'Angry Birds Rio' Hitting App Store Today

Angry Birds Rio

The most over-marketed app of all time, "Angry Birds Rio," is finally seeing release in Apple's App Store today. (In fact, if you live in New Zealand or thereabouts, it's already available). The game is a cross-promotional effort between "Angry Birds" developer, Rovio, and the Fox, which is distributing the upcoming animated film, "Rio."

The game, which will sell for 99 cents on iPhone and $2.99 on iPad, is probably the biggest shift for the franchise since its inception. Instead of waging war against pigs, the titular creatures in "Angry Birds Rio" are attempting to rescue pets from smugglers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

As you can see in this trailer, the game features several new mechanics, including a boss fight, animated scenery and indoor environments. The core of the game, hurling small birds out of slingshots into complex, physics-driven structures, appears to remain the same, though.

New achievements via Game Center will be supported, as well, and hunters of Golden Eggs should now be on the lookout for hidden tropical fruit.

Rovio is saying that the initial release will include 60 levels across two episodes, but that more levels will be added with free updates coming throughout 2011. This follows their tried and tested method of having a cheap barrier to entry while keeping their download numbers high with frequent updates.

"Angry Birds Rio" is already available for those living in time zones where it's already Tuesday, March 22. Apple generally updates the App Store at 11pm local time, so if you're hoping to get a jump on the leaderboards, you may want to set an alarm.