If you have children of a certain age, you could be forgiven for thinking Angry Birds are everywhere. Rovio’s hit franchise has dominated the App Store in its four-and-a-half year, eight game run, and has branched out successfully into toys, a cartoon, and even soft drinks. And now Angry Birds Epic continues the trend of branching out from its humble slingshot-firing origins.
This time it's into RPG territory. All the usual suspects from the cartoon series and the prior games show their face at some point in this free-to-play game, which is light on depth (and story) and big on character and art-driven comedy and charm. Fights are all turn-based, with one defensive, one offensive, and one special ability assigned to each character according to their equipment (which can be upgraded using a simple crafting system) and innate attributes. With up to three birds at a time, you battle it out against any number of the meddlesomely conniving piggies, who've once again run off with some eggs.
Angry Birds Epic starts out ridiculously easy, but the difficulty ramps up fast. And while you can certainly scrape through without spending a dime, there’s a clear push towards buying coins to power up your flock or to keep them standing against the evil piggy scoundrels. Don’t expect to be wowed: this is a solid but unspectacular step into new territory for the birds.
The bottom line. Angry Birds Epic swoops into RPG land with a fun and light outing to Piggy Island, but it’s neither epic nor inventive in its formula.