A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn a little about physics, logic, and strategy in this well-designed puzzle game. Players need to analyze each tower and evaluate their birds' abilities before setting out to demolish structures in as efficient a manner as possible. They'll be forced to think about physics, including the properties of various materials, the effects of gravity, and the force of explosions. Angry Birds Trilogy is intended to be a wacky physics puzzler, and it does a good job of putting players' minds to work.
This game rewards players who take the time to analyze and come up with solutions to basic physics problems. It focuses on destruction rather than creation, but does so in a cartoonish fashion, and without depicting any human violence.
Positive Role Models
The only characters in the game are birds, pigs, and monkeys, and none of them speak or possess much in the way of personality. All we know about them is that the pigs like to steal eggs, and that the birds will smash through anything to pummel the pigs black and blue and retrieve their eggs.
Ease of Play
The Xbox 360 edition offers simple movement and voice controls via Kinect, though the latter proves frustrating due to a delay in voice recognition. Better accessibility and precision is found using a controller's analog thumbstick to fling birds and a button to activate bird powers. Note: The PlayStation 3 and Nintendo 3DS editions (which we did not try) support PlayStation Move and touch screen controls, respectively.
Violence & Scariness
Piggies and monkeys sometimes appear to have black and blue eyes after getting hit by birds, debris, and the force of explosions. They disappear in a puff of smoke once defeated.
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Products & Purchases
This game is part of the sprawling and ubiquitous Angry Birds franchise, which includes various toys, games, and even an upcoming film. One of the three games included is a tie-in with the movie Rio.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angry Birds Trilogy is a compilation of three popular physics-based puzzle games long available for various phone and tablet platforms. It's extremely accessible to start, and safe for pretty much all ages (the worst it gets are some cartoonish piggy faces with black eyes), but the puzzles become much more challenging -- perhaps too challenging for younger kids -- as the game wears on. Parents should note, too, that kids who play the game may be more easily enticed by other Angry Birds products, including stuffed animals, card games, and an upcoming movie.
Is It Any Good?
There's little denying this is a fun game. Rovio knows how to make clever puzzles that appeal to our urge to strategize while at the same time satisfying our primal interest in smashing stuff. And the game's controls translate quite well to a traditional controller, affording accurate aiming and speedy menu selections.
However, it's also a case of overkill -- not to mention over-pricing. Do people really need to play a game meant for a 4-inch screen on a 50-inch (or bigger) home theatre system? And do they really need to pay $40 for the privilege? (Keep in mind that you likely purchased all of these games for a pittance for your phone or tablet.) There's little wrong with Angry Birds Trilogy from a technical perspective, but it would have been better delivered as a $5 or $10 downloadable game rather than a $40 boxed title. Wait for the bargain bins.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.