You've read Uberbanana's synopsis, now time for a waverider37 review.
Puzzles. Usually, when one hears "puzzle games", they think "old folks, kids with nothing better to do, and super geniuses who don't get out of the house". So, before any Professor Layton defenders get into this, it's a long way from true. Fair enough, it's not what you'd expect gamers to enjoy (as a genre), but hell, I'm a gamer. Of all trades (except MMORPGs). Puzzle games are a way to keep me from going insane in between rounds of Borderlands and Starcraft when I just can not win. So, naturally, I have a million sudoku books.
Ahem. Enter Angry Birds. The cutesy-fun puzzle game that has gripped the world, and gripped it very quickly at that. The plot, for those unfamiliar, is that the oddly-shaped birds that the player controls have had all their eggs stolen by the piggies (I say piggies as it makes it easier to dislike them). My first experience with Angry Birds was, not surprisingly, not long after it came out. Immediately I recognised that the game would go far, especially if it remained free. And, naturally, its popularity exploded enough that it now comes in six flavours. Puzzle games are back in the house.
This all, of course, says absolutely nothing about its quality - just its popularity. Having tried everything but Bad Piggies, I firstly have to impress upon everyone the amazing physics engine. The birds fly a little slower than they normally would on Earth, naturally, but that's a cosmetic thing rather than a gripe. Otherwise: parabolas, check (air resistance is ignored - they are birds after all). Building blocks staying stable when they're meant to - check1. Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars both have birds flying straight in space - check. Good start.
Are the puzzles too easy, too hard, too medium? Yes! All three at once. It is very easy to finish off each of the puzzles, often by chance. It's not easy to grab three stars on most of the levels. I don't play that hardcore (so to speak), so obviously I'm not rewarded with the extra puzzles that three stars grants the player. But I'm OK with this - I play for fun, and to see the level designs more than anything. Logically, levels do get harder as you progress through the game, so it's a good challenge for completionists and casual Angry Birds players both at once.
There's not much to say beyond this. I have nothing but praise for the level design, for the graphics, the gameplay and the playability. The sound can get a bit annoying for some after a while, but for me it's always a delight to hear the birds whooping after demolishing all the piggies on a level. In short, Rovio are amazing.
- Graphics: 9/10 Cartoonish, but it's been done well. Colourful and attractive without being overbearing.
- Sound: 6.5/10 As mentioned, can have the tendency to be grating. What it lacks in sound quality isn't much made up for by quantity either.
- Playability: 8.5/10 Easy to pick up. Easy to master. A few minor quirks that are easily avoidable. More games need to be this simple.
- Lastability: 10/10 If Rovio aren't coming out with new levels, then they're coming out with new versions of the game. I reckon (without checking) there's about seven hundred levels already, across all six games.
Plot: Puzzle games don't need a plot.
- Total: 34/40 = 8.5/10 As I say, Rovio have done the world a very nice little favour.
1 And on that note: building blocks standing perilously close to toppling, leaving the player spending agonising moment after agonising moment wondering if it'll fall and kill that last damn pig - check.