Let me start by saying this: I am a huge Star Wars fan. I love the movies, I love the collectibles, I love the video games. So of course when Rovio announced they were making a Star Wars themed Angry Birds game, I was all over it. I kept looking at video clips and screenshots while patiently awaiting the release date. And then it came, and I quickly picked it up.
The Angry Birds franchise is one we are all likely familiar with. A group of birds are particularly upset with a group of pigs for stealing their eggs and launch themselves at the pigs to exact revenge. In Angry Birds Star Wars HD we get to do that while also being Star Wars characters!
Angry Birds Star Wars
But there is more to that when it comes to Android in my opinion. Angry Birds is a franchise that made its bones on iOS. I’m not saying that there was ever a question of performance or quality on other platforms, but there is a stigma with Android apps that they don’t look as nice as their iOS counterparts. Since I’ve now played the game on both platforms, I can speak to that a bit here, so it may come up a couple of times.
This Angry Birds game is just like the others. Use your finger to launch birds at targets and you can tap certain birds to perform secondary operations. One nice thing about this game is that it combines regular Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space, so you get to try all sorts of new things in the various gravities and physical environments. I’ve found here that there was no difference between Android and iOS. The physics engines are just as impressive on both platforms!
You also get to play as characters from the Star Wars universe (as birds). Each bird has its own character-based attribute too. Luke has a lightsaber, the Force is strong with Obi-Wan, and Chewbacca has the strength to rip through the various obstacles — let the Wookie win!
Judge me by my size, do you?
The game also has custom art based on some iconic scenes from the movies introducing each major character, as you see above. The characters are introduced to you in proper chronological order based on their appearance in the original trilogy. I really feel this adds a whole new dimension of addictiveness to the game; I’m excited to see how Rovio integrates certain aspects of the movies into the games. Right now, aside from the side mission on Degobah, we only get to see Episode IV: A New Hope.
Another really fantastic feature is that the objects in the game hold the same physics properties from the movies, so lightsabers and the Force can deflect laser beams, and blaster shots deflect off metal surfaces. That coupled with the game’s awesome physics engine means spending a lot of time experimenting. Again, there is no difference between Android and iOS in this regard. Rovio clearly spent a lot of time getting a consistent experience across platforms.
The Death Star
You can also use the Millenium Falcon on levels that are giving you a lot of trouble. As you acquire stars and other bonuses, you’ll unlock the Falcon. You then press on the icon, shoot the homing beacon at a target (I usually aim for the middle of the pigs) and the ship will come in and shoot everything for you! It doesn’t always get the job done, so try to be accurate in your beacon shots, too!
The Millennium Falcon
Each level is a different plant, moon (or non-moon) integral to the storyline. The first two playable ones are Tatooine and The Death Star. Hoth is coming soon. Even the gameplay here is really fantastic. You start off on Tatooine and when the Falcon takes off, you’re in space. The Tatooine level ends in space and the Death Star level actually begins there. As you get closer to the Death Star, it gets bigger in the background, and you finally enter it.
On Tatooine you get to fight Sand People and Storm Troopers, whereas on the Death Star you’re fighting Stormtroopers as well as navigating blasters and Imperial fighters. You even get to fight Darth Vader, who has special Force powers affecting the objects on the levels. I’ve got to say, navigating through the planets and space is a lot of fun to do — you can tell a lot of effort went into getting the scenes just right. In short, I think the people at Rovio are true Star Wars fans!
Aside from playing the main levels, there are a few cool extra features in the game, including two bonus levels. But first let’s talk about leveling your characters.
We start off with the red bird, Luke, sans-lightsaber. It’s not until after we meet the black bird, Obi-Wan, that we unlock that for Luke. You can also upgrade your lightsaber through the Path of the Jedi, which I’ll explain next. The same goes for Obi-Wan. While you can use the Force with him from the beginning, there is an upgrade waiting for you — I’ll let you figure out when you get that.
As I mentioned, there are also two bonus levels. The first one is a freebie: a bonus level with R2D2 and C-3P0. These are akin to the golden egg missions from previous Angry Birds games, and I’ve got to say, Rovio nailed it. The sound effects, the auxiliary abilities, and the art are all solid. The second is Degobah. This is an in-app purchase that will allow you to play 40 Jedi Challenge levels, which upon completing will give you a more powerful, green lightsaber!
So how does it stack up against the iPad version? They are virtually the same game. I actually had a hard time coming up with differences for my dueling reviews. Everything from graphics to gameplay is the same and equally as good on both platforms. Like I said, Rovio clearly spent a lot of time ensuring a consistent experience.
Oddly, I don’t experience the same problem on Android as I did on iOS, which was sometimes when I zoom out, the screen moves. That was strictly an iOS problem for me. One thing I do wish the game had: cross-platform level syncing. I had to play the whole game over again!
Angry Birds Star Wars is a solid, fun, and addicting game. I’m a big Star Wars fan and this game really shines in adapting the Star Wars universe. I can’t wait for the next levels to be released to see how Rovio integrates things like Lando, and Cloud City, and of-course, the big reveal in Empire Strikes Back. This game is a big win for Rovio and Star Wars fans!