This past week I have discovered the new Angry Birds Star Wars II game, which is based on the prequel Star Wars movies. There are a lot of cool, new features on this game that I have not seen on previous Angry Birds games. Here is a quick review to get you started.
Mapping sequences are prettier AND collecting a map in certain levels gives the player bonus levels.
First of all, this game is visually far more appealing than any previous Angry Birds game (and I have played them all—I’m mildly obsessed). This is saying quite a bit, because I found the Angry Birds Rio game to be bright and fun. The mapping sequences in between levels are now actually shown through animation each time the player completes a level, which makes it easier to feel a sense of accomplishment. In previous versions of the game, a player could work through an entire map of fifteen levels without realizing how far they had gotten.
The individual levels also feature stunning graphics. The original Star Wars Angry Birds game took place primarily in space and was dark, and sometimes boring. The levels released so far in this edition all take place on planets, and the scenery really is beautiful.
Angry Birds kept one of the innovations from the first Star Wars game, which I feel had been a big improvement: visible paths for birds before they are actually fired. Since firing birds from a slingshot in space can be tricky business—especially considering magnetic and gravitational fields—this is very helpful.
As the player earns points, they can purchase “replacement” birds to help with difficult levels.
The talents of some of the various birds available have been reinvented, which is a lot of fun. For instance, at a quick tap of the screen, the Jar-Jar Binks character shoots out a long sticky tongue to grab hold of either a fixed object in order to swing out and hit something, or a moveable object to drag it with the force of the bird’s inertia through the air. I have to admit that it has taken me several tries to perfect using this character.
Also, the Yoda character now spins like a… well, like a tiny green Jedi. At a tap, he will spin violently, and bounce off objects to quickly take out whole sections of evil, Sith-pigs.
Care to join the Pork Side, young Jedi?
Perhaps my favorite innovation, however, is the fact that a player can now choose whether to play as a Jedi bird, or as a Pork Side pig. After playing through two or three levels as a Jedi, the game will prompt the player to decide if they would like to continue using the Force for good, or whether they would like to go to the Dark Side. Fortunately, unlike Anakin’s choice, the player’s decision need not be permanent, as the player can choose either side of the Force at any time from the main menu.
Alternate levels to play, once the maps have been exhausted.
Once the two maps that are currently available have been completed from both the Jedi and Pork Side perspectives, players can also go to another screen and choose individual levels with only one type of bird. This is a really nice way for the Angry Birds team to ensure that players have plenty to work on while they wait for the next few maps to be released.
The game has me completely addicted at this point. I definitely recommend it to any fan of Angry Birds OR Star Wars. It’s a great time filler for just about anywhere—just avoid being obvious about playing it in Economics class… not that I know from personal experience!