Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Feast For Geeks, Angry Birds Star Wars Is A Fun Video Game!

The Good: Fun, Can be won, Free, Smart
The Bad: Pay levels and advertisements are annoying, Still under development
The Basics: Combining the best aspect of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Star Wars is a clever continuation of Rovio’s hit game francise!

Back when I was writing a technical blog for a company that very much did not appreciate my talents, I wrote an article about how Angry Birds was helping to teach young people physics – whether they wanted to learn it or not! My wife got me into Angry Birds and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

So, when Rovio released Angry Birds Star Wars, it was utterly unsurprising that the moment she downloaded it for me, I became obsessed with beating it. Unfortunately for fans of Angry Birds and Star Wars, Angry Birds Star Wars is still a work in progress and some of it is not free.


Angry Birds Star Wars is a continuation of the popular puzzle game Angry Birds with characters, backgrounds, and forms that represent the Star Wars universe. As a result, the Imperial Pigs have invaded Tatooine, constructed a Death Star, and landed AT-AT like machines on Hoth. The player uses Angry Birds that have the likenesses and skills of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Princess Leia to destroy the constructs of the Empire and kill the Darth Vader, Stormtrooper, TIE Fighter, Tusken Raider, Snowtrooper, Death Star Trooper, and AT-AT Driver Pigs!

Like the traditional Angry Birds and the continuation Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Star Wars has the player fling the angry birds in an arc from a slingshot to hit the constructs which collapse and kill the pigs. Players are given a set number of pigs for each level, in a set order, and only pass the level when all of the pigs on a level are killed. Different pig characters have advantages for breaking certain materials or affecting the balance of the items they collide with. In the space levels, the Angry Birds must use rotational motion from gravity fields to swirl around planets in order to hit the targets.


Set in the universe of Star Wars (reviewed here!) , during the original Trilogy, players progress from the invasion of Tatooine as the Imperial Pigs search for R2-D2 and C-3PO. Lightly based on Star Wars, one plays with Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo birds through Tatooine. After they reach the death star, they are joined by Chewbacca.

On Hoth, Princess Leia joins the team and using lightsabers to melt ice and blowing up boxes of TNT to destroy AT-ATs leads to victory.

Game Progression

Angry Birds Star Wars is effectively a puzzle game, so the challenges that the teams of Angry Birds have to solve become progressively more difficult. The Tattoine level has forty boards, all of which are planet-bound, operating with pretty standard Earthlike physics. The Death Star level is also forty boards, which include both inside (essentially land-bound) boards and orbital levels, which require one to use angry birds as projectiles flinging around planets, spatial bodies and gravity fields. The Hoth level is supposed to be forty levels, but is currently only twenty. Nineteen of them are planetbound, but when the Rebels escape the war machines on Hoth, they end up fleeing into space where the puzzles include destroying Star Destroyer-like constructs. That level is damn difficult and that is where the game ends . . . for now. New boards are forthcoming.

There is a Path Of The Jedi level, which is Dagobah, but after the first level, one must pay to continue and I would not do that.

For succeeding in the other levels, there is a bonus level which utilizes R2-D2 and his electrocution abilities and C-3P0 and his ability to blow apart into several pieces, which one may progress through only by acquiring the star rewards at the completion of prior boards. The bonus level is more aggravating than extraordinary.


The Angry Birds Star Wars game was designed for tablet computers like the iPad (reviewed here!) and smartphones. I played it on the Verizon HTC Thunderbolt my wife owns. On the tiny screen, the graphics have color, depth and shading for the backgrounds, but rely on the small scale to not have to include incredible detailing on the characters or forms. Even so, everything is exceptionally clear, recognizable, and basically look like a cartoon as one plays.

The sound effects are accurate to the sound effects on the original Star Wars for things like blaster bolts and lightsabers and Angry Birds for the shrieking of the poor projectile birds.

Annoyingly, at least on the version I played, in the Hoth level, advertisements popped up for sales at Toys R’ Us, so Rovio, Lucasfilm, and Verizon seem to be happy to use Angry Birds Star Wars as a pretty obvious merchandising ploy for loads of stuff.


Because Angry Birds Star Wars is a complex puzzle game, replayability is based on how well one does their first time through. On several levels, I was gratified to finally pass the board and move on. However, to unlock more bonus levels, one must go back and do better and earn more stars. As a result, Angry Birds Star Wars actually has decent replayability as one works to go from simple accomplishment to more clever reasoning of the solution to use less effort (and birds) to achieve the same goals.


The Angry Birds Star Wars may not be complete and may annoyingly require funds to get everything out of it, but it is a fun video game that smartly incorporates the Star Wars franchise into the Angry Birds game mechanic. Anyone who likes Star Wars, video games, puzzle games, and/or Angry Birds will find this to be a worthwhile way to waste away the hours. Sadly, for the time it took me to beat the Angry Birds Star Wars, my productivity writing and the attention I gave my loving wife who hooked me up to the game, suffered. Be forewarned!

For other game reviews, please be sure to visit my reviews of:
Star Trek 25th Anniversary For Gameboy
Lord Of The Rings Trivial Pursuit
Star Wars Customizable Card Game Premier Edition


For other video game reviews, please check out my index page on the subject by visiting my Software Review Index Page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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