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Angry Birds
March 10, 2011 8:13 AM   Subscribe

How Rovio made Angry Birds a winner.

Also, a "cognitive teardown" of the Angry Birds user experience.
posted by AceRock (95 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also today - Rovio just got some more funding. A mere $42m.
posted by schwa at 8:17 AM on March 10, 2011


By ripping off 'Crush the Castle' and a million other slingshot-style games?

Don't get me wrong, Angry Birds is great, but it's just a highly polished derivative work like World of Warcraft.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:17 AM on March 10, 2011 [19 favorites]


Those damned pigs smirk at you when you don't kill them all.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:19 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I really, really dislike the boomerang bird.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:19 AM on March 10, 2011 [13 favorites]


A year ago when it was discovered to me via my Twitter feed, I thought yes, here is a child's copy of any number of destroy opponents with brute force, the pinnacle of which is Battleship, imo, as it actually requires the little bastards to remember where they attacked previously and develop a pattern for their next attack. But I was told that it was so much more than that and quickly realized it as I spent many continuos hours achieving three stars on every level in the regular game, on my iPhone twice and once on my MBP, along with the seasonal games, the Christmas variation of which I would wake up at 3:20am every day for a month in order to finish the next level.

And a year later I still have no idea what exactly took over almost every non-working moment I have. There has to be some explanation.

Also, give Tiny Wings a shot. It's from an indie and includes a beautiful design.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:25 AM on March 10, 2011


My BF is an Angry Bird addict (like apparently everyone else with a smart phone) Like "In the top 500 all time" addict. We have had serious conversations about new bird types.
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


(I swear half the game's success is in the adui cues. So addictingly cute and smug and they go pfouf when they die!)
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on March 10, 2011


I'm still only at two stars on 5-7. Three stars for all the other levels, but I can't seem to get to three on that particular one. It doesn't exactly keep me up nights, but it's still kind of infuriating.
posted by rtha at 8:28 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


a child's copy of any number of destroy opponents with brute force, the pinnacle of which is Battleship

Battleship doesn't use brute force. It uses two coordinates. Whereas with slingshot games, you have to specify...an angle and a strength. Two coordinates. OMG.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on March 10, 2011


Conan's life-sized Angry Birds
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure why Angry Birds is so popular (yes yes, get off my lawn).

The level balance is so incredibly uneven. You could be playing along quite happily, demolishing levels in one or two tries, then you hit a level that takes you a week, then back to easy levels again. The uneveness is so bad it makes the game not very fun.

I guess considering how many levels Rovio are pumping out with all the different editions and add ons and such it's too hard to really play-test them properly.
posted by schwa at 8:31 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


WinnipegDragon: By ripping off 'Crush the Castle' and a million other slingshot-style games?

Don't get me wrong, Angry Birds is great, but it's just a highly polished derivative work like World of Warcraft.


Unless a game invents a new genre, that's true of nearly all of them. Most of the best games of all time are like that. Doom, Half-Life, Starcraft, etc. are all just refinements and derivatives of already-existing genres.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Angry Birds is popular because when you win, the birds go "WOOHOOHOOOOO hahahahyaaaa hyaaaah..." and when you lose, the pigs go "Haw haw haw." That's why.
posted by katillathehun at 8:33 AM on March 10, 2011 [26 favorites]


From the article: "The overnight success of Angry Birds took eight years."
posted by whimsicalnymph at 8:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Personally, I'm partial to Plants vs. Zombies myself...
posted by schmod at 8:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


I've played more Angry Birds than I'm comfortable admitting, but the three star shots are incredibly frustrating. You can usually see exactly what you need to do, but the developer has chosen one exact pixel that you must hit in order for things to fall in the order they need to fall to achieve it. This, coupled with your launcher having no meter to tell you the power and angle you used last shot so you can refine slightly makes it an exercise in frustration. Rovio can talk all they want about how they made Angry Birds a success, but with omissions like those I suspect they're going to have trouble reproducing this success.
posted by IanMorr at 8:36 AM on March 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm partial to Plants vs. Zombies myself...

I heard so much hoopla about this game I had to try it. Most. Boring. Defendthecastle. EVAR. My kids like, though.
posted by DU at 8:39 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Angry Birds is so last week, Tiny Wings is where its at now. I'm up to Nest Level 24. Struggling to get a 34s fever.
posted by SirOmega at 8:44 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The level balance is so incredibly uneven. You could be playing along quite happily, demolishing levels in one or two tries, then you hit a level that takes you a week

There are "how to" guides for each level on You Tube.

Uploaded by tech-savvy marriage counselors, I would guess.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:52 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems I have to mention in every Angry Birds thread that I'm so frustrated by the aiming on that bloody thing. Is there some mystical element to aiming the birds on that slingshot that I'm missing ?! I can't repeat a single shot twice for the life of me. And then the pigs grunt at me and I exit it and go play cut the rope. >.>
posted by cavalier at 8:57 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cut the Rope was what helped me tear myself away from Angry Birds. A star system that shows you exactly how to get three stars makes Angry Birds' guessing game seem cheap.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:02 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tiny Wings pales in comparison.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM on March 10, 2011


There are "how to" guides for each level on You Tube.

And that's where you find out that it's pretty much luck whether you get three stars in some levels. Either that, or Angry Birds requires a larger screen than your typical Android phone to get the desired precision.

I finally gave up on it when they moved the ads into the playing area (I hear they even have video ads, now).
posted by dirigibleman at 9:06 AM on March 10, 2011


I was a must-get-3-stars-every-level Angry Birdist but Tiny Wings is the new hotness. It's not as rich as Angry Birds but it's still scratching my game addict's itch. (And I'm exactly where SirOmega is -- just have to get 34 seconds in fever mode to get my next nest! It's so hard!)
posted by chowflap at 9:09 AM on March 10, 2011


I finally gave up on it when they moved the ads into the playing area (I hear they even have video ads, now).

Wait. Just wait. I have an iphone but never bought the Angry Birds app for whatever reason. Probably because it seemed like a knockoff like someone above said.

But. It has ADS? IN A PAID GAME? W.T.F.

This is as bad as farmville.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:09 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I spent so many hours getting three stars on all the levels, it's sick.

Sometimes I literally could not stop, no matter how frustrated I was getting, and I thought to myself, "So this is what drug addiction is like."

And the sad thing is, even when I did get all the stars, I didn't really feel happy, only that now I had a void in my life Angry Birds used to fill that I can't erase.

I blame it on the fact that it's been winter here since October.
posted by elder18 at 9:10 AM on March 10, 2011


I have Angry Birds on my iPhone; there are no ads.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:11 AM on March 10, 2011


The Android version has ads, IIRC, because in that market the game is "Free" to download.
posted by cavalier at 9:12 AM on March 10, 2011


You can disable the ads on the Android version by putting your device in airplane mode (after you've launched the app).
posted by Burhanistan at 9:14 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oops, yes, I should have mentioned it's only the Android version that has ads (with no provision for a paid, no-ad version).
posted by dirigibleman at 9:17 AM on March 10, 2011


I'm still only at two stars on 5-7. Three stars for all the other levels, but I can't seem to get to three on that particular one. It doesn't exactly keep me up nights, but it's still kind of infuriating.

I am in the same boat. Fuck 5-7.
posted by lydhre at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


My GFs mom and stepdad are also both in the top 500 of all iPhone (all?) players. At dinner last week, they quite literally ignored everyone at the table while they both tried to get 3 stars on some level or other. It was enough to make me never want to play the game again.
posted by KGMoney at 9:26 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like Angry Birds, it's got personality. Not addicted though, but it's a great diversion at times.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:28 AM on March 10, 2011


I'm top 1000 sometimes (and higher in some worlds-- I point this out to establish credibility as an addict), and disagree wholeheartedly that there is only one way to get three stars. One of the neat things about the Birds is that there is often a "right way" and then an even more right way to get higher scores.

I also really appreciate the continued support for Seasons. I paid once for Halloween, and have now gotten three additional worlds without paying more. That is the kind of commitment to the customer that builds some brand loyalty.
posted by norm at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm with katillathehun, it's all about the sound design. Slingshot/catapult physics games are a dime a dozen but I've never played one that sounds as fun as Angry Birds.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:31 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oops, yes, I should have mentioned it's only the Android version that has ads (with no provision for a paid, no-ad version).

They'll probably release a paid version once they get tired of rolling around naked in big piles of cash from the iPhone version.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:31 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


My wife's a big fan, but somehow I've never seen the appeal.

[pours another 100 hours into Fallout: New Vegas]
posted by Zozo at 9:32 AM on March 10, 2011


The mister was really into Angry Birds, until he put Fruit Ninja on his iPhone. Apparently squishy fruit > fat birds.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:32 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I must be the only person who got bored with the game in about an hour. I downloaded some months ago, played it for bit, didn't really get much out of it and haven't touched it since. Don't really get it.
posted by octothorpe at 9:32 AM on March 10, 2011


They'll probably release a paid version once they get tired of rolling around naked in big piles of cash from the iPhone version.

FTA: "For the initial outlay of €100,000 (the company has since invested more), Rovio has had 20 million paid downloads for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and 20 million ad-supported downloads on Android. Ville Heijari, Rovio's spokesperson (the "bird whisperer") says both generate similar revenues."
posted by symbollocks at 9:34 AM on March 10, 2011


They'll probably release a paid version once they get tired of rolling around naked in big piles of cash from the iPhone version.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:31 AM on March 10


Nah, the temperature hasn't really gone much over -2 celsius, though the sun was shining today. Still, the whole neighbourhood is thrilled with the 42M cash injection, makes them feel all very 'coltran valley' and cutting edge again.
posted by infini at 9:35 AM on March 10, 2011


This, coupled with your launcher having no meter to tell you the power and angle you used last shot so you can refine slightly makes it an exercise in frustration. Rovio can talk all they want about how they made Angry Birds a success, but with omissions like those I suspect they're going to have trouble reproducing this success.

See, here's the thing: that's not an omission. That's deliberate, and it's the difference between something you have to keep trying to get right and feel lucky and fortunate when you do, and something you can just experimentally solve. That is, in fact, one of the main reasons the game is so addictive - it's not a solvable problem.

Personally, I'd be pretty stoked to find out that they took some part of that huge pile of money and donated to the person who wrote the open-source 2d physics engine at the core of their game. It's a little saddening not to see their name on that list of contributors.
posted by mhoye at 9:35 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


BrotherCaine said: "They'll probably release a paid version once they get tired of rolling around naked in big piles of cash from the iPhone version."

That's just it though. I think they're making more money off ads per game downloaded on the Android platform than they are in the iTunes store. Apple takes a significant cut of the money, and it's really not that expensive of a game.
posted by lemuring at 9:37 AM on March 10, 2011


My BF is an Angry Bird addict (like apparently everyone else with a smart phone) ...

Nope. Love my Android phone, but no Angry Birds. I've played it, but honestly don't get the appeal. I've been waiting for somebody to make this post, because the success boggles me a little. (I am a puzzler though, so I have ~500 squiggly sudokus just waiting for me to play ...)

Angry Birds players world-wide is roughly 200 million minutes a DAY, which translates into 1.2 billion hours a year. To compare, all person-hours spent creating and updating Wikipedia totals about 100 million hours over the entire life span of Wikipedia (Neiman Journalism Lab).

Any estimate on the amount of hours spent posting to Metafilter. >< Wikipedia?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:38 AM on March 10, 2011


Tiny Wings pales in comparison.

Yes, it does, but it's also a one-button game that brings the whole Angry Birds experience into perspective. Like that first dose of methadone when you've finally realized that heroin wasn't fueling the lifestyle you had hoped it would.

Also, how do you fly it upside down? It's the current bane of my existence.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:41 AM on March 10, 2011


Any estimate on the amount of hours spent posting to Metafilter. ~ Wikipedia?

Angry Birds is popular because when you win, the birds go "WOOHOOHOOOOO hahahahyaaaa hyaaaah..." and when you lose, the pigs go "Haw haw haw." That's why.



I doubt if Wiki gives you the same entertainment value for your comment as does Metafilter.
posted by infini at 9:42 AM on March 10, 2011


To me, the game's biggest flaw is that it does not respond the way that I expect it to. Sometimes a level has visual cues that make me think that a certain line of attack will work, but when I try it it behaves entirely differently than I think it will. Something about the physics being lacking, like a giant rock will roll down a hill into a piece of glass and the glass doesn't break. Or a bomb will explode and something right next do it doesn't break but something halfway across the screen will.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:49 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


By the way, they've just launched Angry Birds St Patrick's Day update in Angry Birds Seasons.

Wait - come back...
posted by DanCall at 9:50 AM on March 10, 2011


I immediately stopped what I was doing, plugged-in my iPhone and let out silent groan when it wouldn't allow me to go right to the app store, synching instead and denying my pleasure. Like a lab rat.
posted by jsavimbi at 9:57 AM on March 10, 2011


They'll probably release a paid version once they get tired of rolling around naked in big piles of cash from the iPhone version.

They get plenty of money from the ads on Android.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 AM on March 10, 2011


Is there some mystical element to aiming the birds on that slingshot that I'm missing ?! I can't repeat a single shot twice for the life of me.
ummm...theres a bunch of ways to tell where you're aiming, just line up the top of the bird's head with a background element, a leaf or something...sometimes look at the wedge made by the two sides of the slingshot...
posted by sexyrobot at 10:02 AM on March 10, 2011


I'm not sure why Angry Birds is so popular

There are a lot of reasons why it's so successful, according to the article:

- It's simple.
- It can be enjoyed by "casual" (1-star, finish-the-level) or "hardcore" (3-star) gamers.
- It has great design.
- It's engineered to appeal to everybody:

Rovio came up with other criteria: the title had to be expandable to other platforms, but work as a pure iPhone game; it should be physics-based (popular on Flash websites at the time); there should be no tutorial; loading times should be minimal, so that you could play happily for just one minute; and it needed an icon which would stand out in the App store.

But Rovio also marketed the hell out of it, and they did it in a really smart way:

Angry Birds hit the App Store in December 2009. It was a flop -- or at least it was for first three months in the lucrative English-speaking markets. Rovio wasn't concerned: its strategy wasn't a mad charge to the heart of the store, but a global counterinsurgency.

"We realised very early on it would be tough to break those markets. So we tried to get a following in the smaller nations," says Matt Wilson, head of marketing. It took only a few hundred purchases to get the game to number one in the Finnish App Store. The same went for Sweden and Denmark, then Greece and the Czech Republic.


Plus, they made a YouTube trailer for the game, offer free regular updates, built a relationship with their customers, tailored the game to different platforms, and merchandised.
posted by bokinney at 10:02 AM on March 10, 2011


"There are "how to" guides for each level on You Tube. "

Level guides are no excuse for bad level design.
posted by schwa at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty addicted to the damn game, too. Tiny Wings looks interesting (definitely pretty!), but it has one feature I hate in so-called casual games...a time element. Nothing kills my fun and enjoyment more than having to beat a clock.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2011


Level guides are no excuse for bad level design.

Just because you're not good at a game doesn't mean that it is designed poorly.
posted by norm at 10:06 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just because you're not good at a game doesn't mean that it is designed poorly.

Yes. I'm bad at Angry Birds. Just me.

The 2,231,879 hits to the Angry Birds walkthroughs on Youtube are all me.
posted by schwa at 10:11 AM on March 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


The 2,231,879 hits to the Angry Birds walkthroughs on Youtube are all me.

This doesn't make sense to me. There are walkthroughs/level guides/whatever the right term is for WoW and RDR and a zillion other games; having those available doesn't actually mean the game was designed poorly. It means that people want to know what happens next, or how to beat a specific level, or they're impatient and want a shortcut, etc.
posted by rtha at 10:18 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


If you haven't unlocked the Dragon Mode in Angry Birds, then haven't seen anything yet.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2011


Everyone I know with an iPhone, iPad or Android phone has this. Every single one. I can't think of any app or game (other than the ones that ship with the device) that even remotely approaches this.
posted by tommasz at 10:21 AM on March 10, 2011


Well to that point, tommasz, when I first got my iPhone I went to the app store and grabbed most of the Top #1-#5 positions in their respective categories. You know, sort of a "Fuck it - these seem to be the most popular - give them a whirl". That's how I got Angry Birds.

Fruit Ninja, though. What a great, great, simple, use of the native iPhone UI. "HEy, you can swish your finger! WHAT IF YOU WERE CUTTING FRUIT!". Zen Mode + Fruit Ninja = Happy Place.
posted by cavalier at 10:25 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I can't think of any app or game (other than the ones that ship with the device) that even remotely approaches this."

Facebook and Words with Friends are the only two I can think of.
posted by schwa at 10:32 AM on March 10, 2011


"It means that people want to know what happens next, or how to beat a specific level, or they're impatient and want a shortcut, etc."

Sure and it certainly does mean that. I don't know how Youtube counts hits - but either way a huge number of people are visiting the Youtube level guides.

I think that this is exists is due to the fact that you cannot continue until you defeat the level. You can't skip a level and go on. And because of the very uneven level design (tough and easy levels mixed pretty randomly) there's a good chance you'll get stuck early on.

The fact that angry birds is a huge success _despite_ these flaws is impressive.
posted by schwa at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2011


The fact that angry birds is a huge success _despite_ these flaws is impressive.

I don't think it's a flaw. The longer it takes you to complete a level, the sharper your flush of victory when that last fucking pig finally fucking dies. And then what happens? The next level IMMEDIATELY slots into place, while you're still riding high. . . and you pull back that slingshot and let go.

Remember, the fastest way to train someone with operant conditioning is with unpredictable awards.
posted by KathrynT at 10:40 AM on March 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am in the same boat. Fuck 5-7.

lydhre, I FINALLY got three stars on 5-7. Like, five minutes ago. Because I watched this video. I think I'm gonna go buy a lottery ticket today, too.
posted by rtha at 10:44 AM on March 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of Angry Birds, it never got me "hooked." I guess I don't really fall into the casual or hardcore gamer camp. Must be some gamer niche with an Angry Birds immunity.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 10:55 AM on March 10, 2011


I really, really dislike the boomerang bird.

Fire it backward. It's so fun! You have to be quick, but fire it back to the left, while quickly tapping the screen so that it doesn't just fly into the next bird loading itself onto the sling. Get good at it, and you have a bird that you can fling forward. Try it!

By the way, they've just launched Angry Birds St Patrick's Day update in Angry Birds Seasons.

Oh hell yeah. See you later Wisconsin! Haha! just kidding.

a little
posted by cashman at 10:57 AM on March 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the Android free vs. Ipod paid discussion, the article notes "On Android, they saw that paid content wasn't working, so went with an ad-supported model. It now earns them more than £600,000 monthly."
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:09 AM on March 10, 2011


What pisses me off is that there's so much Angry Bird available for smartphones that I can't get on my PS3.

Why you hatin', Rovio?
posted by elder18 at 11:13 AM on March 10, 2011


Seconding the walk-throughs on YouTube... I've watched quite a few, but my 3-star level successes don't always follow the walk-through. There is more than one way to get 3 stars on many (if not all) levels.

Thanks for the pointer to Tiny Wings and the St. Patrick's Day update... Because, you know, I needed more distractions in my life.
posted by yiftach at 11:15 AM on March 10, 2011


Battleship doesn't use brute force. It uses two coordinates. Whereas with slingshot games, you have to specify...an angle and a strength. Two coordinates. OMG.

I have three stars in almost every level of the original game, and two stars in all of the other levels. I always pull the sling back all the way, so I really don't modulating the strength of your shot is necessary. The game requires you to learn its physics system (how the birds fly, how they interact with the different block types, etc.) though, so I think it's quite a bit more complicated than Battleship.

I think that this is exists is due to the fact that you cannot continue until you defeat the level. You can't skip a level and go on. And because of the very uneven level design (tough and easy levels mixed pretty randomly) there's a good chance you'll get stuck early on.

You only need one star in a level to move on. On most levels it's ridiculously easy to get one star.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 11:18 AM on March 10, 2011


Unusable on my one-year-old Andriod phone because of serious frame rate issues, but still snappy on my three-year-old iPod touch.
posted by emelenjr at 11:35 AM on March 10, 2011


There are serious differences in Android phone video hardware. It's playable on Android phones older than that and not playable on Android phones newer than that. It's a thing.
posted by GuyZero at 11:49 AM on March 10, 2011


That is a weird thing.
posted by rtha at 11:54 AM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


one of the main reasons the game is so addictive - it's not a solvable problem.

It is a solvable problem. They just don't give you the tools to make solving it as easy as it should be. A meter would help me exactly adjust my shot based on the near miss I just had, instead I find myself approximating by counting pixels from the top of the tree in the background or something similar. This adds a frustrating level of difficulty, because they're not making gameplay harder, they're making the interface suck for the user, see also, making you zoom out to see where you're aiming. As I said, I've played a lot of Angry Birds, it was a fun game when I breezed through it the first time and I still grab the extra levels when they come out, but going back and trying for 3 stars in all levels highlights a lot of the flaws.
posted by IanMorr at 11:57 AM on March 10, 2011


There are serious differences in Android phone video hardware. It's playable on Android phones older than that and not playable on Android phones newer than that. It's a hardware related not OS thing.

ftfy
posted by infini at 12:22 PM on March 10, 2011


I'm seriously considering buying this shirt.
posted by ericbop at 12:35 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to love Angry Birds. The birds are so cute! The sounds are so fun! I like other slingshot games! But I am entirely incapable of playing for more than 30 seconds without getting bored. I often am sad about this.

I do totally love Tiny Wings and Fruit Ninja. Tiny Wings is so pretty, and I feel so bad for the bird, and yes I seriously overidentify with these games -- I had trouble with PvZ because I felt too sad when the potatoes got eaten.
posted by jeather at 1:19 PM on March 10, 2011


Angry Birds works because it's 95% pure crack. I've already lost part of today to the St Patricks version. CURSES!
posted by ironbob at 1:25 PM on March 10, 2011


I don't have it. I prefer Solomon's Boneyard, a duel stick shooter/Diablo type game. There's a new Llamatron game coming out I need to get too...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:30 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have it. I prefer Solomon's Boneyard, a duel stick shooter/Diablo type game. There's a new Llamatron game coming out I need to get too...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:30 PM on March 10 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]


There is a sequel to Solomon's Keep?! Really?!

HOOK IT TO MY VEINS!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:38 PM on March 10, 2011


By ripping off 'Crush the Castle' and a million other slingshot-style games?

Don't get me wrong, Angry Birds is great, but it's just a highly polished derivative work like World of Warcraft.

WinnipegDragon: And this criticism can't be applied to "West Side Story"/"Romeo & Juliet", aspirin/elm bark tea, or McDonald's/neighborhood burger joint, how?

In what way does polishing an existing idea, and thereby turning it into a hugely successful commercial venture, diminish the success?
posted by IAmBroom at 1:44 PM on March 10, 2011


Formatting fail. The following was a quote from WinnipegDragon:

By ripping off 'Crush the Castle' and a million other slingshot-style games?

Don't get me wrong, Angry Birds is great, but it's just a highly polished derivative work like World of Warcraft.

posted by IAmBroom at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2011


Fire it backward. It's so fun! You have to be quick, but fire it back to the left, while quickly tapping the screen so that it doesn't just fly into the next bird loading itself onto the sling. Get good at it, and you have a bird that you can fling forward. Try it!

Holy shit you just blew MY MIND.
posted by grapesaresour at 1:54 PM on March 10, 2011


There is a sequel to Solomon's Keep?! Really?!

HOOK IT TO MY VEINS!


Yep. Only it takes place in one graveyard. And has an awesome ice mage.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:03 PM on March 10, 2011


Oh man, I'm still stuck on level 3-1, I have seen the films that it can be done in one shot. But it's a chain reaction I basically have no control over.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:14 PM on March 10, 2011


Buh? New Angry Birds update? Goodbye, everyone. I've got to... uh... y'know...
posted by Ghidorah at 2:50 PM on March 10, 2011


I always assumed Angry Bird's success was due to an unpaid-for celebrity endorsement from Conan O'brian back when the giant TV-centered media was obsessed about the whole team Co-Co thing. That was certainly the first time I heard of the game.
posted by Popular Ethics at 3:00 PM on March 10, 2011


they're making the interface suck for the user, see also, making you zoom out to see where you're aiming.

I've watched other people play by zooming out the interface to see the structure, but that's another thing I really don't think is necessary to do after you've played for more than an hour or two. Eventually you should be able to just plan your shot while the camera is panning back to the slingshot.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 3:08 PM on March 10, 2011


Yeah, I've only played Angry Birds on my tablet (where you can keep it fully zoomed out and still see the details). I wouldn't want to bother with the scrolling and zooming on a small screen.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:31 PM on March 10, 2011


Rtha, you are my hero. I will sleep soundly tonight because all those pigs are very dead, with two birds to spare.
posted by lydhre at 4:31 PM on March 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"'By ripping off 'Crush the Castle' and a million other slingshot-style games?

Don't get me wrong, Angry Birds is great, but it's just a highly polished derivative work like World of Warcraft.'

Unless a game invents a new genre, that's true of nearly all of them. Most of the best games of all time are like that. Doom, Half-Life, Starcraft, etc. are all just refinements and derivatives of already-existing genres."


Argh, let's not do this. This is not what's important, and it's not a useful line of discussion. It's not about how much originality vs. ripoff. The question is, what did they add or do differently? For example, DOOM rather famously added the vertical dimension to early FPS gameplay. And what element of it was right place, right time?

I have no idea why Angry Birds is so popular. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than trying to play a crush-the-castle game without pixel-level precision (like what I get from my mouse). But arguing over whether it's original or a ripoff (hint: it's not either/or) doesn't get you any closer to understanding the answer.
posted by Eideteker at 9:09 PM on March 10, 2011


Come on, now. Angry Birds is popular because it is cartoony, cute, has funny sound effects, crisp graphics, and you get to smash things.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 PM on March 10, 2011


What pisses me off is that there's so much Angry Bird available for smartphones that I can't get on my PS3.

Yes you can. Loot it as a PSP Minis from the PSN store. It's every bit as usable on a PS3 as it is on a PSP.
But, it handles differently because PS3 is not a touchscreen system... you'd think the DS would get it first among the consoles.
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 12:36 AM on March 11, 2011


I should have mentioned it's only the Android version that has ads

Nope! The PAID HD Ipad version has ads.
posted by inigo2 at 10:13 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Angry Birds....The MOVIE
posted by cashman at 9:53 AM on March 27, 2011


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