If there is one game which has defined gaming on the smartphone, it is Angry Birds, which is quite possibly the most addictive smash hit since Tetris. On the surface, the game concept sounds easy enough: use a slingshot to propel birds through the air and smash down structures where the evil pigs are hiding. The more damage you wreak, the more pigs you snag, and the less birds you use, the more points and stars you will get.
Simple right? Er….no, actually it isn’t. This game can be frustratingly difficult and extremely addictive – and therein lies the appeal.
Angry Birds is not just one game anymore. Its developers, Rovio, have now branched off into different incarnations of the Angry Birds universe and now you can even get an officially sanctioned (by George himself) Star Wars Angry Birds, as well as Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Space, and Angry Birds Friends. However, the one I am most addicted to is Angry Birds Rio.
Move Over, Pigs
Rio takes a different turn because the pigs take a break and are instead replaced by monkeys. You also have to free birds which give the appearance of being held as hostages. On some levels, they are seen inside locked cages, while on other levels, they are simply boxed inside the structure you have to smash. On the other side of the screen are the usual birds with their usual abilities, and your slingshot with which you have to work your magic.
There are 8 separate levels comprising of numerous missions, all taking place in a variety of locations including inside a plane (pictured below), at a market, an airfield, a carnival, a beach, and a jungle. As the game is called “Rio”, each level has a tropical feel to it, making you want to get your grass skirt on and do some hip jiggling.
As you can see at the top of the screen in the images above and below, you can buy what I call “jokers”, which are items you can use to help you gain the upper hand. These cost real money and you can buy them through the App Store as in-app purchases (the more you buy, the bigger the discount).
One thing which particularly ticks me off is that I have bought lots of jokers in another of the Angry Birds games but there is currently no way to transfer these jokers between different games. You would think that it wouldn’t be difficult to tie your purchases to your iOS or Android account. For this reasons I am not inclined to pay for jokers in Rio when I already have them in another game.
Another form of “joker” which can help you get through particularly difficult levels is the “Mighty Eagle” (it looks like a round eye button). You have to buy this as well, but unlike the other jokers this is a one-time purchase of 99 cents for “unlimited use”.
This is actually slightly misleading because once you have used the Mighty Eagle, you then have to wait one hour before you can use him again which is not quite “unlimited”. But the Mighty Eagle is worth having around because he will smash through scenery, monkeys and birds and clear the level for you. You won’t get any points for that level until you complete it unaided, but if you are stuck on one level, and you’re screaming obscenities at the dog, then using the Mighty Eagle and moving onto the next level may mean the difference between continued sanity and a future filled with alcohol and sobbing.
Her Name Is Rio
As you can see from the screenshots, Rio is slightly different to the usual Angry Birds games, but a lot of the same elements are still there: the structures, the crates of dynamite you need to hit to blow the whole house sky-high and enemies that taunt you are still present. There’s plenty of that satisfying feeling you get when you stop their self-righteous screeching dead in its tracks after hitting TNT and the whole edifice comes crashing down. Just the antidote for a stressful day at work!
So why is Rio better than regular Angry Birds? Well for a start, the regular Angry Birds games involve green pigs and nothing else. After a while, that starts to get a bit boring. Rio, on the other hand, livens things up a bit by introducing monkeys and captive birds, as well as bringing with it nice, bright sunny locales and some nice South American carnival music.
In fact, the original game looks rather stale and boring if you stack it up against the newer versions such as Star Wars (whose “Mighty Bird” equivalent is of course the Millenium Falcon).
Angry Birds Rio is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and for the PC. So whatever your platform, give it a go today. Rio is one of the better Angry Birds games out there right now, right up there with Star Wars. If you are looking for a fun introduction to the Angry Birds world, then you can’t go far wrong with this outing. It is loads of fun.
Which is your favourite Angry Birds game? Let us know in the comments what you think of this, and the others.