Angry Birds Star Wars

I have heard of Angry Birds, but had never seen the game before, and certainly hadn't played it. After a two week marathon run of the Team Fortress Halloween event, I was a little sick of Team Fortress. Due to my dedication to all things Star Wars (except the prequels) I decided to give Angry Birds a try. I have been playing it obsessively for the last 3 or 4 days, all day long.

Since I haven't played the original version of Angry Birds, I don't know which features are unique to the Star Wars edition. It's fairly safe to assume that the lightsaber, blaster and force powers are unique to this edtion. The look of the game is certainly appealing to Star Wars fans, as it has all the appropriate characters and background settings. While it's enough to entice Star Wars fans to try this game, but it certainly does not make you feel like you are in the movie. Come to think of it, there has been a dearth of Star Wars games for a few years, but I don't think this really helps fill the void.

The game is fairly fun to play. It consists of using birds in a slingshot to try and knock down pigs and the fortifications that surround them. It's not as clear cut a it may seem, as each level has it's own complex configuration, so you have to think about how you can take out all the pigs before you run out of birds. Each level only takes about 30 seconds to play, but there are 40 levels per area, and so far three different areas, and a couple of bonus areas.

As long as you take out all the pigs, you have completed the level. You are also given a score and a ranking of 1 to 3 stars. Higher score will give you more stars.

The only real downside comes when you attempt to get all 3 stars for a certain level. First you have to figure out what method of attack you need to to win the level with as much damage to the pigs and blocks, while using as few birds as possible. But after that you will have to repeat your attack, and continually reset, until you get the perfect stroke of luck, with all the blocks toppling in precisely the correct way to maximize damage, and which results in more points. This may mean replaying the level in excess of 20 or 30 times.

While the game is fairly intuitive, there is no manual to speak of (I bought my from the Android Store: Google Play), so there are a few things that aren't quite clear. One is the role of the Millennium Falcon. You are awarded 5 Falcons after acquiring a certain number of stars. It seems that the Falcons are used in an alternative game mode, but I am uncertain how the Falcons are used up (you are given the option to buy more Falcons, for real money). Also, the birds attack mode can be deactivated once they strike an object. You are given a short grace period, but this was confusing, and required some on line consultation.

I had actually decide to buy the game, or to purchase the Path of the Jedi, to unlock those levels and to hopefully free the game the the annoying ads. But then I had finished getting 3 stars on every level, which unlocked the Path of the Jedi, so I don't need to do that. This is one other thing, there are some indications of what the stars will unlock, but other unlocks remain a mystery as to what you will unlock and how many stars are required.

As for the ads, there are some that are less intrusive, and even a little bit cute, when Artoo runs across the top of the screen, revealing an ad, or a lightsaber that reveals an ad by extending its blade. But there are other ads, that stop the game and block the entire screen. While these adds are closed with a simple tap on the "X", they are intrusive, and do irritate more than motivate me to buy those products. I am already well aware of the coming Hobbit film. Spamming me about it is making me less inclined to see it. The Campbell's Go ad is especially annoying, as it merely shows the name of the product, revealing nothing about the product, which I hadn't even realized was actually different product from regular Campbell's soup, until I saw Stephen Cobert belittling the product on his show.

Also, since I am using the free version (on my android phone) I had briefly entertained the idea of buying a tablet to play the game properly, but rethought spending $400 plus for a game that I have completed two thirds of on my phone. Still, I wonder if it is easier to play (and less frustrating) on a tablet.