February 26, 2013

REVIEW: ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS



Angry Birds Star Wars
Developer: Rovio
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8
Price: Free - Rs 165 (depending on platform)
Download: Multiple platforms


When Rovio announced its Angry Birds Star Wars, fans of George Lucas' classic weren't amused. Seriously, what's the connection between a bird-flinging game and a timeless tale of intergalactic war, was the question. But Finland's biggest gaming studio has a knack of turning any shameless tie-in into an enjoyable game. So let's find out if the latest iteration of the Angry Birds game is good enough to score a few million downloads.



Gameplay And Characters
In the early levels, there's nothing new as far as the gameplay is concerned. You almost feel as if you're playing the very first Angry Birds game, except that it's now set on Star Wars' iconic planet, Tatooine. Within the next few levels though, the red bird acquires a light sabre, and then you realise that his blond hair isn't the only thing that resembles Luke Skywalker. In addition to looking cool, the Jedi sword is actually very useful. You can use it to get rid of an obstacle and land at a desired spot, or strike the evil pig hidden behind a wall. Similarly, the black one is blessed with Jedi Force Push (just like Ben Kenobi). The yellow one is even more aggressive — it can fire lasers, Hans Solo style.


In order to survive, the pigs have upped their defences as well. Not only are they are suited up asStormtroopers, some of them are actually equipped with blasters. These additions not only bring the action element to the table, they also take the gameplay to a whole new level. You now have to time your shots to avoid lasers — or deflect them with the help of your sword. Although a perfectly angled sling is still important, there's now more scope to score better with your reflexes. Thanks to these enhancements, the game doesn't feel repetitive (unlike its predecessors).
Overall, Angry Birds Star Wars offers intriguing gameplay and clever level design. The only (minor) annoyance is that a few levels are too big to fit in a phone screen; you need to zoom out more often than you'd like. This shouldn't be an issue on tablets, though.
Graphics, Sound, And Miscellany
Right from the menu screen, the game flaunts high production values. The visuals are painstakingly polished, and the animations are lively. More importantly, the game works without slowdown on dual-core phones. Rovio has also done a marvellous job in the sound department: Everything from a laser beam to a Falcon sounds just the way it does in the Star Wars movies.

Angry Birds Star Wars features as many as 80 levels scattered across Tatooine and the Death Star. Just when you start mastering the rocky-terrain levels, the game takes you into space. And yes, Rovio has duly hidden the golden eggs — just waiting to be found. This time round, the bonus levels are even more desirable, because they give you a chance to play as R2D2 and C-3PO themed birds. The game has an additional 40-level pack labelled Path Of The Jedi; these can be bought for $2. This DLC actually costs more than the mobile version of the game!
As the game progresses, you get rewarded with the Mighty Falcons. Basically, these allow you call in the air strike to clear out the enemy. The Mighty Falcon power-ups are very useful in certain levels, which require you to think a lot, so you'd better use them wisely! If you get fond of using them, you can even buy more — they cost $2 for 20. It's not at all necessary though; you can finish the game without using a single power-up.
 
Verdict
Angry Birds Star Wars is an immensely fun game with hardly a dull moment. Rovio has made excellent use of the movie franchise without hurting the core of the game. The result is that whether or not you're a Star Wars fan, you'll love this app. If you have a compatible handset, then don't think — just download it! The game is so addictive, it will suck you in like a black hole. Be warned though — you could end up playing into your work hours!


Gameplay And Design: 4/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4.5/5
Mojo: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

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