A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Angry Birds is a fun, addictive puzzle game based on destruction and revenge (the birds want to get back at the pigs for stealing their eggs). That violent-sounding theme, though, is played out in an incredibly cartoony way, à la Looney Tunes. Angry Birds connects to an online gaming community called the Crystal network. On Crystal, which connects to both Facebook and Twitter, players can post scores and achievements, and they can challenge online friends to games. Parents should also note that kids may be tempted to buy a Mighty Eagle as an in-app purchase when they get stuck on a level (this is a one-time purchase, though -- not something they'd need to keep buying every time they get stymied).
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, they'll learn how gravity and momentum affect objects of different consistencies (such as ice, wood, and rock). 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?
ANGRY BIRDS gives players the same kind of visceral, destructive joy as a console game like Boom Blox. Launching items at a stack of blocks or planks, and watching them tumble to the ground is undeniably satisfying. Of course, here, the items you're launching are birds. And the blocks you're knocking down are landing on pigs. But the cartoony graphics and tongue-in-cheek humor does make you laugh at the destruction rather than cringe at it. The game can be quite challenging, and seems to get more so with each successive update. New levels almost always seem harder than the previous ones -- and there are currently 240 levels. However, the addition of the earth-shaking Mighty Eagle is a boon to stuck and frustrated players. It also provides replay value for levels already beaten, since there are all new Mighty Eagle-specific challenges that have also been added.
Talk to your kids about ...
Help kids build their own structures and knock them over. How can the physics principles learned in Angry Birds be applied to these real-life models?
Contrast the physics of this game with its sequel Angry Birds Space. How are the "floaty" physics of Angry Birds Space different?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Science: gravity, momentum, physics
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: hypothesis-testing, solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: Free-$.99
- Pricing structure: Paid, Free (The free version of the app contains third-party ads.)
- Release date: March 17, 2011
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Publisher: Rovio Entertainment Ltd
- Version: 1.5.3
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later, Android 1.6 and up
For kids who love puzzle apps
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.