Angry Birds is nothing new for iPhone users, and I was more than a little curious why this game was so talked about and so highly anticipated coming to the Android platform. I have been told it is available for the WebOS platform, but did not see it on the market, and to be honest, while I like the WebOS platform, what few games I have tried playing on my Pre has left me running for the much bigger screens of my Android devices. But this is not about the Pre, it is about Angry Birds.
Now given the hype surrounding this game, I tried to prepare myself for a let down. After all, it is still just a BETA, and how could a game made for a phone be “all that?” For the few people that have not heard of Angry Birds before, the premise is quite simple. The back story is that a group of pigs stole bird eggs and the Angry Birds are trying to get them back. What the game does is bring you through a series of “fortresses” that the pigs hide in and you must launch from a pre-set slingshot the Angry Birds at the fortresses in an effort to take out the pigs. In a sort of sub game to the game, you get points for how much of the structure you take out, so while taking out the pigs on some of the earlier levels is relatively easy, you still wind up trying multiple times to maximize your score and garner a 3 star rating on each level.
I loaded the game on my Droid X, and the game graphics were incredibly sharp, and the game runs suprisingly smoothly considering it is a BETA (your milage may vary in this regard as I have seen a number of reviews complaining about issues with the game starting up… most notably on the HTC Evo 4G.
So, by now I am sure you are wondering, but how is the game itself. Well, to put it simply, I now understand why this game is so liked and was so highly desired. It is very addictive! How addictive? I had planned on writing this Saturday, but found myself engrossed in the 15 levels provided in the BETA (Lite) edition. The game is extremely easy to control and understand, it is just hard enough to keep it from being too easy, and hard enough to frustrate you into trying again and again. When you boil it down, it is really nothing more than a game of physics and geometry, lauching at this specific angle creates chain reactions and causes the structures to fall. I have seen in a few reviews claiming that the version for the iOS is a bit smoother, and if true, it must be an amazing feat, because this game plays incredibly smooth with no perceptible lag or jagged graphics on the Droid X.
While the Beta is currently free, if it keeps the same price as the iPhone version, you can expect it to cost around $4 once the game is officially released. The download weighs in at around 11.5 MB, so devices with limited space may find it a bit much (though if you have Froyo, you can load it on your SD Card), but other than that, I highly recommend downloading and trying out the Angry Birds BETA while it is available. Just be aware… you may find time slipping away as this game engulfs you when you first start playing.