When I was growing up, my friends’ parents never really got gaming. Some might have appreciated that their kids loved playing games, and would still buy them the relevant equipment, but they never really understood why it excited us so much. I happened to be part of a, then, very select group. I had parents who figured it out perfectly. My Dad was never any good at playing any games but he enjoyed talking about them because he was forever fascinated by the progression of technology. It was my Mum, however, that turned into a major rival. In the good sense, of course.
As a kid, we would have battles to beat each other’s Tetris scores. We’d compete at games of Columns too, meeting up to work together to progress through Bubble Bobble (we never did beat it).
One of the most important things I believe I’ve ever been given is a set of parents that were constantly supportive and encouraging of what I set out to achieve. That’s continued right up until today.
With my father sadly no longer with us, my relationship with my mother is even stronger than it was before. Having pursued a potentially risky path of freelance writing, she’s always been there fully supportive. Whether it be by accepting that money is a little tight this month, or by making sure I’ve got a sandwich by my side while I struggle to meet a tight deadline. Of course, I do the same for her, but Sunday isn’t about me, it’s about her!
Crucially, she’s quite the solo gamer and tech enthusiast now. In recent years, she spent a few hundred hours playing through Dragon Quest VIII on the Playstation 2. Something that I’m rather proud of telling other gamers. More relevantly for readers of 148apps, perhaps, she’s unlocked and at least two-starred every single level of Angry Birds imaginable, and I don’t mean just standard Angry Birds. I’m talking standard, Space, Star Wars, Seasons and Rio. She’s a machine when it comes to flicking birds towards pigs.
We’ve got the one iPad between us which luckily isn’t too much of an issue, although it never stops either of us flocking to the Apple Store together to gaze at the new specimens. Sure, we both know that the iPad 2 is a very fine device in its own right but that doesn’t stop either of us eyeing up the size of the iPad Mini or pondering just how much faster the iPad 4 might seem. She’s got her own iPhone now too, having been given my “old” iPhone 4. It’s the perfect tool for her to play SpellTower while on the move, her language skills being far superior to mine.
She hasn’t quite delved into the apps world as much yet. She reckons it’s because she’s too busy. I reckon it’s because there’s always “just one more” level of Angry Birds to conquer.
I’m an extremely lucky person to have not only such a supportive mother, but one that is just as excited as me about new technology, gadgets and the wonders of the App Store.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. [And from all of us at 148Apps, too, Jen's mum! --Ed.]
Angry Birds Seasons looks to be visiting the circus in the nearing update, reports Pocket Gamer. An image has released (below) that shows one of the new levels, including piggies dressed up as magicians and clowns.
It’s Halloween Night tomorrow, and of course it’s time for the little ones to head outside and trick or treat, as well as time for the rest of us to celebrate some scary fun of our own. What better way to gear up for an evening full of apple bobbing, costume wearing, or several other activities of horror-themed debauchery than to grab a few Halloween-flavored games?
To help, we’ve pulled together a list, with the help of the kind folks over at Touch Arcade and Pocket Gamer, of spooky sales, awfully-free apps, and spooktacularly updated apps and games for your viewing and downloading pleasure. Don’t blame us, though, if you binge on too many apps and end up feeling nauseous. Consider yourself warned.
Everybody’s favorite iOS game, Angry Birds has taken note that it’s Halloween (or Ham’O’Ween as they like to call it) this coming Monday and in honor of such a great ocassion, Angry Birds Seasons has been updated to include 30 new levels, a bunch of new achievements and an all new orange bird! Very exciting stuff indeed.
The new levels need no introduction really. We all know and love the tried and tested formula of what to expect from the game. This time round, they’re Halloween themed with pumpkin patches, creepy skeletons and jack-o-lanterns out to heighten the mood. How about the new bird though? Well, he’s orange and unfortunately he doesn’t appear to have a name. Poor little bird. However, he does have the ability to blow up to several times his original size. That has to be useful for something.
Rovio has decided to introduce the cute yet dangerous bird via a really quite funny cartoon. Check it out below while downloading the update that’s available now.
Angry Birds Seasons now answers the question – what becomes of these games after they’ve done all the major annual Western holidays? Answer – they go global.
In this season’s update, the birds take their egg-avenging pig-killing quest to China to celebrate the Moon Festival. To commemorate the 3000-year-old harvest fete, Rovio added 30 new levels with the pigs hiding in thematically appropriate settings, all lit by the harvest moon. This update has eight pieces of Mooncake hiding for players to collect, and a special Mooncake level as well.
Rovio also unleashed the Mighty Eagle into Seasons. For those who haven’t met him, he’s like a super-bird that can be purchased in-app and used periodically to blast through the trickier levels. With all three Angry Bird titles getting recent updates, the franchise continues to be both a good bargain and a best seller. Now the question remains – what will they do for Halloween?
Just when you think that Angry Birds may finally be ready to slink away from the top of the iOS sales charts and make way for some new hotshot developers, another update hits for the most successful portable game franchise in the history of the platform. That’s right folks, it is time to fire up your iPhones and get ready for the long awaited and eagerly anticipated May update for Angry Birds Rio to land on your iOS device of choice.
After facing a barrage of emails, tweets, and Facebook messages when the first of May came and went without new stages being added to their beloved Angry Birds, Rovio decided to head speculation off at the pass, and released the following trailer:
Finally landing last Friday, the expansion pack nicknamed “Beach Volley”, features thirty new stages to add to the initial sixty included in Rio’s original release. This time you will take the primate assaulting to the surf and turf, in search of more birds that desperately need to be freed.
But that is not all folks, because it looks like the original Angry Birds may be getting some downloadable love as well. According to Rovio’s official twitter feed, late this month will also see brand new content come to roost on the first game that just kept on giving. Honestly, the concept of continuing to update the first title when the sequel is already selling like gangbusters baffles me slightly, but who am I to sneeze at new, not to mention free, content.
In one last revelation to sneak out over Rovio’s twitter account, they seem to be targeting June to release another update to Angry Birds Seasons. Given that June 21st officially marks the start of summer, it would seem appropriate to see how everyone’s favorite swine embrace the sweltering heat. Oh, and just a note, in case you couldn’t see the theme of this article, if you are a fan of Angry Birds, you should really be following Rovio on twitter. It is a veritable news bonanza!
Despite the fact that they are hard at work on the upcoming update to Angry Bird Rio, Rovio managed to squeeze a little time into their development schedule to release a new Easter themed expansion to Angry Birds Seasons, complete with bunny ears aplenty. Featuring fifteen new levels of swine assaulting fun, the addition also includes a few new GameCenter achievements, as well as several new and very seasonally appropriate golden eggs.
So now that we have seen St. Paddy’s Day and now Easter updates, what would be next on the hitlist for a fowl fighting frenzy? Let us know what your prediction is in the comments, but my money is on Cinco De Mayo. After all, they have already tackled one alcohol bathed holiday, why not embrace a similar flavor south of the border? Here is to many more nights spent destroying the dreams of maniacal pigs everywhere!
Angry Birds Seasons has been updated for every major holiday since its release last year. Today we got word that St. Patrick’s Day will also see an update. Finally something to look forward to besides flat green beer, corned beef, and cabbage, right? Fans and new players alike can expect the update – with a bunch of new green themed, pig popping levels – to hit this week on Thursday March 10th. Take a look at the trailer below:
I wonder what the next holiday update for Angry Birds Seasons will be? Easter? Memorial Day? Your predictions are welcome, in the comments below.
Attention, ladies and gentlemen! We gather here today to celebrate a true App Store milestone: Angry Birds has sat at the #1 spot for a total of 250 nonconsecutive days. Angry Birds—a juggernaut of a game in which players sling the titular avians at the fortresses of the opposing pigs, has seen amazing success. Released on December 11th, 2009, Angry Birds has jealously guarded its perch at #1 with much success.
In honor of Angry Birds’ amazing success, we’ve decided to take some space to reflect on the game that has redefined App Store success.
The Dawn of an Era
Angry Birds launched on December 11th, 2009 to modest success and minor fanfare. The original game included sixty-three levels and a single world. The story was present from the beginning: the pigs steal the birds’ eggs, and the birds set out to get their revenge by destroying the pigs’ castles. (Fun fact: the green pigs were inspired by the then-current swine flu epidemic.) Originally, there were five kinds of birds; leaderboards and achievements had yet to be added. Rovio fiddled with the price a little (for about a week, the game cost $1.99) but the real changes were yet to come.
People liked the original Angry Birds. They laughed. But it wasn’t yet a phenomenon.
Reaching—and Taking—the Skies
The 1.2 update really started the fire. A few months after its original release, the 1.2 update brought forty more levels in two distinct new “worlds,” leaderboards, and more complex structures, such as (gasp) triangular shapes. Then in April, the 1.2.1 update added the usual slew of extra levels, “golden eggs,” and the new “boomerang” bird. Shortly afterward, armed with these improvements, the birds barreled their way to the top of the charts. I’d say that the rest was history, but that would be implying closure…and Angry Birds is still chugging away. The chart below graphs the rise of the Angry Birds era.
Angry Birds took the #1 spot for all paid apps on April 27th, 2010 and has rarely been knocked from its perch since. How has Angry Birds done so well? Well, that’s the multi-million-dollar question. Personally I think it’s simply that Rovio found a “sweet spot.” Angry Birds has the potential for great depth and complex tower structures, and yet it only takes a few pictures to demonstrate how to play the game. Each aspect is carefully crafted and balanced, with new ideas surfacing with regularity. The charismatic birds and pigs don’t hurt, either. But I think Angry Birds’ success is also a function of Rovio’s careful, relentless promotion of the game and willingness to experiment. Angry Birds Halloween grew into Angry Birds Seasons when Rovio saw an opportunity for a companion app, and they capitalized on the characters by creating plush toys and have supposedly been working on other merchandise. Most importantly of all, perhaps, is that Rovio simply hasn’t stood still.
Marching (er, Flying) Onward
After reaching #1, Rovio didn’t rest on its laurels. Instead, Rovio has pushed out oodles of Angry Birds-related developments, both in terms of traditional updates to the main app and more creative endeavors. We won’t go into too many details, but here’s a small sampling of Angry Birds developments since the app’s initial peak.
On April 4th, Angry Birds has sells its millionth copy. Soon, the 1.3 update delivers more updates and a total of five million sales.
In fall 2010, Angry Birds goes to its first new platforms. Among the first are Nokia phones through the Ovi store and webOS. Angry Birds eventually heads to PSP, iPad, Android Marketplace, Mac, and Windows.
Angry Birds Halloween is released with themed levels as a separate app. It eventually becomes Angry Birds Seasons, a companion app to the main Angry Birds app.
Angry Birds plushies: So many people clearly loved the birds that Rovio decided to create some tangible plushies. The toy birds and pigs started shipping in December and can now be bought from Rovio’s online store.
In celebration of the game’s one-year anniversary, the “Ham ‘em High” update introduces new levels and the Mighty Eagle. The Mighty Eagle, a one-time in-app purchase, allows players to blaze through one uncompleted level per hour. It’s the first in-app purchase from Angry Birds.
Angry Birds Rio is announced. A tie-in with Rio, an upcoming movie from the creators of Ice Age, Angry Birds Rio will be an all-new game set in the Rio universe.
Super Bowl commercial: During the 2011 Super Bowl, Angry Birds made an appearance in a commercial for the upcoming movie Rio. The ad included a code that unlocks an extra level in the game.
Where to Now?
No app has come close to Angry Bird’s grasp on the #1 spot. For comparison, the second-place contender is not Doodle Jump or Pocket God, but the Moron Test, with a (relatively) measly 38 days at #1. Angry Birds has single-handedly redefined App Store success. Will anyone else ever be able able to replicate this feat?
But having achieved such great success, how can Angry Birds become even more awesome? The upcoming Angry Birds Rio is mostly a mystery, and I think it’s a great opportunity for Rovio to reconsider, improve upon, and maybe even reinvent parts of Angry Birds. It should certainly contain some great new ideas, given the developer’s track record. We’ll also be seeing Angry Birds on a lot more devices in the future, as Rovio has already announced plans to port their hyper-popular game to the Wii and Xbox 360.
Regardless of where Angry Birds heads, its current success is richly deserved. Angry Birds is a great game with an amazing amount of replay value and an incredibly funny, if silent, cast of characters. Congratulations to Rovio for 250 days at the top!
I don’t know if you are beginning to feel the same as me, but I am starting to wonder if the development team over a Rovio has something against sleeping. Between a Super Bowl update to the first installment in the Angry Birds series and a Rio themed sequel on the way, you would think that they would have their hands full. But with their third headline grabbing piece of news in as many weeks, there is more love coming to Angry Birds fans everywhere.
This time around, it is Angry Birds Seasons that is getting some love in the form of a Valentines Day themed update. Though it is significantly smaller than the Christmas update that brought an additional twenty-five stages, on top of the initial Halloween offering of forty-five levels, these additional eighteen challenges are sure to continue to whet your whistle for more disgruntled fowl fun.
As always, these updates come to you at no charge, as long as you have purchased the base Angry Birds Seasons application. Now this raises the next obvious question: what will be the next holiday that we get to explore through the eyes of these swine hating birdbrains? I certainly don’t think we will be seeing a President’s Day update and Ash Wednesday may be a bit too morbid, not to mention non-secular. If I were a betting man, I would be putting my money on a St. Patrick’s Day themed pack. That said, drowning the pigs in steins of beer might be a tad culturally insensitive.
What do you think will be the next holiday celebrated in Angry Birds Seasons? Now that I think aboutit , Mardi Gras seems just ripe for the picking – just remember you heard it here first. Let us know what you think in the comments.
Have you finally managed to conquer all of the holiday goodness that was Angry Birds: Seasons? If you are anything like me, you have been eagerly awaiting the next proper entry in the series since completing the last festivus themed stage on Christmas morning. While the game was a present in and of itself, I have been left with a month long void, where everyone’s favorite bombadeering birds have been absent from my iPhone. It has been a dark time, indeed.
This is why I was thrilled to hear official confirmation from Angry Birds developer Rovio, by way of IntoMobile, that a proper sequel to the original phenomenon is not only in the works, but tentatively (not to mention vaguely) scheduled to crash land onto the iOS platform sometime in March. In another first for the series, the game will be simultaneously launching on not only iOS, but also Android and Symbian. It is hard not to have mixed feeling about this, given that the franchise was birthed on our gaming platform of choice, but if it helps funding expansions our favorite gaming addiction, who are we to really complain?
Now THOSE are some angry birds!
Though it is encouraging to hear that the game will be getting a newly christened graphical upgrade, forty-five new stages with the promise for more via update, and several new wrinkles to the game mechanics, it was surprising to learn that the developers have pared up with 20th Century Fox to help complement the launch of their upcoming animated film, Rio. Entitled the very original, Angry Birds Rio, the game will focus on melding the two worlds together in a way that will hopefully pass along little bit of Rovio’s secret sauce onto the cinematic release.
“In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcoming Fox motion picture, Rio. Angry Birds Rio will pair the physics-based gameplay of the original game with unique twists based on the highly-anticipated film.” — VIA Rovio Mobile BlogPost
I can’t help but feel like this is a slight betrayal of some of Angry Bird’s early “indie cred”, but that said, anyone else in Rovio’s position would be insane to not try to even partially cash in on the goodwill associated with the brand. If nothing else, the immense amount of free content patched into the original game has earned them a free pass in my eyes and honestly, even if I was offended, it wouldn’t stop me from gobbling this up the moment it becomes available.
We will leave you with a sneak peak of what we can all be looking forward to in March. Please attempt to keep your gleeful squealing to a minimum.
As if it weren’t hard enough to walk away from the adorable Om Nom and his insatiable desire for candy, we’ve just learned that Cut the Rope will have its hooks into us a bit longer as Chillingo prepares for the release of Cut the Rope: Holiday Edition. Tis the season to fall in love with the game all over again.
The new title will be a standalone game available free of charge and should show up in the App Store any day now. The game features 25 new stages as well as a new “Christmas Sock” mechanic. Apparently the magical stocking will allow you to teleport candy from one place to another, putting a whole new wrinkle in the experience. All of this will be bundled with new music and achievements, not to mention a generous helping of holiday cheer.
It’s nice to see high-profile games getting in on the holiday spirit, and it seems that games published under the Chillingo banner are leading the way. First we got Angry Birds Halloween, which has now morphed into Angry Birds Seasons and is providing a new level every day throughout the holidays. The only difference was that while that update went for $0.99, the new Cut the Rope content is free, which is an even sweeter deal.
More than current Cut the Rope owners, this promotion seems aimed at the folks who will be getting an iOS device for the holidays and are looking for fun new apps to add. If Chillingo can hook them with a free tinsel-strewn version of an already addictive game, then the odds are very high that those same consumers will go pick up the full version of the standard game practically immediately. It’s a smart strategy indeed, and one from which all us current Cut the Rope owners will also stand to benefit.
It seems people just can’t get enough of flinging birds at pigs, especially if those birds happen to be dressed up in Halloween costumes. Rovio has stated that the Halloween edition of Angry Birds has sold a million copies in just six days, one of the fastest trips to a million we’ve ever seen. The physics puzzle game is clearly far from dead on the iPhone.
“We’re delighted to see such fantastic reception for Angry Birds Halloween,” said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed. “We intend to continue creating more and more quality products and updates, and keep exceeding the expectations of our fans worldwide.”
Of course the massive success of Rovio’s first post-Chillingo offering raises an interesting question, did EA buyout the wrong company? Though Chillingo published Angry Birds, all ownership rights remained with Rovio in light of the EA sale, and therefore the developer retained all rights for future expansions, sequels and spinoffs. Even though EA spent $20 million on Chillingo the deal didn’t include the very game that made the publisher famous. The same is true for the recently released Cut the Rope, which, as far as we know, remains the property of ZeptoLab. Could it be that EA spent top dollar for an iPhone developer and then missed the forest for the trees? It would seem unlikely, but then again the world of developing and selling apps is still in its infancy, and no one truly understands the relationship between studios yet. Chillingo is undoubtedly working on titles of its own to publish under the EA banner, but can they live up to the successes set by earlier games?
In spite of all the drama surrounding EA and Chillingo we do want to congratulate Rovio on selling so many copies of Angry Birds Halloween so quickly. Truly one of the great success stories of the Wild West of app development.