With the advent of iOS 7, two of the biggest gaming franchises on the App Store have graced us with big time sequels. One of those franchises is, of course, Angry Birds, with Angry Birds Star Wars II, and just when you think they surely must be completely running out of ideas, Rovio brings out one of the most varied Angry Bird games to date. This one takes place during the prequel trilogy, which I hold no love for, but in something like Angry Birds, the silliness that is the prequel trilogy actually works wonderfully.
I'm not going to spend too much time harping on what most of you already know, so let's get the basics out of the way. Angry Birds is an extremely polished and well designed physics puzzler that has you destroying pig occupied fortresses of wood, stone, and glass with kamikaze birds. Different birds have different destructive powers, and that's more true than ever here. The games are always well designed, with crisp art, creative levels, and quirky music. On to the new stuff!
The Pork Side. No, seriously. You can join the Pork Side. Nevermind that in every Star Wars game ever made, Angry Birds Star Wars included, if I have the option to play as the Sith, I take it, and you can't stop me. Here, it's way more fun than you'd think to hurl dark side wielding pigs at poor birds. Jango Fett launches super powerful rockets, Darth Maul slices all to chunks with his double sided saber, and Count Dooku lets you finally do the lightsaber throw. I'll just say right now. I don't think I've ever had as much fun in an Angry Birds game as I do when hurling Force lightning as Darth Sidious pig. Everything, from his voice to functionality is hilarious and perfect. I never thought something based in the prequel trilogy could bring me glee, but here we are.
On the good side of things, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan take our mainstay lightsaber swing and Force push powers. You can also hurl Yoda at the enemy, and the elation you feel seeing him spin around the map as a little whirlwind of death is the same that had me cracking up when we first saw him fight in Attack of the Clones. Once you first unlock the Pork Side, you can choose which side to start with on every single world. So far we only have the Naboo invasion and Tatooine escape to play through, plus bonus underwater levels that you can unlock, taking place in the Gungan city, which actually reverse gravity in a neat twist.
There is a big in-app purchase market in this game. As you unlock achievements, you'll unlock points that let you unlock characters early, or use them in levels that you wouldn't otherwise be able to. All of our favorite characters, including Darth Vader and Boba Fett, and most hated characters from the trilogy, like General Grievous, Young Ani, and even that blasted Gungan buffoon Jar-Jar, are available. Aside from all that, you can also bring characters into the game using Angry Birds Telepods, assuming you can find them at a retailer near you. Angry Birds Star Wars II is iOS Universal and available for one dollar. Rovio has managed to keep me from getting sick of this series, and the Pork Side addition fills this particular Force user with joy. I mean…hate. And power. Unlimited power!