“How low can Star Wars go?”, “Truly the final nail in the Coffin for Star Wars”,(and my personal favourite) “How can they have Jedi Angry Birds, anger leads to the dark side, this is totally not in keeping with the whole Star Wars universe” were just a few of the quotes from fans that felt that the Star Wars franchise had fallen to new depths and was sullied beyond repair when it was announced that it would be associated with a young gaming franchise.
Quite obviously these same fans had not seen the “Darth Vader – PC World Area Manager” or the “Yodafone” adverts. In fact, maybe they hadn’t got around to watching the Phantom Menace yet. Surely an association with Angry Birds is a step up from these faux pas.
To be fair it’s hard to not imagine a cash cow being milked for all it’s worth when you hear announcements of two major franchises going into partnership with each other. When two popular entities get into bed with each other you can never quite be sure what the end result is going to be. Would it be Star Wars? Would it be Angry birds? Would it still have that quick burst aspect? Would it focus too heavily on one franchise over the other? Most importantly would it be fun?
Well there is one simple answer. Yes. Angry Birds Star Wars manages to sidestep the majority of the pitfalls that plague titles such as this suffer from and delivers the fun in a way that can only be described as nothing short of a treat for both Star Wars and Angry Birds fans alike.
Essentially Angry birds Star Wars is a best of Angry Birds compilation from the slingshot launching original to the gravity controlled Angry Birds Space all wrapped up in an authentic Star Wars bundle. If you have played Angry Birds before then you will know the basics. If you haven’t, you have to catapult birds through the air with the goal of destroying all of the pigs within the level, earning between one and three stars dependant on your performance in that level.
Each level offers one of the two distinct flavours of Angry Birds – Space and non space. This is done exceptionally well and fits nicely into what area you are currently in. Outside the Death Star you will play the Space version of Angry Birds and be affected by the gravity pull of planets but once inside the game smoothly changes to the Original Angry Birds where the objects are firmly fixed to the ground.
Obviously there are a number of other Star Wars additions and these are to both the bird and pig characters. After you complete a few levels the Red bird gets a light saber which you can swing to destroy the protection the birds have built or deflect lasers back to their source. The yellow bird now shoots lasers rather than splitting into three, the black bird utilises the power of The Force. Finally there’s a big ol Chewie bird which barrel rolls through anything standing in its flight path. So what about the pigs? Well they get a Star Wars makeover as well; dressing as Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and even flying TIE Fighters.
If you are happy to progress from level to level then there is a good seven hours worth of gaming here, but if the OCD contained within compels you to complete level with nothing short of three stars then you can add at least another 3 hours to this total as you keep on coming back for more. I personally spent over an hour on one level just to upgrade my level score from two to three stars.
This is just the core game, you have challenge levels featuring C-3PO and R2-D2 and free updates coming soon that will incorporate Empire and Jedi more in its levels.
All of this is more than just a fancy repackaging. The changes to the powers the birds have, along with the introduction of lasers advances the Angry Birds mechanics to the next level and feels more like a new Angry Birds game rather than the same old same old with a Star Wars Skin. Put simply Angry Birds Star Wars is the best Angry Birds game I have played and the last time I had this much fun playing a Star Wars game was a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away).
MLG Rating: 8/10 Platform: PC/ MAC / iOS / Android Release Date: 8/11/2012
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Angry Birds Star Wars for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of 10 days on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.