Review: ‘Angry Birds Space’ Goes Out Of This World

By now just about everyone is familiar with Angry Birds, but even though there have been two sequels to the original game the focus has remained the same – pull your bird back and hope it smashes those pigs into oblivion. After millions of downloads there’s no denying the game needed an overhaul and that’s exactly what Angry Birds Space delivers.

New Features
So what exactly makes Angry Birds Space different than Seasons and Rio? Well, there are two major changes. The first thing you’ll notice is the lack of gravity, which allows the birds to fly completely straight. The second are certain points on any given level where gravity exists and will effect the trajectory of your birds.

Many levels also feature planets and large rocks with gravitational fields that will pull birds and objects in when they get close enough. This can make toppling the pigs tricky, but clever players will be able to use it to their advantage. Depending on the level you’ll also have the ability to slingshot birds around small planets to hit pigs from the other side. Further complicating things, some levels feature multiple planets or moons each with their field of gravity. These later levels will require players to loop birds around several planets before smashing into the pigs, which means a little planning will be necessary before letting the birds rip.

Angry Birds Space also introduces the bird-slinging crowd to boss battles. These final stages (one for each area) see a single pig in a vehicle reminiscent of the contraptions we saw Dr. Robotnik cruising around in back in the good ol’ days of Sonic the Hedgehog. Rather than launching various birds at a structure to tear it down, you’ll be freeing rocks and other obstacles in hopes that they land on the pig-mobile and blow it up. It’s completely different than anything we’ve seen in Angry Birds before and a more than welcome change of pace.

Is It Any Good?
The new features really make Angry Birds Space feel like the first and only actual sequel in series and deliver a fresh take on what has become a classic mobile game. That, in addition to two new birds (an ice bird that turns obstacles and pigs to ice on contact and a purple bird that can target anything on a level) and boss battles almost make it a whole new experience. However, that doesn’t mean the game is without its flaws.

The most disappointing thing I ran into with Angry Birds Space is the Danger Zone. While players get a whole 60 levels with their initial purchase, the additional 30 levels found in the Danger Zone can only be unlocked via a $.99 in-app purchase. Considering all of the Angry Birds games have received additional levels via updates at no cost to the player I would much rather just wait a few months than pay more money.

The Verdict
Angry Birds Space is exactly what Rovio’s franchise needed to stay relevant. It offers up a slew of new features that make the game stand out from previous titles and the whole superhero-birds-in-space thing is just plain fun. Rovio’s money-hungry Danger Zone decision is quite a let-down, but other than that the game is more than worth it’s initial asking price. Anyone who enjoyed earlier Angry Birds games will definitely be satisfied with Rovio’s latest entry in the series.

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