Micro Review: Angry Birds [3/3]

There’s probably not a lot more to be said at this point about Angry Birds. There’s nothing to stop you from playing it at this point as the game is available on multiple platforms, and for free no less. I have played the game myself on PSP and via the Chrome browser. What Angry Birds offers is all the key components of a good game. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s a compelling and well realized game mechanic (knocking crap over), a varied set of skills to master, and a wide array of levels to master them in.

Angry Birds has been known to upset some core gamers. A great deal of time and energy has been spent trying to demonstrate how games can be a superior medium for creative expression and storytelling, and this game inadvertently sticks its thumb in the eyes of those aspirations. Having a game as “simple” as this performing far better than many games perceived by the core community to be creative heavy weights (e.g. Heavy Rain.) As much hand-wringing as there is, Angry Birds is never the less a solid game that others would do well to evaluate carefully. The fundamentals still go a long way.

Much of the experience of playing the game can be determined by which platform you’re playing the game on. Since I did not have an iOS device, I originally played it on the PSP. This was a frustrating experience as the PSP joystick “nub” is poorly suited for consistent aiming. I enjoyed the game far more using Google’s Chrome browser which uses the mouse instead. But even with better controls it can still become frustrating to aim precisely. Understanding the solution to a level is simple enough. But managing to execute the shots to perform the solution would have led me to throw my computer out the window if not for the fact that it’s so easy to start over again. And the sheer number of levels make poor one’s easy to forget and move on from while still allowing the player to come back and master levels later.

If you’ve already played it then there’s nothing else to be said. If you haven’t then you don’t have an excuse not to. You’re just missing out on free entertainment. And for those upset by Angry Birds’ success, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate video games more realistically. They’ve come a long way, but there’s plenty more that can be done.

Rating: 3/3

See Also: TrailerMore thoughts at Ruminatron5000

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