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What's it all about?
Angry Birds for iPhone was really quite a surprise hit. The game, developed by Rovio, really did come out of nowhere to take the iPhone app store by storm. With developers like EA and Gameloft spending exorbitant amounts of money on developing their triple-A titles, it is rather refreshing to see a relatively unknown developer like Rovio come out of nowhere and take over the #1 paid app spot in nearly every country in the world, including the US.
The game itself is quite genius; you take control of a team of birds who have had their eggs stolen by a group of evil green pigs. Sure, it sounds absurd, and to be honest it is, but the gameplay will take only minutes to make you fall in love with it.
The birds offer themselves up one by one to be launched from a slingshot in order to murder the thieving pigs. You control the birds by pulling back and aiming the slingshot at the proper area. In many of the levels, the pigs have taken up residence in any number of hard-to-topple structures and you must find the weak spots. This adds a deceiving amount of strategy to what at first appears to be a rather simple gameplay concept. Adding to the strategy element is the different powers each type of bird has. Some birds simply plow head-first into battle, while others can be broken up into clones of themselves to cause even more damage, while still others are huge black bird bombs that explode and decimate structures.
The depth doesn't stop there, as there are golden eggs hidden throughout certain levels that unlock bonus content in the form of super weird levels not otherwise included in the normal storyline.
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Graphics, Soundtrack and Verdict
Visually, the game is an absolute treat. At first you may write it off as overly simple or too cartoonish to be taken seriously, but it will only take a few moments for your mind to be completely flipped. The characters, while not complex, are animated perfectly and even the enemies are so adorable that you won't be able to keep from falling in love with them. Structures topple with predictable physics and objects are destroyed in a very realistic manner. After a while you'll be able to predict where the weak point of a structure is, and exactly what bird would do the most damage to it. It is at this point that the game reaches true masterpiece status.
The soundtrack of the game is understated, but well done. Background music is applied very lightly so as to not take away from the charm of listening to the birds scream their war cries as they fly headlong into danger. The enemy pigs will make subtle grunts and moans as they are defeated and each character has its own voice and personality, without ever actually speaking a word. That, in itself, is a huge accomplishment.
Overall, Angry Birds definitely deserves its spot in the App Store elite, and is likely to remain there for many months to come. The fantastic graphics and delightful gameplay are worth so much more than the 99 cent price tag that you may feel guilty getting so much for so little. Add to that the fact that constant updates are adding new levels, new unlocks, and even new birds, and adding Angry Birds to your iPhone game roster is a no-brainer.