If you haven’t heard of Angry Birds yet, I could make a joke about the primitiveness of your living conditions for the past 4 years, but then I’d only be making fun of myself.
… Angry Birds Friends is not a bad place to start
This is my first introduction to the game, and ‘Angry Birds Friends’ definitely lives up to the reputation that the series has earned itself as a fun and addicting game. If you are among those who, like me, have avoided this addiction until now, then Angry Birds Friends is not a bad place to start.
The first time you open the game, you might feel a little confused. Despite the brief tutorial, there are many game variants and menu options to choose from that go without explanation. The game also seems to assume the player has at least heard of Angry Birds, since aside from a brief visual demonstration, there is next to no actual text-based instruction regarding your objective.
Stick with it, however, and you’ll find this confusion will pass instantly the moment you jump into the game and start catapulting these avian grumps into fragile domino-like constructions.
Angry Birds Friends - OVERVIEW
You’ll soon realize that the lack of textual instructions lends to the game’s brilliant simplicity. Even a toddler could watch the brief 2-second animations and get flinging away with glee.
That’s not to say the game is only for the young. Though it is easy to enjoy, it can be quite challenging at times even for a self-proclaimed bird-flinging master like myself. You are given a set number of birds, each with their own special abilities and attributes, and must tear down as much of the structure as possible while hitting or crushing the enemy pigs within. Bonus points are awarded for completing a level without using all of your available birds. It sounds easy enough, but you might find yourself scratching your head and replaying levels to find the best use of your birds to get the top score.
Of course, if you ever find the game is too challenging, you also have the option of using power-ups to make the level easier. These power-ups are limited, but more can be acquired with ‘Bird Coins’ that are either won in weekly tournaments, or purchased with real money. Though this feature is helpful for those who wish to spend money on the game, it is frankly unnecessary, and to some degree unfair. Having to use your wits and perception to find the best strategy is what makes the game fun, and having the ability to buy your way to a higher score reduces the authenticity of the challenge.
Another wonderful feature that is spoiled by the purchasable power-ups is the game’s competitive side. Like a game you’d see at the old arcade, the high scores are displayed at the top right of the window, where you can compare your score to that of any Facebook friends who might have played as well. Part of the app’s addictive appeal is the feeling you get when you finally beat an old college roommate or a family in-law, only to realize there’s another higher score waiting to be challenged. The inclusion of Tournaments also adds to this appeal, as friends can compete in special stages for the top score of the week, giving them the chance to earn bird coins instead of buy them. This competitiveness is spoiled however, for anyone could purchase extra power-ups to give themselves an unfair advantage. Since there’s no penalty for using power-ups, and no way of knowing if a competitor used them, you can never know for sure if you lost that number one score in a fair fight.
These downsides are negligible in comparison to the hours you can spend playing Angry Birds Friends. The simple and addictive level design is sure to have you saying “just one more…” again and again.
Angry Birds - STRATEGY
There are 8 different types of birds to fling, each with their own special abilities, and you’ll have to use them as strategically as possible to get the high score.
Red – This is your basic angry bird. Red has no special abilities, and he’s not the biggest or heaviest bird, but if angled correctly he might just be all you need.
Chuck – This yellow flyer is similar to red in size and strength, but also has the added ability of speeding up midflight by clicking anywhere on the screen. You can use this ability to get an extra bit of distance with your throw, or to add some additional force right before impact.
The Blues – The ultimate three-for-one deal, the blues are launched as a single bird, but split into three after clicking on the screen. Since they’re smaller than most of their flying friends, they don’t pack as much punch, but splitting them up at the right moment can help you take out multiple targets at once.
Matilda – This white hen is bigger than average, but her real talent is her ability to lay explosive eggs mid-flight by clicking the screen. This ability can be used to great effect if timed right, as Matilda gets an upward boost right after ejecting her omelette bomb, which I have coined ‘bomblette’.
Hal – This long-beaked green boomerang of a bird has the ability to swing around mid flight and hit the enemy from behind. Click the screen at the right moment, and he’ll arc around into tough to reach spots for maximum damage.
Orange – This one might seem harmless at first glance, but click on the screen, and he can inflate into the biggest of the angry birds. This, however, does not affect the force of his impact, and you should be careful to get him into the right position before inflating him.
Bomb – The name says it all. Bomb might not fly very far, but get him to the right spot, and his explosion will wreak enough havoc to tear the level apart.
Terence – Red’s giant counterpart, this fat bird is heavy enough to knock down any wall. Just be sure to fling him with force, as it will take a lot to get him off the ground.
If you purchase bird coins for your game, you can also unlock additional birds such as wingman, or the mighty eagle. Spend their powers wisely however, as their uses are limited.
Angry Birds - TIPS, HINTS & CHEATS
- If you’re really going for that top score, you’ll need to learn about what objects to hit, and which ones to avoid. Purple orbs can be useful; pop one, and all the surrounding objects will float for a second, after which they crash to the ground doing additional damage and hopefully crushing one of your targets.
- Red balls are super bouncy, and will bounce almost indefinitely, crashing into things, until they bounce off screen or the level is won.
- Balloons usually support key parts of the structure, and popping them can bring the attached objects down to rain mayhem on those below.
- Keep an eye open for TNT boxes, as a direct hit will cause them to explode resulting in extra points.
- If you see a pink bubblegum-like wall, don’t bother trying to knock it down. Instead, throw from the right angle to bounce your birds off the side and into hard-to-reach areas.
- Remember that wooden and glass blocks are much easier to break than stone ones, so think carefully and aim for structural weak-points to take the whole thing down.
- If you’re going to use power-ups, the “birdquake” can be a powerful upgrade. For instance, in level 13 of the “Pig Tales” single-player story, it is capable of crushing all the pigs at once without the use of a single bird!
- If your aim is in need of assistance, the sling scope will predict the flight path of your bird, to help you land the perfect shot, and king sling can upgrade your slingshot for additional damage. You can see all the power-ups and what they do by selecting “Shop” in the lower-right menu.