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Angry Birds Halloween


The mobile puzzle phenomenon that is Angry Birds has always been puzzling to me. Week after week, Month after month, the original Angry Birds for the iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad has sat on top of the leaderboard and sold millions of copies. If you haven't tried it yet, the concept is a simple one. The player slingshots birds with mad looks on their faces into structures, thus knocking them down and killing all the animals on them. It's very similar to a flash game that you would use the mouse to aim and fire, but in this case, your finger acts as the aiming device on the the touchscreen. There's no plot or narrative to the game, just level after level of angry birds slamming into objects.

angry birds halloween pumpkin level

The developer, Rovio Mobile, parted ways with the recently EA acquisition Chillingo and published a follow-up to Angry Birds with a seasonal twist on it. It's been designed with the mentality that you have already played the first Angry Birds, so the difficulty is pretty high after the first few levels (45 in total). The concept is the same, sling birds into the wooden and concrete structure to knockdown and destroy the green pigs / pumpkins inside. You have also been allowed to use a few new birds with special abilities. They include exploding birds, birds that lay a stream of egg bombs on the structure and a bird that increases rapidly the more you tap on the screen.

Just like the previous game, each level rates you with stars. But you are more likely to crave the lowest rating as the diffculty is off the charts. One frustrating aspect of the game's design is that you can't proceed to the next level until you complete the last one. It would have been great to be able to hop around between levels, even if you could only skip ahead by a couple spots. The controls are identical to the first game with the exception of tapping on the screen to increase speed on the new bird. The game does have Game Center support built in allowing you to earn achievements for each pumpkin that you smash.

angry birds halloween pumpkin level

Graphics

  • Visually, there's a spooky Halloween theme going on, but in a cartoonish friendly manner. Beyond the re skinned backgrounds and new character models, there isn't a great deal of changes to the main design of the game. The physics engine has stayed the same, thus veterans of the last game will feel right at home. Explosion effects look good, but nothing dramatically better than the first game.

Audio

  • You will hear the familiar squawks of the birds and other sound effects from the first game. There's also eerie Halloween sound effects to go along with the release.

Conclusion

It's pretty obvious why this came into the App Store as a separate purchase than a downloadable add-on to the original Angry Birds, it's completely a business reason. Chillingo gets a cut of every Angry Birds purchase under their original publishing agreement and that assuredly applies to downloadable content as well. But that doesn't apply to new titles. Anyway, even though you will have two different Angry Birds icons on your Apple screen, it's well worth the purchase price if you are at all a fan of the original game or you simply love puzzle games. At least 35 to 40 of the puzzles are at expert level though, so be prepared for some long bouts of gaming to solve each puzzle. But the game certainly doesn't reinvent the wheel, just more agitated fowls and snorting piglets.



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