You wouldn’t be the only one to be shocked by the announcement of Angry Birds 2, we thought it already existed too.
But apparently, Rovio hasn’t yet gotten around to doing the sequel to the original Angry Birds – but it has managed to release 14 different Angry Birds games since the original was released six years ago.
Whoever you are, there’s every chance you’ve played one iteration or another of Angry Birds, an addictive mobile phone game downloaded by billions of users since it was launched a decade ago by the Finnish company Rovio Entertainment.
Angry Birds 2 also introduces spell cards to the mix. Each has its own special power: rubber duckies that fall from the sky in a devastating aerial strike; a blizzard that can freeze pig fortresses entirely into ice. This deepens the strategic element of the game, giving you brief moments of over-powered glee. It’s clever and fun.
It also exposes the “multi-tier” format of Angry Birds 2’s stage design. In short, each individual world map level can have multiple arenas within it, so if you fail on a later tier, you’ll fail the whole thing. It’s actually a cool idea in theory, as you have to play conservatively and try to earn more lives constantly, but it all falls apart when you add in an energy scheme. IAP feels wholly unnecessary, as the game charges a ton of “gems” to continue mid-level after failing to come back to life. Gems are earned at a rate of roughly one continue per 45 minutes, lest you opt to buy them.
Rovio has been experimenting wildly with the Angry Birds series since 2009, with some games following the bird-slinging gameplay of the original such as Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio and the two Angry Birds Star Wars games.
In most respects Angry Birds 2 hits its target, which is to say that the most oppressive thing about the film is its competence: not too offensive, quite well animated, just amusing enough to pass the time.
Children will sit through it happily enough, but they deserve better, don’t they? Even from a strict business standpoint it might be time to retire these characters, at least until they’re retro enough to be revived another decade on.
With Angry Birds 2, a perfectly good puzzle game has been shot down by its own revenue model. I wouldn’t describe it as “greedy.” Games are a product and game making is a business. They’re supposed to make money. Greedy isn’t the word, but there are words to describe this sort of thing: Foolish, baffling, bone-headed.
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