Angry Birds

Common Sense Media says

Popular knock-down-blocks app pits birds against pigs.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Angry Birds fits well into the category of "easy to play, difficult to master." With lots of trial and error, though, you can make it through the game's many challenging puzzles. There are now 240 levels. The Mighty Eagle makes things easier, though, in that you can use the giant bird as a sort of cheat to get past levels that have you otherwise stumped.

Violence & scariness

Cartoony birds launch themselves out of slingshots to break through wood, glass, and stone obstacles -- and ultimately to flatten evil pigs. When the pigs are defeated, they disappear in a puff of smoke. If they are damaged by falling debris, but not entirely destroyed, the pigs will develop bruised, black eyes. Available as an in-app purchase is the Mighty Eagle character -- a giant bird that crashes down to smash pretty much everything onscreen.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Some very angry chirping. We can be happy it's not translated.

Consumerism

If you get stuck on a tricky level, you can buy the Mighty Eagle as an in-app purchase; it will wipe out the board so you can proceed to the next level. Mighty Eagle costs $.99 and can only be used once per hour, but once you buy it, you have it forever. Also, you'll see ads for other apps on both the game's home screen and the pause screen every time you need to stop for a moment. The free version of the app contains third-party ads.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can opt in to Crystal, an interactive network that allows users to upload real avatar photos; create a profile; add friends; set location; post scores on leaderboards, Facebook, and Twitter; and post status messages. Users can opt in to Game Center to track achievements instead; it does not have connections to other social media within the app.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Angry Birds is a fun, addictive puzzle game based around 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, a 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 kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • physics
  • gravity
  • momentum

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • hypothesis-testing
  • solving puzzles

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Launching birds at a stack of pigs and watching them tumble to the ground is undeniably satisfying. Also, the cartoony graphics and tongue-in-cheek humor make you laugh rather than cringe.

Learning Approach

Angry Birds teaches kids about real-world physics concepts through hands-on, trial-and-error puzzle-solving.

Support

Easy to play, difficult to master. The Mighty Eagle makes things easier, in that you can use the giant bird as a sort of cheat to get past levels that otherwise have you stumped.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • physics
  • gravity
  • momentum

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • hypothesis-testing
  • solving puzzles

Kids can learn about gravity, momentum, and trajectory, as well as how different physical surfaces are more or less destructible than others (ice, for example, is more breakable and easy to move than rock). Kids can also use momentum to make objects slam into each other and cause destructive chain reactions. Angry Birds allows kids to observe real-world physics concepts through hands-on, trial-and-error puzzle-solving.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free-$.99
Pricing structure:Free, Paid
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

This review of Angry Birds was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous August 24, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Fun app for everyone

Very fun app, good old fashion cartoony fun! ;)
Kid, 11 years old February 13, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

I liked it but it was very addicting

I like how it isnt very violent but is still fun.
Kid, 11 years old May 17, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Addictive & Fun

Angry Birds is SOOOO addictive you won't believe it. There's a gazillion levels and they are SO easy to play, my six year old brother plays it! Although, for kids who don't like seeing road-kill or anything, they might think it sad or too violent when they see pigs and birds poofing away. (Dying) It's definitely not too violent for kids 5-6+ though. It's very fun and you'll probably play it for hours. Great sound affects.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written bydr duck June 21, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

One of the best apps avalable in the app store

:D
What other families should know
Educational value

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