GAME REVIEW: Angry Birds Star Wars

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During the final month of 2009 a Finnish company released an iOS app that would soon sweep the world like a flock of seagulls. Since that time different versions of the game have been released with one just coming out last week. And what an opportune time it was for Rovio to release Angry Birds Star Wars. Will the game hold up to it’s high reputation while also bringing the heavy on Star Wars references? Your Major Spoiler’s review awaits!

BUT I WANT TO GO TO TOSCHE STATION!

When the announcement of a partnership between Rovio and Lucas Films to create Angry Birds Star Wars came out there were obviously grumblings that this would just be another nail in the coffin of the Star Wars franchise. If those people would simply watch the animation starting the game and video proceeding level one those doubts would be buried deep underneath Bantha fodder. When starting out the first level on Tatooine a video summarizing the first 20 minutes of A New Hope is shown, with birds and pigs as characters of course. And better than that the first structure you destroy with the “Luke” bird is a moisture vaporator. It’s nods like that and other video intermissions (the one with Han shooting Guido is awesome)(Han totally shot first) that make this a success on the Star Wars front.

As for overall gameplay if you are familiar with any of the other Angry Birds games work, especially Angry Birds Space that was released last spring, you will be just fine. Since this is a Star Wars version the birds have special abilities according to who they are imitating. After a few levels the one dimensional Luke bird goes from simply flying and crashing to flying and slicing through objects with a lightsaber. The Obi-Wan character is similar to the traditional bomb bird but this time around you can direct the path of destruction by tapping the screen in the direction you want your force push to occur. The only other nice character in the first version of the game is the Han character; he is able to shoot a three-burst laser pistol with the laser either busting through objects or ricocheting off depending on the material.

There are thirty different character designs on the home screen that are blacked out when you start the game and as you encounter different usable birds and the wide variety of enemies those become visible. After playing completely through the first two available worlds there are 22 different characters visible so once the updates start coming down for this game expect to see the rest.

THAT’S NO MOON

As previously mentioned the first world you will play in ABSW is Tatooine, which is then followed by the Death Star world. Each world is comprised of 40 levels so you are getting a nice chunk for the couple of bucks you are spending for the game. There are bonus levels that you will unlock as you start earning stars for each level, but since I was rushing through the game to do this review I, uh, didn’t concentrate as much as I, uh, normally would so those aren’t all unlocked yet. But don’t worry I have an above average midi-chlorian count so I get there eventually.

For an extra $1.99 you can also unlock what is essential the Return of the Jedi world; which, supposedly upon completing your training with Yoda, he is watching you every level, you will receive an upgrade to your lightsaber. The addition of this in-app purchase didn’t bother me too much since essentially it is there to help you along in the other worlds. From a story aspect I didn’t like that after about 12 levels of just using the Luke character the Han, Obi-Wan, and Chewbacca birds starting appearing to help you out in the training. Come on Rovio, we all know that’s not cannon.

BOTTOM LINE: THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE

I was honestly looking forward to this game when I first saw the announcement; I didn’t think that it would blow my mind but figured it would be enjoyable. Come to find out, I was totally wrong. Rovio and Lucas Film have come together to make an addicting and wonderful mobile game. No company overshadows the other in this game as elements from both are blended together in a way that has never been done before. The in-app purchase for more levels does hurt the overall value of the game, but with all other levels going to be available as a free upgrade the extra $1.99 isn’t too much to complain about. I highly recommend downloading Angry Birds Star Wars on whichever platform you have if you are a fan of either property and am giving it 4.5  out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★½

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