Let me start by saying this: I am a huge Star Wars fan. I love the movies, I love the collectibles, I love the video games. So of course when Rovio announced they were making a Star Wars themed Angry Birds game, I was all over it. I was looked at video clips and screens shots while patiently awaiting the release date. And then it came, and I quickly picked it up.
After having a little more than a weekend to play with it, I can say I am not disappointed. Let’s check out Angry Birds Star Wars HD after the break.
Welcome to the Dark Side
The Angry Birds franchise is one we are all likely familiar with. A group of birds are particularly upset with a group of pigs and launch themselves at the pigs to exact revenge. In Angry Birds Star Wars HD we get to do that while also being Star Wars characters!
The Gameplay is the same as the other Angry Birds games. You use your finger to launch birds at targets and you can tap certain birds to perform secondary operations. One nice thing about this game is that it combines regular Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space, so you get to try all sorts of new things in the various gravities and physical environments.
You also get to play as characters from the Star Wars universe (as birds). Each has their own character based attributes, too. You get to use lightsabers, the force, blasters and the bird form of Chewbacca has the strength to rip through the various obstacles (let the Wookie win!).
As you move through the storyline (which has custom art based on some iconic scenes from the movies), each characters is introduced to you in proper chronological order based on their introduction in the original trilogy. I really feel this adds a whole new dimension of addictiveness to the game; I’m excited to see how Rovio integrates certain aspects of the movies into the games.
One thing I thought was a really nice touch is that each character attribute contains movie-like properties. For example, lightsabers and the Force can deflect laser beams, and blaster shots deflect off metal surfaces. That, coupled with the game’s awesome physics engine, means I spent a lot of time trying to do some cool things.
You can also use the Millenium Falcon on levels that are giving you a lot of trouble. As you acquire stars and other bonuses, you’ll unlock the Falcon. You then press on the icon, shoot the homing beacon at a target (I usually aim for the middle of the pigs) and the ship will come in and shoot everything for you! It doesn’t always get the job done, so try to be accurate in your beacon shots, too!
Finally, on bonus levels you can even play as C-3PO and R2D2. I think this is a really nice touch — they really nail the secondary operations and the sound effects here (and through the entire game).
As you can imagine, the levels are based off of the different planets we see in the movies. Currently there is Tatooine, the Death Star, Hoth (coming soon) and Endor, as well as the bonus C-3PO/R2D2 level. Each one has really great art and it’s own twists and turns, again, based on the movies.
On Tatooine you get to fight Sand People and Storm Troopers, whereas on the Death Star you’re fighting Stormtroopers as well as navigating blasters and Imperial fighters. You even get to fight Darth Vader, who has special Force powers affecting the objects on the levels. I’ve got to say, navigating through the planets and space is a lot of fun to do — you can tell a lot of effort went into getting the scenes just right. In short, I think the people at Rovio are true Star Wars fans!
Aside from the Droids bonus level, Angry Birds Star Wars offers some other cool features. First, you can level up your characters.
When we first meet Luke in the movie, he’s a simple farm hand — he doesn’t have a lightsaber or know how to use the Force, and that’s the way it works in the game as well. Once you get to a certain level on Tatooine, you unlock the lightsaber. The same thing goes with the black bird, who is Obi-Wan. While he does have the Force when we first meet him, he gets a big upgrade later in the game (I’ll let you figure out when). But that’s not all.
There are also some in-app purchases that are fantastic. The first is the ability to purchase more Millenium Falcons. The second is Degobah. Buying this level will allow you to do 40 Jedi Challenge levels, which will give you a more powerful, green lightsaber upon completion!
I don’t have a lot of complaints about the game. Actually, I only have one, and I’m not sure if it’s in the other Angry Birds games: sometimes when I zoom out, I’ll place my finger down to launch a bird and the scene will move, sometimes inadvertently launching my bird. I’m not sure what the fix would be or if it’s an iPad thing or a game thing, but I wanted to mention it.
There are also some complaints that the app isn’t universal (as in you need to pay for an iPhone and iPad version). I personally am not too bothered by this.
I had high hopes for this game and it did not disappoint. I’ve played other Angry Birds games and didn’t really stick with them, but for Angry Birds Star Wars I’m still going because I want to see what neat Star Wars easter eggs there are in the game. The characters are great, the features are solid and the game is a lot of fun. I highly recommend it!