The world’s favorite flock of cartoon birds is back! Angry Birds 2 is the first numbered sequel to the mega-popular original. It takes everything you liked about Angry Birds, and adds enough new elements to make for a fun way to pass some time. Oh yeah, and it’s free.
Angry Birds 2 was teased for a long time as Angry Birds: Under Pigstruction on the Canadian App Store, but it has now been officially released as the sequel. It’s available on Android and iOS as a free download, with in-app purchases.
Improving the Classics
Angry Birds’ impressive physics engine is carried forward in this new title, with the same sling-to-shoot mechanism. Your objective, as usual, is to catapult your birds to destroy the towers that the evil pigs have built, taking down all the pigs.
Each bird has different powers. For example, the Blues will multiply into three when you tap the screen, and efficiently crash through ice structures. Chuck, the yellow bird, will zoom at full speed when you tap, taking down all the wooden structures in his path. Every level starts with one “card” or turn of each bird you have unlocked. As you progress, you’ll unlock new birds, which you will have to use wisely to finish a level.
The levels also get tougher as you progress, and introduce new elements like fans to change your flight direction and portals to go from one place to another. Levels 10, 20, 30 and so on are boss fights, where you need to take out a gigantic pig. You should remember these handy Angry Birds tips and tricks to get through the more difficult puzzles.
You earn crystals for how well you do in every level, which can be used to unlock more cards, replay a level from where you failed, and purchase other in-app bonuses.
What’s New in Angry Birds 2
Multi-segment levels: Unlike its predecessor, each level of Angry Birds 2 has multiple segments. So be judicious with the cards you hold in hand. Once you take down a structure, the level will shift right to reveal another tower you need to destroy. Some levels have up to four towers!
A New Challenge Every Time: In the previous Angry Birds games, the level was always the same whenever you started it. Angry Birds 2 changes that by altering the structure of the forts every time, so you can’t just use the same strategy again and again, tweaking it till you get it right. You’ll need to use the ol’ noodle every time, making this one of the best puzzle game in the sling-to-destroy genre.
Destructo-Meter: At the top-right of your screen, you’ll see the new destructo-meter. Angry Birds 2 encourages you to cause maximum damage to the towers, not just take out the pigs. Fill up the destructo-meter and you’ll get an extra bird card or a spell.
Spells: Spells are basically super-powers. The Golden Duck, for example, will make it rain ducks all over the level, destroying pigs. Another spell, the Pig Inflater, will increase the size of all the pigs in the level. It’s pretty cool, and you will have to use these wisely to beat several levels. Here’s a tip: save some for the bosses!
In-App Purchases: Angry Birds 2 is free, but well, nothing in the world is truly free. You have five lives at any point, and if you run out, you can purchase extra lives. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for the lives to replenish over time, much like in Candy Crush Saga or several other games. You can also purchase crystals using real money, and then spend those crystals in the game.
Ads: Apart from purchases, you can also rely on ads. For example, if you fail a level, Angry Birds 2 will give you a reprieve of unlocking one more card for a retry, if you’re willing to watch a 15-second video ad. Initially, I was a little peeved at this and feared freemium was ruining the game like with Plants vs. Zombies 2, but as I played on, it became part of the experience and I didn’t really mind it. That said, a $1.99 “unlock all” ad-free option would have been a far better experience.
Multiplayer Arena: Angry Birds 2 lets you compete in an online leaderboard in the Arena, which is an endless level that you keep on playing till you run out of cards. You can be part of different leagues, depending on your skill level, and earn “feather” rewards each day. It’s a nice way of playing the game when you’re stuck in a certain level or if you enjoy some competition.
What’s Good and What’s Bad
Like with any game, Angry Birds 2 has plenty to celebrate and plenty to frustrate. The graphics and the soundtrack were my personal favorite. The game looks polished and developer Rovio has taken care of minor details. The 3D effect of pigs flying at you in an explosion is quite cool! The background score is fun, whimsical, and doesn’t get tiresome even with continuous play.
The game’s insistence on making you wait to play a turn when you run out of lives is tremendously annoying. Yes, I recognize that Rovio needs to make money and devised this as a way to do it, where the user regularly forks over some cash to replenish lives faster. But a one-time purchase of $1.99 would have been far better. Rather than doing it over and over, I ended up just waiting for the clock to run out.
As usual, if you’re downloading this game for your kids, we recommend that you disable in-app purchases to avoid unintentional charges.
Should You Download Angry Birds 2?
Yes. Seriously, if you like Angry Birds in general, if you like casual mobile games, or if you like puzzles, you should get Angry Birds 2 right now. It’s completely free, so it’s not even a question of wondering whether it’s worth the money.
Download: Angry Birds 2 on Android (Free)
Download: Angry Birds 2 on iPhone/iPad (Free)
Nothing for Windows or Mac, so you’ll have to make do with Angry Birds-like games for the PC.
Which Is Your Favorite Level?
Angry Birds 2 surprised me with how challenging it is. For two hours, I was stuck on level 34 and the satisfaction of getting past it was incredible. Tell us, which is your favorite level or most frustrating level in the game so far?