minis Review – Angry Birds

Its a plane! It’s Superman! No, its a bird…an angry bird! Yes, one of the most popular games available on Android and iPhone has flown to the PS3. Angry Birds is a 2D puzzle game that has the player flinging all kinds of furious fowls at evil looking pigs. The pigs are usually encased inside structures that the player will need to break through using the birds as feathered cannon balls. Physics have never been this fun.

To say that Angry Birds has fun and addicting gameplay would be a massive understatement. There are over 100 levels, and as you progress through the game, stages will get progressively more complicated. When you first start the game, all structures are made out of wood and you only have red birds to throw. Then the structures start becoming a mixture of glass and wood, and you are given a new blue bird. The blue bird easily breaks through glass, but doesn’t do much damage against anything else. Later in the game, you are given a yellow bird that completely decimates any wood in its path, but will be stopped by stone. The progression continues like this and the pacing for the first few sections of levels is very well thought out. It is enough to get anyone familiar with the gameplay, but not long enough to where it feels like its dragging on.

The variety in the gameplay is able to keep it fresh until the very end. Each bird has its own abilities that the player will need to utilize to complete the puzzles. Red birds are the most basic and don’t have any special abilities. Blue birds will slit into 3 smaller birds mid-air with a tap of the X button. Black Birds will explode like bombs. The birds have to be shot in a specific order, and this has a huge impact on the difficulty of each level.. Many of the puzzles have a similar layout, but since the order of the birds has changed, the player’s approach must also change. This makes it so that the game doesn’t have to get unnecessarily complex with the puzzles, but can still be very challenging. The levels themselves are also very well thought out, and there is a lot of variety in the types of shots the player has to make. Some levels will have you shooting at the base of towers to knock them over. Some levels require you to lob your shot, so you can attack from above. Some levels have nearly indestructible obstacles you have to figure out how to shoot around. The game will also reward you with a special golden egg if you manage to pull off a special shot in a level. It doesn’t tell you what the shot it, so it is up to you to discover them.

There are a few issues with the game that got my feathers ruffled. The controls can be very twitchy. If you want to pull the slingshot back just a little bit, you will have a hard time trying to get it exactly where you want. This isn’t an issue when the puzzles are easy, but this can be a minor annoyance when you are trying to make a very precise shot. Also, having a dedicated restart button would have really streamlined the experience. Having to navigate to the start menu to restart the level takes just a little too long.

Angry Birds is definitely the shinning star of the minis line-up. It is hard to make a challenging puzzle game that doesn’t frustrate the player, but Angry Birds is one of the most enjoyable puzzle games ever. Now, just as a warning to the reader, the Android and iPhone versions of the game are identical to the PS3/PSP version. So, if you have picked up Angry Birds on your mobile device, the PS3/PSP version does not offer anything new. Regardless of what system you play Angry Birds on, it is proof that simple, puzzle games can have AAA gameplay.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

+A Great, Challenging Puzzle Game

+Tons of Content

-Controls could be better

9 out of 10