Angry Birds Space
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angry Birds Space is the first true sequel to the incredibly successful Angry Birds. It features the same fun and challenging physics puzzles that made the first game and its spin-offs so popular, but the levels now take place in outer space where objects are affected by gravitational pull in ways that shake up the gameplay significantly. There are 60 new free levels spread across two worlds, plus 15 bonus levels. An additional world can be unlocked by paying another $.99. Might Eagle power-ups are now pay-per-use rather than permanently unlocked by a one-time purchase as in previous games, but players can also earn them in-game. The app's cartoonish violence is unlikely to upset anyone. Users can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional. HD versions for the iPad and certain Android devices are available for $2.99. From now through April, players can unlock a bonus Golden Egg level by participating in MTV's "A Thin Line" anti-bullying campaign.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
Engagement, Approach, Support
The game, as evidenced by the popularity of the whole series, is addictively fun.
Kids may need some explanation about the gravitational pull of larger objects related to smaller objects to reinforce the physics concepts.
The dotted line showing the trajectory helps players master the level and also reinforces the physics behind the game. The NASA link is fascinating; kids may be more eager to delve into it when they're not in the thick of the action.
What's it about?
Kids drag and tap their finger on the screen to aim and launch birds out of a giant slingshot to collapse structures and destroy the pigs that are hidden on and inside them. By observing how the birds behave in flight, players learn how gravity and momentum affect objects in motion. Players can retry a level as many times as they want without penalty, leaving them free to experiment with different strategies until they've mastered the level.
Is it any good?
The birds in ANGRY BIRDS SPACE all sport futuristic new looks (no doubt a new line of Angry Birds Space plushies is already on the way), but the sequel offers more than just cosmetic changes. The outer space setting introduces the new physics concept of gravitational pull, so birds that are launched out of the slingshot can now curve around large planets, and crash into asteroids and other obstacles to push them and cause chain reactions. The result is gameplay that is familiar but different, and that challenges players to come up with new and increasingly creative solutions for each puzzle. Other minor -- but welcome -- enhancements include new birds (such as one that turns anything it touches to ice) and an aiming guide that shows what the trajectory of the bird will be before it launches, which improves accuracy and cuts down on wasted turns. Angry Birds Space is an enjoyable sequel that takes the series in a refreshing new direction.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Visit your local space museum or science center so kids can learn more about gravity and outer space.
Contrast the physics of this game with the first Angry Birds game. How does gravitational pull change the way objects behave?