By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief
Developer: Rovio Studios
Release date: September 19th, 2013
Reviewed on iPhone 4, available on iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire
Angry Birds is the mobile franchise to rule them all. The games themselves are relatively inexpensive to make and they sell by the boatload so we should probably just settle in and be ready to play these games for the rest of our natural lives. If you consider the sheer number of games in the franchise you would think that we would be tired of it all by now. But, lets be honest with ourselves here for a minute.
We’re not tired of it at all.
Angry Birds Star Wars II follows the story of the much maligned Star Wars prequel trilogy. It also gives us the chance to “Join the Pork Side” and play as pigs in a true Angry Birds game for the first time. The game play itself is exactly as we will remember it from previous game. We are given a limited number of birds, each with a different power, that we launch towards a castle or fort made up of different colored bricks to knock over all of the pigs.
The biggest difference this time around is the ability to purchase Angry Birds Star Wars themed toys called “telepods” and use them as characters in your game. I’ll be honest here. It surprised me that it took this long for Rovio to put this business model into action when I consider the massive success of the Skylanders franchise. Players can use special QR codes on the bottoms of each bird or pig to bring them into the game in place of another bird in the lineup. This adds some depth to the strategy here because it doesn’t just give you extra guys. Fortunately, the game gives you the chance to earn coins to purchase the special characters within the game, but they are all limited use.
Overall, I enjoyed myself. I have always loved Angry Birds games and this one was a welcome addition to my collection.
Family Gaming Assessment:
If you have played one Angry Birds game then you have played them all. There is nothing to be concerned about here.
The game play is very similar to the other games in the franchise. It does, however, feel like the puzzles put a stronger emphasis on the use of each bird’s special power. The fact that there is a second input after the bird is launched changes the game. So much so that some younger players, who have grown accustomed to the more “fire and forget” strategies available in earlier games, might struggle.
The ability to substitute characters using actual toys is a new feature, but it doesn’t change up the strategy of the game enough to make it more complicated. Instead, it gives players more options to overcome each puzzle than the preset options at the beginning.
If you are an Angry Birds fan, then Angry Birds Star Wars II is a must have. But, those people who are burned out from the franchise can probably find better games to play.