iPhone App Video Review: Angry Birds Star Wars

by Andrew Koziara

The birds are back yet again, and they’re going back into space! But this time around, it’ll be a really familiar corner of space, far, far away. That’s right! The force meets feathers  in Angry Birds Star Wars, Rovio’s latest expansion to the Angry Birds universe! I know it sounds like an odd match, but it works surprisingly well, and this may very well be the best Angry Birds game yet, and not just because of the Star Wars elements.

The familiar story that we all know and love is here, only with more slingshots and shedding. All the old birds get dressed up as Luke, Obi-Wan, Han, Chewie, and Leia, and those nasty pigs now comprise the evil Empire. Each bird gets new powers, some more similar to their non-Star Wars counterparts than others. The Chewie bird pretty much functions in the exact way as his predecessor though, in that he’s just big. Luke even starts out as a normal red bird before getting a lightsaber to swing. He’s not the only bird to have something of a progression to his powers either.

Obi-Wan and Han also mix things up a bit. Obi uses a force push, which you can aim with a tap, and Han solo fires his blaster three times in the same fashion. This lets you do even more damage, as they each continue flying after firing, allowing you to target two different spots. Stormtrooper pigs can also use blasters, adding a timing element, with their fire ricocheting off of stone slabs and Luke’s lightsaber. It’s the little touches like this that really improve upon the classic formula and make it feel like something more unique.

The reason I claim this as my favorite Angry Bird’s isn’t just because I love the classic Star Wars movies. It’s because the best of both worlds are brought out, with classic Angry Birds levels, and the gravity centric levels of Angry Birds Space. The art, music, and design inspired by the original trilogy permeate every aspect of this app, with funny or memorable imagery and references at every turn. The production values are just as good as you would expect from Rovio.

Currently you can play through the first movie and Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, plus Dagobah as an in-app purchase level pack. Bonus levels are now the droid’s levels, with an electro-shocking R2D2, and a C-3PO that does what he does best: shatter into a dozen pieces. Of course, if you ever have trouble with a level, you can call on the Millennium Eagle to help clear a level! Or is it the Mighty Falcon?

The first update batch of levels were already released, taking us to the planet Hoth, introducing snow mechanics and the Princess Leia bird, who has a kind of force pull/tether power that's really unique. The best part of all? There is no prequel trilogy garbage to be found anywhere. No Jar-Jar Binks. No boring, nonsensical, politics driven plot. No pointless, racially insensitive new aliens. No bland, one-note characters. And most important of all, no Jar-Jar Binks! Angry Birds Star Wars is available for one dollar at the time of this review, with an HD version available for three.

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