Angry Birds Star Wars
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angry Birds Star Wars -- now for consoles -- does contain cartoon violence like its mobile brethren, but it's not graphic, realistic, or excessive. Because of its sci-fi setting, taking place on planets and in outer space, the weapons used are light sabers and the like. This console version is different from the mobile, since it adds new features. There's also a bit of comic mischief with a cartoon that shows a character's nose dripping mucous on a glass window.
What's it about?
The mega-popular kids franchise known as Angry Birds is now on consoles. With more than a dozen smartphone and tablet games, stuffed animals, licensed apparel, and an upcoming TV show and movie, there doesn't seem to be an end to the craze. For the uninitiated, the original game focused on a group of scheming green pigs that stole eggs from a bird's nest. Now the winged warriors are calling for revenge. The physics-based 2-D puzzle game has you flinging fowl out of a giant slingshot from the left side of the screen to the right, and you must aim just so, with the ideal amount of force, to wipe out all the pigs within the allotted number of turns per level.
Based on the Angry Birds Star Wars mobile game, ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS comes to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Wii U -- as well as portable editions playable on Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita (we reviewed the Wii U version). As with the smartphone/tablet version, this off-shoot fuses Angry Birds gameplay with Star Wars characters and locations, therefore you'll see bird versions of Anakin, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and more. This console version adds additional levels -- 20 more to the 200 found in the mobile version -- plus there's now a co-op (cooperative) and competitive mode for two to four players.
Is it any good?
Yes and no. As far as the game is concerned, it translates pretty well to the big screen, but not all consoles let you control the game the same way. The Xbox 360 version, for example, includes support for the Kinect peripheral, whereas the Wii U utilizes the GamePad. In our testing, controlling the birds wasn't as accurate or fun as using your finger on a tablet. But hey, it's still fun! Also, Activision and Rovio added more content than was found in the original Angry Birds Star Wars mobile game, and, for the first time, there's both a co-op (two players working together on one level) and a head-to-head mode. Plus, there are achievements and trophies, leaderboards, and, for all consoles but the Wii, high-definition graphics.
The biggest issue is the price. For a game that's $0.99 to download from the App Store and Google Play, charging $30 to $40 (depending on the version) is just ridiculous -- yes, even with the extra levels and multiplayer modes. At best, this should be a $10 to $15 title. Even hardcore fans of the franchise should wait until the price drops.
Families can talk about...
Just because you can port a mobile game onto a television screen, should you? Is Angry Birds Star Wars built for smartphones and tablets? Does squeezing the characters onto a a non-touch television seem odd or awkward? Is it a smart idea to rerelease the popular game for TVs and add new features?
What are other puzzle games that you like?
|Platforms:||Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360|
|Subjects:||Math: estimation, probability |
Science: measurement, physics, substance properties
|Skills:||Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork |
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, prediction, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: goal-setting, work to achieve goals
|Price:||$29.99 to $39.99|
|Available online?||Not available online|
|Release date:||October 29, 2013|
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Horses and farm animals, Robots, Science and nature, Space and aliens|
|ESRB rating:||E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence |