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 Star Wars II is the sequel to the incredibly popular mobile game franchise's take on the Star Wars universe. The fun and challenging physics puzzles follow the same formula, combining physics, magnetism, and gravitational pull, depending on the level. The app's cartoonish violence is unlikely to upset anyone. Still, it seems harder to get three stars on the puzzles this time around, and there is a heavier commercial focus. In-app purchases of in-game currency run from $2 to $100, and players can buy real-world toys to unlock characters in the game through QR codes.
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What's it about?
Kids drag and tap a 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, magnetism, 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 each level. Certain birds have special powers; for example, Jango Fett fires a blaster, whereas Jar Jar uses his tongue to latch onto things and change his trajectory. Separately purchased Angry Birds Star Wars II toys come with Telepod figurines, which feature a small QR code on the bottom. When players purchase one and put a Telepod on a device's camera, that figurine is transferred into the game.
Is it any good?
We've seen so many incarnations of Angry Birds at this point, it's hard to change anyone's mind: People like the game, or they don't. If you're in the like camp, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. The formula remains largely unchanged, but there are enough new twists -- such as young Anakin's pod-racer power or Jar Jar's tongue trapeze -- that it won't feel like a carbon copy. If you're not a fan, there's nothing here that will change your mind.
The commercial aspects of Angry Birds are ramped up this time. Although points unlock characters, the ability to buy points for up to $100 feels like a cash grab. Also, though the ability to unlock characters via store-bought Telepods is a unique take on the Skylanders/Disney Infinity movement to blend real and virtual toy worlds, it feels somewhat out of place in the app world -- as if the goal of the game is to move merchandise rather than to focus on gameplay.
Talk to your kids about ...
Help kids build their own structures and knock them over. How can the physics principles learned in the app be applied to these real-life models?
If your kids follow the Star Wars franchise, ask them how the plot, setting, and characters and their abilities in this game compare to those in other Star Wars titles.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Science: motion, physics
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: prediction, solving puzzles
- Price: Free-$.99
- Release date: September 18, 2013
- Category: Puzzle Games
- Size: 44.30 MB
- Publisher: Rovio Entertainment Ltd
- Version: 1.0.1
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.3 and up
For kids who love Angry Birds
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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.