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Review

Angry Birds Space Review

  • Game release: March 22, 2012
  • Reviewed: March 22, 2012
  • IP

With inventive gravity-based puzzles and new birds to fling, Angry Birds Space is a fresh take on a familiar formula.

by

With more than 700 million downloads to its name, Angry Birds is as much a part of pop culture as the Big Mac, The Beatles, or Justin Bieber. But such popularity poses a problem: how to create a sequel that feels fresh, yet still appeals to avian aficionados around the world. For developer Rovio, the answer is gravity, or rather, the lack of it. Angry Birds Space takes the fundamental physics-based flinging of the original and turns it on its head--sometimes literally--by playing with the gravity simulation that powers it. You're forced to think in new, creative ways to solve puzzles, using the pull of planets to slingshot your birds over greater distances and at previously impossible angles. It's satisfying, yet completely familiar, and is heaps of pig-smashing fun.

The basics of Angry Birds remain unchanged in Space. You smash cute green pigs that have neatly placed themselves atop, or in, precarious-looking towers made of wood, steel, and ice. To do so, you're armed with birds, which you fire out of a slingshot by dragging your finger over the screen to pull it back in an effort to knock over the towers and crush the pigs within. It sounds simple, but there's a surprising amount of depth to the action. Different materials smash at different rates, so while wood is easily smashed with a single bird, steel requires several hits before you can smash through it.

Likewise, there are different types of birds for you to use. There's the standard red bird, which acts like a simple missile. The other feathered projectiles include blue birds, which act like cluster bombs; black birds, which explode with a tap; and green birds, whose hefty size makes them ideal for smashing through larger structures. New to Space are purple birds, which can be targeted like a homing missile with a tap, and ice birds, which let you freeze parts of a structure, making it easier to destroy. New birds are introduced gradually as you progress, creating interesting challenges that tax the brain in new and exciting ways. While your choice of birds is predetermined, the progression is excellent, so you never feel overwhelmed by a sudden influx of unfathomable avians.

The twist in Space comes from an inventive use of gravity. Rather than lounging on a simple surface, the pigs are spread across different planetoids in space. Each planetoid has its own gravity field, highlighted by a blue aura, which affects the movement of your birds. This results in some incredibly inventive and often challenging puzzles. You might have to use a planetoid's gravity field to curve the angle of your bird to reach pigs nested on the far side, or make use of two nearby fields to send a bird one way, only to have it join the other field and slingshot around to hit pigs floating outside the atmosphere.

PIIIIIGGS IIIINNNN SPAAAAAACE!!!

Other puzzles are set entirely in space, where the lack of gravity means objects float further and require less force to push them. One such level sees you having to take out pigs by using small wooden blocks. You use an exploding black bird to fling those blocks across the screen like projectiles, hitting the defenseless pigs sealed within air bubbles. There are a host of different ways in which gravity fields, or the lack of them, are used, so you never feel like you're playing the same puzzle twice. There is a certain amount of luck involved in the puzzles, so sometimes you might fail a level, only to try the exact same thing again and miraculously succeed. These moments are rare, though, and the vast majority of the time you feel like you're in control of the action.

Aside from gravity fields, there are a few other additions to the Angry Birds formula in space. Some levels house a hidden space egg, which takes you to bonus levels that make tongue-in-cheek references to other games; the Space Invaders-inspired level is particularly great. Other levels feature boss characters, such as a pig-piloted robot. You can't destroy the contraption directly and so must make use of nearby floating asteroids, which you smash into the machine using your birds. The random nature of the floating asteroids means these battles are based more on luck than on skill, but thankfully they're not overly difficult to complete and can be finished quickly.

These swine haven't quite mastered orbital defense theory.

The final new addition is a special space eagle power-up, which is awarded to you periodically. These let you summon the space eagle, who proceeds to gobble up whole planetoids, letting you skip past difficult levels. You're not awarded a star rating when you use the space eagle, though, and are instead given a separate cosmic feather rating--meaning if you want to impress the world with your collection of three-star ratings, you have to do things the old-fashioned way. Trying to get three stars on each level is very challenging, so there's good reason to go back through and replay levels once you've made it through the initial campaign. An extra set of hardcore levels can be purchased from within the game for 69p (99 cents). And while they're fun, it's a shame they aren't included with the initial purchase, particularly since there are just two worlds of 30 levels to play through--fewer than in Space's predecessors.

Angry Birds Space is an incredibly addictive game. Even when you get frustrated that you can't find a solution, you keep coming back for more, and its bite-size levels make it ideal for playing on the go. Developer Rovio has pulled off the difficult task of making a game that feels new and exciting, yet familiar enough to easily pick up and play, and the charming cartoon visuals and sounds are used to great effect. Above all, Angry Birds Space is a lot of fun for a very small outlay (or for free if you're playing on Android). There's no reason to feel guilty about playing Angry Birds; it's a great game, and a phenomenon that's one step closer to succeeding in its quest for world domination.

The Good
Clever gravity puzzles
Endearing cartoon visuals
New birds are an excellent addition
You can summon a space eagle
The Bad
Hardcore levels require an extra purchase
Some levels rely more on luck than skill
8
Great
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Discussion

43 comments
Kevlar101
Kevlar101

Come on Mark! You stole my Pigs in Space joke for this game.

cleafus2
cleafus2

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

cleafus2
cleafus2

@sozoshu Are you saying that an $8 Billion dollar company is small? That is not their profit, that is their net worth.

00J
00J

@sozoshu it's about success, they are making an inticing game with no budget and making millions...

sozoshu
sozoshu

@cleafus2 Unless it was irony, you're the one talking nonsense. Profit of the company doesn't change the fact that it's a small independent company, as well as it doesn't change the fact that the game itself is still that same casual game with minimum effort from developers into it (in comparison to big titles it is).

cleafus2
cleafus2

@sozoshu Indie? Rovio is an $8 Billion dollar company. What are you talking about?

sozoshu
sozoshu

This indie piece of... game looks out of place on the main page listed together with big titles and lots of work of developers into them.

tomb875
tomb875

I always thought it was wood, ice, and stone.... The reviewer said it was wood, ice, and steel... Funny. I have never seen steel crack: more like shatter or bend

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@NS_Sonic204 i never said that either it was used as an example of a major difference between the games you listed my point was angry birds got its score based on the type of game it is that doesnt make it better then the ones you listed simple puzzle game or create your own mech and blow stuff up... i know which one i prefer and it doesnt involve green pigs @Chico_Azteca show me an example most of the time games get marked down graphics wise due to rough edges or bland environments a good example is skyrim all 3 versions of the game got the same score even when the PC version looks better

Goyoshi12
Goyoshi12

@delcidanddarth No problem. The game (original) is the sixth item that comes up on the searched items so I can see where one wouldn't see it.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

@Crypto145 THANK YOU! I've noticed that every game that is on the Ipod is based off of some game on Armor Games. While a lot of the games on Armor Games are based off of some other games as well, Crush the Castle was kind of the first to do what it did.

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

@Goyoshi12 My bad... I merely typed Angry Birds into the gamespot search, and the review score wasn't listed with the results. I shall be more investigative next time I want to spout out my first thought.

ACx7
ACx7

I'll never understand why so many people hate on this game. Probably just to gain attention. It's the ultimate game for smartphones. For a device where you'll need a 5 or 10 minute time killer more than a full length game. Not since Tetris has a game fit so perfectly on a mobile phone.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

@SirNormanislost "you wouldn't give an RPG a lower score because a shooter has better graphics" but that's exactly what Gamespot does the vast mayority of times

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

Rating sequels before rating the original, meh. Is it really worth reviewing a $1 game? Why not rate free games now, too?

NS_Sonic204
NS_Sonic204

@SirNormanislost No, I'm afraid that logic doesn't work. I never said Angry Birds was bad because it wasn't 3D. I'm not that narrow minded. I've played Angry Birds. It's pretty fun. It's not the game I dislike, it's the popularity. Dude, there are plushies, gummies, toys, pajamas, t-shirts, and probably underwear. This game does not deserve half the reputation it's somehow managed to gather. I don't mean to knock this game for anyone; I like it too. I'm just tired of it being shoved down my throat.

starduke
starduke

I play on PC, which is fun. I intend to get the games on a mobile device when I can get one.

malfreds
malfreds

I love Angry Birds series. I tried this and it is pretty different, and I find it kind of easy. My 7 years old daughter also love the game and she is ready to test it.

Duke_Dude
Duke_Dude

I used to adverse towards Angry Birds... Until I actually played it... I lost a whole day to Angry Birds! And ever since then I've loved the game. Gonna purchase the space edition now!

chisoxrule
chisoxrule

Don't be ripping on the Birds just because it's a mobile device game. It's as good as almost any DLC on XBox or Playstation. As far as sequels go, this is definitely one of the best comparatively speaking for any franchise.

paxis85
paxis85

don't knock this until you've tried it

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@NS_Sonic204 .....that's like saying 2D mario games deserve lower scores then 3D mario games because they aren't 3D The games are reviewed based on what they are you wouldn't give an RPG a lower score because a shooter has better graphics

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

>Angry Birds >a videogame Hey Gamespot what the hell is this doing here?

Crypto145
Crypto145

Aren't almost all iPod games rip-offs of rip-offs of rip-offs anyway? I'm gonna go play crush the castle.

Rifqi_Hb
Rifqi_Hb

this game is extremely overrated....

y3ivan
y3ivan

i have no idea why angry bird is so popular. I felt that a lot of retro games from the 80's, 90's are better.

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

I only own Angry Birds (Original) and its still the best. All the other games are worth the $$$ when u have the original. There is only do much a person can take of Angry Birds.

NS_Sonic204
NS_Sonic204

@why9090909090 Of course, but that still does not mean it deserves a near-perfect score, where bigger, more fleshed out games (and games that are, actually, y'know, games) get extremely low, cruel scores. My point is, game ratings are stupid.

Bane_09
Bane_09

Doesn't seem that special but at 99 cents it may not be a bad purchase. The first game kept me entertained for a while

why9090909090
why9090909090

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

why9090909090
why9090909090

@NS_Sonic204 . You're comparing apples to oranges man.

anticusho1984
anticusho1984

at least parents have a new way to make their kids shut up during long trips

rb7_brady
rb7_brady

Honestly. Angry birds space made my March 22nd 2012. It may not make any days past this day; however, i dont care. It was free, and great. :D

fredwv
fredwv

It's 99 cents, bro. Go find some coins at the bottom of the swimming pool. Seriously...

Meinhard1
Meinhard1

The first game kept be engaged for a while but by Rio I grew pretty bored of the formula. This looks nice but I'm debating if it will be fresh enough.

NS_Sonic204
NS_Sonic204

Ninja Gaiden 3 - 5.5/10 RE: Raccoon City - 4.5/10 Armored Core V - 6.0/10 Angry Birds Space - 8.0/10 What.

Angry Birds Space More Info

First Release on Mar 22, 2012
  • Android
  • iPhone/iPod
  • + 3 more
  • Macintosh
  • PC
  • Windows Mobile
7.9
Average User RatingOut of 278 User Ratings
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Developed by:
Rovio Mobile
Published by:
Rovio Mobile, Focus Multimedia
Genres:
Action
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Everyone
All Platforms
Comic Mischief