Space is now available for download and causal gamers all around the world can fling their favorite bird in space. Frankly, Angry Birds Space is a very different game from its predecessors. Gone is the mindless flinging of birds, Space brings a completely new gameplay to the table and perhaps that is the game’s biggest draw. We have taken a very close look at the game, in fact we have already completed around 55 levels on Android, though have also tested it on the Mac and as well as the iPad. Read on for our review.
Obviously apart from being more visually engaging than its predecessors, Angry Birds Space really immerses the player with its outer space theme with its background music. Anyone who has seen the original Star Trek TV series could make comparisons with the eerie space age background score which is present through out the game. While, by no stretch of the imagination, the game is meant for a mature audience, it definitely looks and sounds a tad grown up which enhances the level of immersion for gamers, a feat worth praise for a casual game.
As mentioned above the new gameplay mechanics make the gameplay completely different. The whole gameplay is based around the gravitational fields of planets, which basically act as gravity wells. Whenever a bird enters these gravity wells, their trajectory changes. The whole idea is to predict the trajectory of the bird so that one can hit the target or if I may – Pigs, because when the bird is not in a gravity well it will keep going in its predefined trajectory and will perhaps fly into the wilderness of outer space to no avail. Hardcore gamers could compare this with a putting sequence in a Tiger Woods Golf game where the player has to extrapolate the trajectory of the ball from the hole, in order to make a put.
So for instance in one level I had my birds on one side, and there was a planet in-between the planet where my piggy nemesis’ where stationed. To make things tougher the pigs were stationed at the far side of the planet so chances of a direct hit were slim to none. Sounds tough? Maybe or perhaps not if the player targets ones birds in such a way that the bird enters the gravity well of the first planet, but because of the trajectory, ends up not hitting the planet, but enters the gravity well of the second planet where our pigs are stationed.
What does this new gaming mechanism do? Well for starters it makes the game more than a mindless marathon of pummeling towers and freeing birds and of course it makes the game a tad more difficult, making it more appealing for a brainer gamer, but also frustrating for a pure novice.
Adding to the beauty of the gameplay, the new physics engine in game works to the tee. Perhaps, the physics engine is the reason behind the spectacular gaming experience. The physics are brilliantly timed. The birds float when they are traveling through space, but accelerate once they enter a gravity well. Objects slowly float in space and crash on planets with a sonic boom.
Timing was key and Rovio nailed it with Angry Birds Space. I will not as far to say that Angry Birds Space has the best physics amongst mobile games as we have luminaries like Dead Space, Shadow Gun, Mass Effect Infiltrator, Infinity Blade 2 and many more. Having said this, these are games worthy of a console and for a casual game like Angry Birds Space, the physics are fittingly space age.
Coming to the birds themselves, many familiar faces can be seen, all decked up in jazzy astronaut like gear and also armed with some special space worthy skills. There are a number of in game easter eggs as well, where the player might hit a golden egg and suddenly find himself in between a Mario or Space invaders like mini game.
Differences between versions
As it is Angry Birds, it is available on a wide variety of platforms such as Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Android Tablets and a special version for Samsung Galaxy Note. Notably, the iOS variants have an edge over the Android version which also is ad-supported as the iOS variants have an extra 30 levels called the ‘Danger Zone’ totaling up to 95 levels over 65 levels on Android . Though if the user owns a Samsung Galaxy device then these 30 levels will be made available as an additional download via the Samsung App store.
Apart from this, the iOS variants also offer the player to get out of a hole via ‘Mighty Eagles’.The player get three of these in the first few levels and after that the player can purchase these ‘Mighty Eagles’ via an in-app purchase of $0.99 for 20 eagles and so forth. The iOS versions of the game also support the GameCentre built into iOS, which enables players to keep a tab on leader boards and adds a social element to the game.
On the whole, unexpectedly Angry Birds Space is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, it is a ‘must-buy’ for iOS users and well for the Android brigade it comes for free, so frankly there is no reason for one not to download the game. Admittedly, the Android versions are slightly inferior to the iOS version with irritating ads popping up here and there, lesser levels and no social interaction, however in spite of these follies the game should be downloaded. Plus, the Samsung Galaxy versions of the device add the missing pieces in the Android versions so there really is no reason for one not to play the game. In fact with Samsung being the number one Android handset maker on the planet, chances are you are using a Samsung device, in fact chances are that you are already playing this game ignoring this thousand word analysis of it.