After countless spin-offs, Rovio is once again back with another installment of their Angry Bird series. This time, however, they’re packaging the game as a sequel to Angry Birds Star Wars, a game which has garnered some pretty decent reviews, such as actually inserting gameplay mechanics relevant to the merger between the two series, and not just taking advantage of the name of the other without really offering something new to the players.
As the original Angry Birds Star Wars took place during Episode IV, the new title parodies The Phantom Menace, the kick-off episode of the restarted Star Wars trilogy. Of course, you’ll also be seeing new characters such as Jango Fett and Jar Jar Binks, each with rehashed or entirely new abilities aside from the usual knocking down things that they hit. With that, there are projectiles that can have specific skills activated at opportune times, such as being able to deflect lasers with a lightsaber, firing lasers of your own, using the Force to push objects around, and even using your tongue as a makeshift swing.
Stormtrooper pigs also have some offensive capabilities of their own, as many would also be carrying lasers around. Add to that the various obstacles in your way and players would most likely experience challenges and frustrations that can be expected out of every Angry Birds title. Still, these new nuisances in your goal to knock down every pig in sight is what Angry Birds Star Wars so enjoyable, and that also does not mean that you can use these things to your own advantage. Magnets, gravitational fields, pulleys, catapults, and even reflective surfaces can be used in tandem with your characters and their abilities to solve the various puzzles thrown at you, and there’s a myriad of possible solutions to clearing a stage depending on how you approach the situation.
If you are stuck, however, then powerups are the way to go. Powerups come in the form of new characters that you can add into your arsenal. These resources can be acquired in one of two ways. One option is purchase them via coins earned in-game, while the other is by purchasing figurines that can be scanned via the device. Having these powerups will surely be able to help you during those tougher puzzles, and there’s even a Mighty Falcon, obviously modeled after the Millenium Falcon, that players can call upon to rain destruction on the enemies.
Angry Birds Star Wars 2 features several stages that can be unlocked by collecting stars. The levels feature some of the most memorable sets within the Star Wars universe, and you’d certainly be able to see parodies, references, and homages from the same strewn all throughout. Fans of the Star Wars series, whether it be in film or any other type of media, will definitely appreciate the effort put towards the combining of the Star Wars and Angry Birds elements into a product that is both appealing and interesting. Fortunately, this is one of the few games that were able to pull off a successful joint venture that really provides something new for the players rather than just putting on a new layer of skin.
Whether you are a fan of Star Wars or now, you’ll definitely love playing this title even if you already own the original game or any of the other sequels or spin-offs. There’s not a lot of additions or improvements from the original, but players would still be able to enjoy new stages and new characters that they will surely get to love.
Again, Rovio was able to take advantage of the marketing juggernaut that is the Star Wars franchise. While it can never replace the original, there’s a whole new element of gameplay within the title that’s worth hours of hours upon playtime. Of course, seeing your favorite birds dressed up like those Family Guy parodies they release from time to time doesn’t hurt, either. Join the Force, download Angry Birds Star Wars 2 now, and may the Force be with you.
Tested on iPhone. Final Score: 7/10
Angry Birds Star Wars 2 was developed by Rovio Entertainment. It was released on September 18, 2013 and is available for iOS devices via the iTunes Store.