Angry Birds is a puzzle video game developed by Rovio, a developer based in Finland. Since its release for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices, over 6.5 million copies of the game have been purchased, and versions have appeared for other touchscreen-based smartphones.
In Angry Birds, players take control of a flock of birds that are attempting to retrieve eggs that have been stolen by a group of evil pigs. The pigs have taken refuge on or within structures made of various materials, including wood, glass and stone, and the object of the game is to eliminate all the pigs in the level.
Using a slingshot, players launch the birds at the structure, with the intent of either hitting the pigs directly or damaging the structure, which would cause it to collapse onto the pigs. If all of the pigs are defeated by the time the last bird is used, the level is completed and the next level is unlocked. Players may re-attempt levels as many times as they wish, and may also replay completed levels in an attempt to boost their score.
There are many different types of birds used in the game. At the beginning of the game the red bird is the only one available. As the player advances through the game, additional birds appear, some of which have special abilities that are activated by tapping the touchscreen while the bird is in flight. For example:
- Red birds are simply launched at the structure, using their momentum to attack.
- Blue birds will separate into three smaller birds
- Yellow birds will speed up and dash into their targets
- Black birds will explode on command or shortly after coming into contact with an object
- White birds will drop egg-shaped bombs
- Green birds will go back and fly in the opposite direction like a boomerang
- Purple birds behave like the standard red birds, but are bigger and cause more damage
Each level starts with the number and types of available birds pre-determined. The birds must be launched in the order provided, thus requiring the player to strategically use each bird’s abilities in order to defeat the pigs.
The pigs themselves also appear in different sizes and with different abilities. Small pigs are relatively weak and easily destroyed either by direct hits or by debris from the damaged structures. Larger pigs are able to sustain more damage before being destroyed, and some pigs wear helmets as armor, making them even stronger.
Points are scored for each pig defeated as well as for damage to or destruction of structures. Bonus points are awarded for any unused birds. Players receive one, two or three stars for each completed level, depending on the score received.
Additional levels have been made available through free updates from time to time. Levels are contained within chapters of the overall game story. These chapters include: “Poached Eggs” (released with the game in December 2009); “Mighty Hoax” (March 2010); “Danger Above” (April 2010); and “The Big Setup” (July 2010). A bonus area, entitled “Golden Eggs”, was made available in March 2010, and contains levels and features that are unlocked by discovering the golden eggs hidden throughout the game.
In early 2009, Rovio staff began reviewing proposals for potential games, deciding to design a game based around a simulated screenshot featuring some angry-looking birds with no visible legs or wings; while the picture gave no clue as to what type of game was being played, the staff liked the characters. The initial cost to develop Angry Birds was estimated to exceed €100,000, not including money spent on the subsequent updates.
Angry Birds on android
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Is Angry Birds Addictive?
Angry Birds is often described as an addictive game, which helps explain why the full version’s launch for Android phones is big news. Starting today, the game can be downloaded for free through GetJar, a third-party app store, and it’s coming to the Android Market over the weekend.
If you’re one of the folks who’s hooked on Angry Birds — and please don’t take this the wrong way — I don’t understand why. Angry Birds is a clever game, for sure. It has cute characters, elegant design and simple goals. But addictive? I just don’t see it.
Video game addiction is often associated with massive multiplayer online games, like World of Warcraft. The social nature of these games, some experts say, fills a void of friendship and acceptance that the real world doesn’t provide. I’m sure that the dangling carrot system of rewards in MMOs also plays a big role. These kinds of addictive games get a negative connotation, perhaps because you become a social outsider by playing with other people in solitude.
The other prominent class of addictive games are repetitive puzzlers, like Tetris and Bejeweled. A 1994 Wired article examined how Tetris stimulates the brain, and got a wonderful explanation from Vladimir Pokhilko, a former clinical psychologist and friend of Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov. He said Tetris is addictive because of instant visual feedback, the creation of unfinished business that pushes the player to continue, and — the real important part, I think — automation, where your motivation to repeat the same actions becomes habitual.
Somewhere in between these two classes lies the recent wave of social games like Farmville. It has a social layer and a rewards system, like an MMO, and repetitive, automatic actions, like Tetris. Maybe that’s why Zynga is raking in the dough.
Thing is, Angry Birds doesn’t fit into these descriptions of addictive games. It’s the opposite of automatic, requiring careful, calculated precision; it offers no rewards other than new levels and abilities; and there’s nothing social about it.
So here’s my theory: Angry Birds is not an addictive game. It’s just a solid game, the kind that makes you want to play for a while. On consoles and computers, this is no big deal. I’d play Super Mario Bros. 3 for hours on end when I was seven years old. But on iPhone and Android game, where the games are supposed to be inconsequential, who would’ve thought?