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Luke, I am Your Falcon
on 17 November 2014
Angry Birds is a cultural phenomenon. Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon. Put them together and what do you get? Something that shouldn’t really work, but does. The ‘Angry Bird’ games are best played on handheld devices, but this has not stopped various guises of the game making it onto console and this includes ‘Angry Birds Star Wars’. What makes this stand out from your usual frustrated avialae? The basic game remains the same; you are still flinging birds at structures trying to usurp the pigs, but there are also a lot of differences.
For one, the various birds are imbued with new powers that encapsulate their Star Wars character. Luke is Red, a basic bird, but can now swipe a lightsaber mid-flight for added damage. There are also many other birds; Han Solo with a blaster, Ben Kenobi with a force push etc. These changes to the character models sound simple, but really alter how the puzzles can work. On planet based levels, you still have some puzzles that require mere throwing the birds at a wall, but also others that need you to think about the skills of the bird on offer. By having force push or a blaster, you can now access areas of the level that would have been impossible in ‘Angry Birds’.
You may have seen in that last paragraph mention of planet based, this is because the theme of ‘Star Wars’ also opens up the possibilities of space. There are entire levels set in space that have additional gravitational elements that skew the gameplay even further. In total you get hundreds of levels that will require a lot of thought if you plan to three star them all.
However, something is rotten in the house of Skywalker. There is no doubting that the core gameplay of ‘ABSW’ is fun, but it really a console title? Graphically, the game is clean, but very simple; you could almost have played this on the Super Nintendo. Also the gameplay itself feels a little clunky on a joypad. Dragging the sling back with a finger is the best option, but that is saved for the game’s native handheld devices. ‘ABSW’ is fun, but seems very lightweight for a disc release. As a cheaper download title it makes sense, but at £20+ it is not quite cheep enough.