Angry Birds Star Wars Game Poster Image

Angry Birds Star Wars

(i)

 

The birds are back with puzzle game spin-off for TVs.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn how to solve projectile-physics puzzles with trial and error. They'll also learn how to apply the right amount of force, at a special angle, and to take advantage of the unique bird's powers at the right time -- all to destroy the enemy in as few moves as possible. Star Wars Angry Birds lets kids play cooperatively to solve physics puzzlers involving wacky sci-fi birds.

Positive messages

This lighthearted puzzle game combines the physics-based challenges of Angry Birds with the popular Star Wars movies. You play as birds that exact revenge on pigs. The message of "revenge" may not be the best, but it's meant to be a silly good-versus-evil theme, which is also part of the Star Wars universe. Since you're the good guys, for the most part, it's not a bad message either.

Positive role models

There isn't any background information -- history, motives, or character traits -- given to any of the bird-like Star Wars characters, but gamers can infer some of these based on the movies.

Ease of play

The games are pretty easy to play using the video game controllers for each of the respective systems, but it's arguably not as easy as using your finger on a tablet, smartphone, or iPod touch. The Xbox 360 version includes support for Kinect for in-air movements (similar to Angry Birds Trilogy), while the Nintendo Wii U version utilizes the GamePad screen.

Violence & scariness

Much of the game is rooted in cartoon violence as a group of bird-like Star Wars characters launch an attack on pig-like Star Wars characters. Influenced by the Angry Birds mobile games and Star Wars movies, you can destroy enemies and their fortresses, using light sabers and other weapons, and both explode in a plume of smoke.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game borrows from two successful pop-culture phenomena: Angry Birds mobile games and Star Wars movies. 

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.

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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?

QUALITY

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?

Game details

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
Developer:Activision
Release date:October 29, 2013
Genre:Puzzle
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

This review of Angry Birds Star Wars was written by

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