Angry Birds Star Wars II
Angry Birds with lightsabers? That’s reason enough to download Angry Birds Stars Wars II right now! Even though it’s the seventh entry in the long running series, this might just be the best one. Whether you have played them all or are entirely new to the series like me (gasp!), it’s clear that this is easily one of the top free games for iPad today.
It appears that not much of the core gameplay has changed since the original, but for you fellow first-timers, here’s a quick rundown. Each stage is like a tiny physics puzzle. You fire your angry birds from a slingshot in an attempt to hit evil pigs and knock pieces of buildings onto them. There are also other objects you can hit such as TNT boxes, boulders, and catapults, all of which cause tremendous damage to the structures around them. If you can clear out all the pigs before you run out of birds, you win and get to move onto the next stage.
I, uh, have also not seen the Star Wars Episodes I through III movies (double gasp!) that this game is based on. However, I can say that if you have even a casual understanding of Star Wars, you’ll greatly appreciate the small touches of charm in this game. It’s hilarious to see these famous characters in bird form. The background graphics are excellent, brightly colored, and depict various locations from the movies. Even the sound effects make you smile. For example, the C3PO bird lets out an anxious scream whenever he’s launched from the slingshot.
Each bird also comes with a special ability inspired by the movies. Part of the fun of this game is discovering them all, so I’ll only highlight a few. Some characters swing a lightsaber or shoot lasers from a blaster rifle. The C3PO bird breaks apart into several pieces that do damage separately. Yoda does a crazy, continual spinning attack as he bounces around the screen. And the Emperor shoots lightning that passes through metal blocks and multiple enemies.
Yes, that’s right, the evil Emperor! Unique to this edition of the game is the ability to play as the enemy pigs and, likewise, the Star Wars villains. The gameplay is exactly the same except that now you’re trying to destroy the birds. All this really means is that there are more characters to discover, special powers to use, and stages to beat.
It’s quite fun just to clear the levels in Angry Birds. However, there are also several more things to look out for as you play. Most stages have coins floating around which you can collect by hitting them with either birds or pieces of buildings. Several stages also have special items that help unlock more levels or even alternate paths on the main map. The locations of many of these items are in tricky spots, so it can be fun trying to figure out how exactly to reach them.
One of the greatest challenges is trying to achieve a high enough score to obtain three stars on a given level. It’s typically best to use as few birds as possible since remaining birds provide you with a large bonus. These simple levels then become rather tricky as you try to figure out how to cause the most damage with a single bird. Sometimes you’ll want to hit special crystals along the way to pick up more points. Other times you’ll want to try breaking chains in order to release trap doors or to topple buildings in a certain direction. It all adds a deeper element to the game, one that challenge-lovers are sure to appreciate.
There’s also an extra incentive to getting high scores on each level. Each type of bird has a special stage that unlocks upon reaching a certain score threshold. These interesting stages take place underwater where the effects of gravity are now opposite. Furthermore, obtaining points also leads to the completion of certain achievement tasks which will reward you with more coins.
Coins are used to purchase different types of birds, whether hero or villain. There are a ton of characters available and many have different special abilities. You can either buy consumable birds or pay a lot more coins to unlock an infinite amount of them. Coins seem to flow in pretty consistently given how often and easily achievements pop up. However, you can also purchase coins with real money if you want to obtain a certain type of bird faster.
The one unfortunate drawback to this game is the aggressive use of ads. I don’t mind the option to watch an ad in order to acquire a special bird type. I also don’t mind the occasional ad. However, the 15+ second videos that can’t be skipped and that appear after almost every stage had me quickly switching my iPad to airplane mode.
If you have any interest in Angry Birds or Star Wars, you’ll love this game. Even if you don’t, this is still a must-have game. It’s well-polished with tons of levels, lots to unlock, and many challenges to beat. Angry Birds Star Wars II is the latest and greatest in the series and easily one of the best free iPad games out there.