Daily App Review: Angry Birds Space (Android And iOS)The flingable fowls are back. And this time, Rovio has finally added a new spin to the game, with some help from gravity.
Three years ago, if someone had told us that a game in which you flung outraged birds from a catapult at pigs hidden inside fortifications was going to become a rage, we would have directed him to the nearest shrink we know. It, however, speaks volumes of how this seemingly out-of-the-world concept was executed that today, for many people, gaming on a handset or a tablet is synonymous with Rovio's Angry Birds game. The premise of the game was simple--use a catapult to throw birds and destroy the pigs who had stolen their eggs. The number and kind of birds (some moved fast, some split into several smaller birds in the air) changed with different levels as did the complexity of fortifications behind which the pigs hid.
It was a simple formula and like any good developer, Rovio repeated it in the two sequels to the game, Seasons and Rio. While the games were successful commercially, there were however complaints that the series was becoming increasingly predictable and was lacking variety. All that seemed to change were the backgrounds and the animation--the gameplay essentially remained the same (work out an angle at which to hurl a bird at the pig, hurl it and sit back and see what happens).
Fortunately, that is an accusation that cannot be levelled at Space. Yes, the core concept of fling-feathered-fiends-at-swine has not been changed. Yes, once again, we have new backgrounds. But halleujah, this time gameplay has been changed too. The story is simple--pigs in space suits come out of a wormhole in space and steal the birds' eggs. The birds get angry and pursue the pigs into outer space to make piggy chops and get their eggs back. And you once again have to throw birds at pigs via a catapult. The HUGE difference is the fact that as the game is supposed to be played in space, gravity literally goes crazy.
So now when you fling a bird at a pig, it could get pulled in another direction by the effect of gravity. It might actually even go round and round a planet before hitting a pig on it. This might now seem like a lot but what it actually does is give you multiple attack options--you can actually hurl a bird in either direction as it will eventually be drawn in by the gravity of the planet and will go around it. So if a pig is hiding behind fortifications, you do not need to hurl the bird at him. Just send it behind him--it will ultimately hit the poor chap. There are some new superpowers as well as well as some surprising mini-games--we suddenly found ourselves pulled out of the main game and chucked into some arcade action before returning to it. Sound quality and graphics have improved too--you can see the pigs wince as their fortifications crumble and the sound no longer is as tinny as it used to be. And of course, there are stacks of levels--60 at the launch--with more being promised in the coming days.
All of which make Angry Birds Space perhaps the best title in the series since its inception--it retains the original premise and at long last puts a spin on gameplay that had been in danger of becoming way too predictable. Worth a download? Definitely. Even if you have to pay for it. Our recommendation is to go for the HD editions--space looks gorgeous on the tablets!Available from: Android Play and iTunes App StorePrice: On Android: Free for phones, Rs 151.22 for HD version. On iOS: $0.99 for iPhone/ iPod touch, $2.99 for HD version.--Nimish Dubey