The very first Angry Birds debuted on iOS back in 2009. When you sit back and tally up the number of Angry Birds games out there and the impact they’ve had on pop culture as a whole, you just need to ask yourself: “How would the birds taste following a three-hour engagement with a broiler?”
No, seriously. The anniversary of the Angry Birds and American Thanksgiving are in the same neighborhood, date-wise. And while not everyone eats fowl for Thanksgiving (or meat in general, for that matter), Thanksgiving is still synonymous with roasted bird-meat. So let’s sit back, loosen our belts, and have a solemn conversation about how the Angry Birds would fare as a main course this holiday season.
Come on, it’s worth considering. There are no wings to contend with, no drumsticks – not even any bones if the way they fling themselves around is any indication. The Angry Birds are just big buttery balls of white meat. That said, some probably make for better eating than others. Let’s get on with this vital holiday breakdown. Continue reading Mmmm, Tasty – Having the Angry Birds for Thanksgiving Dinner »
How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
GoatPunks is kind of a hard game to wrap your mind around, but let’s try anyway. Players control a goat (naturally) competing for domination on a mountain full of other player-controlled goats. They can earn a few points by knocking opponents off of their perch or collecting rabbits that pop up and grant various abilities. But the real jackpot comes from making it to the top and staying there until the end. However, heavy are the horns that wear the crown, and although top players can try to defend their position by raining thunder and fire on their foes below, get usurped and they’ll tumble all the way back to the bottom where they started. With all of that nonsense, GoatPunks has the potential to be a silly fun multiplayer party game, but the execution is lacking – or maybe it’s just on the wrong platform. The game encourages the quick tactical thinking and local good-natured trash talk of something like Super Smash Bros. but dragging around the goat from block to block feels sluggish and indirect, while silent online matches against strangers are alien and lifeless since it’s hard to tell if anyone even knows what’s going on. Reaching the top of the mountain only to get bumped off at the last minute should be this huge, dramatic reversal, but instead it just becomes an endless series of anticlimaxes set to music that sounds suspiciously “borrowed.” –Jordan Minor
Enemy Unknown was (and still is) a fantastic reimagining of one of the greatest PC strategy games of all time. But Enemy Within is better. This new iteration isn’t a sequel, but rather a kind of rerelease with extra content. However, it’s not simply a few new maps and some new hair styles. Enemy Within boasts a lot more additions than just maps – although it does have those, too. There’s a new human faction to fight against that goes by the name of Exalt, and they exist purely to muck-up your operation. In order to deal with them, you’ll need to send one of your agents to infiltrate several of their numerous cells – then send an extraction squad in after them to collect vital information. Once you’ve completed enough of these missions, you should be able to narrow down the location of the radical faction’s HQ and can shut them down for good. But be warned: Exalt has access to many the same goodies that your own soldiers do, which means you’ll need to change up your tactics. –Rob Rich
Had your fix of Candy Crush Saga and you’re still desperate for more? Well, Candy Crush Soda Saga will be perfect for you then, as it’s a lot like the previous game. It offers up a few new game modes to try out, but ultimately it’s more match-3 gaming done well – albeit with plenty of opportunities for monetization. As before, you’ll be matching candies to gain points and work towards the next stage. There are bottles of fizzy drinks, too. Hence the name, and the new mode: Soda. Soda involves matching up bottles with candies in order to release purple soda up the screen, eventually freeing some candy bears. The same method of playing might apply, but the fact you have a slightly different aim does make a difference. –Jennifer Allen
Super Secret Service makes a great candidate. From its first speech to election night it says and does all the right things. But like most politicians, it can’t keep every fantastic promise it makes, and by the time the next voting day comes around it probably won’t deserve a second term. If all of those metaphors didn’t make it obvious enough, Super Secret Service is rather political. Specifically, the game is about protecting the President of the United States using an endless supply of expendable secret service agents, each with their own names and birthdays. Reactionary radicals and hoodlums in hockey masks are trying to throw things at the POTUS and ruin his big speech, so by tapping the screen, agents will leap in to take the bullet. –Jordan Minor
This is My Car – Mechanics for Kids allows children a chance to peak under the hood of a car as they scroll their vehicle through different stations, allowing them to peel back the exterior and interior layers of their car that include technical information delivered in a well thought-out manner that they will appreciate. As my son – now six years old – becomes older, his questions about the way things work such as the engine of a car or its brakes become more and more complex. Although my husband and I feel capable of explaining such concepts, I appreciate being able to use this app as a tool to explain in detail the inner workings of vehicles – now with visuals that my son can easily follow. –Amy Solomon
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If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
If you’re in to old school RPGs and you haven’t played the first Dragon Quest, then you’re in for a treat. Ah, the first Dragon Quest. Although I did not play it when I was young, I did manage to pick the game up later on. And as a RPG lover (especially turn-based ones), I loved what I saw and played. Now I that game is out on Android (for a very cheap price, I might add), I is time for everyone to relieve one of the classic and leading RPGs of all time. Well, if you’ve got the time, that is. –Wesley Akkerman
I really, really wanna get down to the nitty-gritty with this one: what’s up with the Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Earpiece? Yes… it’s sleek, as the retail unit Jabra sent us shows: different shades of grey with orange accents, gently-sized at 2.57 x 0.61 x 0.95 inches and 0.28 ounces. Coverable micro-USB port, bluetooth 4.0, NFC and A2DP support, plus retail packaging that also contains micro-USB, earhooks and eargels. There is a dedicated button for Google Now, as well as an answer/redial button incorporated towards the rear and LED. Pairing it with a device is easy and intuitive after the requisite pre-charge. –Tre Lawrence
If you still can’t get enough of Flappy Bird clones, then here’s another one for ya. When it comes to games that look and feel like Flappy Bird… Well, you got a lot of choice. When you look back at the game, it is actually quite unbelievable what that game did. It did not only make one guy very rich (by mistake?), but it also gave life to a new genre, we’ve called the ‘one button gameplay’ here on Android Rundown. If you can’t can enough of those games, here is another one. –Wesley Akkerman
This week was all about the guides, as Pocket Gamer laid out the steps to complete sci-fi adventure Space Age, comic book puzzler Framed, and those awesome new levels for Monument Valley. All that, plus XCOM, Anki Drive, and iPhone 6 vs Nexus 6, right here.
And finally: What is AppSpy? Is it a website about video games? Is it a state of mind? Is it an energy beverage? It’s all those things (except that last one), and we’d love for you to come pay us a visit. This week we’ve been talking about playable Angry Birds cakes, that new Borderlands game, and endless amounts of golf.
United for Wildlife, a collaboration between seven of the world’s largest conservation organizations including WWF-UK and the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Finnish game developers Rovio, most famous as the creators of Angry Birds, have announced a partnership in an effort to help prevent the extinction of the Pangolin. Pangolins live in tropical regions of Asia and Africa, and all eight species are being threatened by illegal poaching.
From now until November 23, players can take part in a special tournament within Angry Birds Friends, ‘Roll with the Pangolin’, where they’re tasked with freeing illegally captured pangolins. Rovio has also created a series of videos featured The Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, describing the situation they face and the activities the group of charities is carrying out, with these available to watch from within the Toons TV channel within all Angry Birds games.
Angry Birds Transformers recently transformed and rolled out worldwide. This run-and-gun title is a hit with young Transformers fans, but the ample references to classic Transformers fandom has also earned it a place in the hearts of long-time admirers of Optimus Prime. Nick Harper (Game Director for Exient Entertainment) and Mika Rahko (Executive Producer for Rovio) kindly took a few minutes to talk to 148Apps about the problems and inspirations that came to them while cross-breeding birds and robots.
Next week, Puzzle & Dragons is getting a little angry. Because, you know, Angry Birds. It’s a… a pun. I thought… never mind.
Anywhosits, starting next week on 10/20 and running through 11/2, Puzzle & Dragons will feature a brand new dungeon inspired by Angry Birds Epic. You’ll be able to recruit the help of familiar Epic characters, as well as some classic birds for those who might have missed the last crossover event, and you’ll of course be fighting some mean old piggies along the way.
You can download Puzzle & Dragons – and even Angry Birds Epic for that matter – off the App Store now for free.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 9th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
After conquering Rio and Space, where could those Angry Birds go next? The NBA, apparently. In the next episode of Angry Birds Seasons, NBA Ham Dunk!, Rovio Entertainment sends the birds to take the pigs to the court. The update will have 15 free NBA-themed levels and 30 NBA team levels available for purchase.
“Get ready to hit the court with your favorite NBA team, and start dunking birds and bashing piggies for extra points,” said Pekka Rantala Chief Commercial Officer of Rovio Entertainment. “We are really pumped to offer this fun mash-up to Angry Birds and NBA fans.”
You can grab Angry Birds Seasons on the rebound for $0.99.
In some cases, Angry Birds Epic is going to be many players’ first encounter with a turn-based RPG. While it might not be the deepest of experiences to old-hands at the genre, we felt it was the perfect time to provide you with some helpful hints to start you off, as you work towards wiping out the evil pigs yet again.
Basic Battle Strategies
Regular RPG players will tell you that there are a few core principles that apply no matter what game you’re playing. Angry Birds Epic is no different in that respect.
Knowing your enemy is always key in these kind of instances. Angry Birds Epic makes it simple with holding a finger to each pig – enabling you to see what abilities they possess, so you know exactly what to expect.
There’s no penalty for exiting to the map at this point so you can easily do that to change birds or hats (special abilities), so that you’re at your strongest for each fight. Remember: different classes work better in different situations!
Generally, you should always focus on healer pigs or ones that can resurrect other downed pigs. There’s no point inflicting plenty of damage on other enemies if the healer can undo your good work with one spell!
Some pigs are immune to certain statuses, so consider that before you make your move. A pig that can resist poison? Well, don’t bother trying to poison it then! It’s a simple idea, but one that can easily be forgotten about in the heat of battle.
There’s nothing to be gained from weakening multiple pigs at once, so always focus on one pig at a time. Ideally, and assuming there aren’t healing pigs to pick on, you should go for the weaker and smaller prey first before taking out the big brutes.
After you’ve built up a sufficient number of attacks, you can use a rage chilli to perform a special attack that relates to that character’s abilities. Use it up whenever possible. They don’t carry over between battles so there’s no point letting it go to waste! The only exception here is when dealing with wave battles as it’s better to save the chilli for the start of a new wave. They replenish frequently so you can often use a couple during a series of battles.
Unlike in other RPGs, using a health potion doesn’t take up a turn. It’s a small yet significant thing to consider, given it can make all the difference in battle.
Struggling to defeat a particularly tricky foe? Watch the videos that Rovio keep offering. These give you a 20% increase in health and attack power. They’re limited in number so try to save them for a special occasion. They can really make all the difference.
Always have a healer in your party. Attacking like crazy is all well and good, but it’s pointless if you get wiped out too soon. Healing helps. A lot.
Equipment is key throughout Angry Birds Epic. It’s simple enough to craft from pieces gained during battle, but there are some useful ways to make it all the better.
Replay missions often for more items and loot that can then be used elsewhere. Plus, aim for those magical three-star victories. These are based upon how much health you have at the end of a battle so heal up just before the end for the maximum chance of three stars.
Check the scavenge points every day for new loot to be acquired. It can be pretty profitable.
Similarly, daily dungeons unlock after a certain point and these are invaluable.
Get friends involved as they can enable you to re-roll when crafting equipment. Re-rolling dictates whether you get the fabled 3 star piece of equipment or a weaker 2 star one.
Save up for a Golden Anvil. It’s not cheap, needing Lucky Coins to buy one, but keep leveling up and play naturally for a week or two and this should be possible. A Golden Anvil means better gear, which makes all the difference in battle.
The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
Proving to be quite a departure from the usual Angry Birds motif, Angry Birds Epic feels more like an introduction to the RPG genre than anything more substantial. There’s potential there, but all too often it isn’t fully exploited, which seems a shame. While technically there’s a storyline in there somewhere, progress is solely dictated by a map screen in which one follows the game along from fight to fight, rather than anything more interesting or exciting. Occasionally there will be other paths to take but it’s still mostly linear. Combat is fortunately more interesting, offering a surprising amount of depth for such a simple idea. –Jennifer Allen
Kiwanuka is a game that curiously eschews many of the trappings of modern mobile gaming. It’s a game that could easily use things like a star system, like seemingly every other game, but it stands out because of the lack of such modern trappings. Players control a Kiwanuka shepherd who must lead a group of followers to an encased shepherd in the level who has become trapped within a prism. Forming chains of followers with the lightning staff to navigate around the levels is necessary: they can swing in a circular motion, and create bridges and ramps when attached to another point. The game becomes about figuring out when and where to create the chains to properly navigate to where the trapped Kiwanuka follower is. However, there’s no limit to how many chains of followers can be used, or timers, or anything: beat the level and it’s beaten, and the next one is unlocked. –Carter Dotson
VVVVVV doesn’t look particularly inspiring, does it? For those who grew up during the home computer era of the Spectrum and Commodore 64, it’s the kind of look that can be forgiven more easily than for the younger gamer, but it’s still hardly a looker. Get past that shallow thinking though, and one will find that VVVVVV is exceptionally good – albeit ridiculously frustrating in equal measures. Previously a PC release, some players including myself will have enjoyed the suffering that VVVVVV has provided in the past. It’s tough and sometimes deeply infuriating, but thanks to some clever placement of checkpoints it’s also the kind of game that will keep players coming back until they’ve beaten it. –Jennifer Allen
Despite the name, Soccer Stars owes a lot more to Billiards than it does to Soccer. Rather than conventional ball-kicking skills, the key to Soccer Stars is to be able to bounce the solid orbs that represent the players around the arena and hopefully towards the goal. It’s a different mechanic than most but it mostly works. Soccer Stars focuses very much on online competitive play, although an offline mode does exist. A mixture of one on one sessions and tournaments, the point of the game remains the same – score 2 goals before the other player. Each team is made up of five orbs that can be bounced around in numerous ways. One drags a finger behind the orb in order to push it towards the objective. They’re pretty sensitive so they can bounce off of other orbs, as well as the walls surrounding each pitch. Given the drag mechanics, when near the edge of the screen an extra finger is needed to cover for the missing space. That can make things awkward, but it mostly just about works. –Jennifer Allen
In this new age of game design, projects have found countless ways in which to spring to life. In the case of Broken Age, Double Fine’s first uber-successful Kickstarter venture, the masses spoke with their wallets loud and clear, showing an undying support for the long-languishing adventure game genre. So, does the first half of this quest live up to the title’s impressive budget and hype, or will the unfinished storyline leave players craving more? One fantastic aspect of adventure titles are their emphasis on building a cohesive and compelling narrative. Broken Age tells the seemingly disparate story lines of Shay and Vella. In a neat move, typical of Double Fine’s outside the box thinking, the plot can be consumed any number of ways, allowing the player to switch back and forth between characters at will. Though both Shay and Vella exist in two seemingly different worlds, as one might expect, their stories eventually converge. Ultimately this ends up fleshing out a much larger universe than would be achievable through a single through line. –Blake Grundman
Toca Town is Toca Boca’s new highly open-ended digital toy, bringing dollhouse play to iOS devices. Toca Town allows children of all ages to manipulate a very nice selection of Toca characters around six locations that include a park, restaurant, family home, apartment, grocery store, and police station. Characters can be moved around within each landscape as well as transported to new areas of this app easily, including any object they may be holding at the time, making transitions between areas simple and intuitive. Objects like foods, books, or other more specific items such as keys found at the police station can also be held as children drag figures around the screen while acting out their own stories, much like one would with a classic dollhouse in real life but without the little pieces that parents need to keep track of. –Amy Solomon
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If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Cow Dash is a charming entry from Retroid Interactive that is able to swaddle retro-looking graphics in the familiar, tried-and-true frame of an arcade adventure. The controls are deceptively simple, and almost conceal the challenge of the game. Almost. The travel-happy cow starts off in a outdoor naturescape environment set in deliberate platforms of differing heights. The cow moves on its own when a tap is administered to start the level; it continues moving in a set direction until it is impeded by an object, at which point it turns on its heel and goes in the opposite direction. –Tre Lawrence
One of the new fads on Google Play of this moment, are games where players need to guide a something between lines. In this game, it’s a car between both sides of the deserted road. If players fail… Well, then the car explodes. So, yeah. There is something about games that are very simple and really hard at the same time. Drive in the Line is one of those games. In Drive in the Line, players drive their way through an endless desert apocalypse. Somehow, the driver of the car is stranded somewhere on earth where there is nothing but an endless, ever changing road that leads to virtually nowhere – with only one goal in mind: just keep in driving and don’t look back. Now, a premise like this surely sounds interesting, and it is in its own way. Players take control of the driver’s car and need to help him navigate the endless road ahead of him. Since this is a high score based game, and games are generally short by nature, this game soon went from ‘this is nice’ to ‘I need to set a new high score’. Because, when one plays this game, it is something that will play in their minds. Mainly because players know they can do it. –Wesley Akkerman
Often videogames get criticized for retreading old ground. People will complain that ‘they’ve played it before’ but sometimes revisiting old ideas that you get new ones. Hazumino goes back in time to visit both Tetris and Canabalt and by doing so comes back with something new yet reassuringly familiar. The reason that Hazumino‘s goal will be instantly clear is because of the world famous shapes that occupy the right-hand side of the screen. These ‘tetrominos’ need to be rotated and shifted up and down before being launched to the right. The reason why you’re placing these shapes is because you need to form a bridge of sorts. –Matt Parker
Rovio Entertainment and Hasbro, Inc. are combining one of the most downloaded games world-wide with one of the most cherished 80s cartoon classics. Angry Birds Transformers roll out! The Autobirds will face-off against the insidious Deceptihogs. From the video it looks like we can look forward to seeing characters like Redimus Prime and Chucklebee.
Blanca Juti, Chief Marketing Officer of Rovio, said “We’re really excited to combine the iconic Transformers universe with the quirky world of Angry Birds. This mash-up is going to appeal to those who grew up with the brand in the 80s, as well as fans of the brand today. People are going to love it!”
Later this year they will also be introducing Angry Birds Transformers TELEPODS. The toys will allow players to add characters and upgrade powers in the game.
Look out for these ro-birds in disguise later this year.
Rather than giving players something akin to Angry Birds in a medieval/fantasy setting, Angry Birds Epic is going to be a turn-based RPG with a crafting system of sorts. Color me intrigued. No, seriously, it sounds far more interesting than yet-another physics puzzle game.
Angry Birds Epic will be “soft launching” in Canada and Australia soon.
This dedicated space for fans of the game to gather, meet, and even improve how they play the game is jam-packed with detailed toy guides, character profiles, strategy guides, achievement listings, community screenshots, fan art, and much more besides.
Best of all, it’s a space that’s shaped by you, the fans, giving everyone the opportunity to help build the greatest Angry Birds Go! site ever made.
Makers of the two billion times downloaded Angry Birds series of games, Rovio, have announced via sister site Pocketgamer.biz that they are opening up a publishing division focusing on fun learning apps for kids 3-12. The goal being to take learning games in a whole new direction. Rovio is looking for developers in this space that can help them in this quest. The first chance to talk to them about it will be at our Big Indie Pitch event during GDC week in San Francisco.
“When kids are bored, their learning plummets,” detailed the Finnish firm in a statement given to PocketGamer.biz.
“When they’re engaged, anything’s possible. So we’re looking for new game ideas to entertain kids and motivate them to learn. Games that parents can also feel good about.”
Today Rovio has pulled the curtain back on their latest project to reveal… another curtain. Angry Birds Stella is going to be a game set in some area of the Angry Birds world we’ve yet to see, and it’s going to be spread out over several different forms of media. We’re talking games, cartoons, toys, etc.
About the only other bit of info that can be gleaned from the announcement is that Rovio is trying to up the serious in this one. “Angry Birds Stella is breaking the mold by introducing strong, passionate characters who really stand for something, while adding plenty of action and reality into the mix,” says Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment, in the press release.
I dunno, it sounds kind of like The Real World: Angry Birds to me.
Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Amidst all the holiday sales and out-of-nowhere releases, it’s important to remember that the App Store still picks one app or game out of the crowd to be featured as its App of the Week. And to get a price drop to zero dollars for the duration. This week, they’ve chosen Angry Birds Star Wars II.
In his review back in September, our own Blake Grundman said, “The Force is strong with this one. This IS the game we’re looking for.” Seems like more than enough of a reason to check it out for free, right?
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 26th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Pocket Gamer reports that Angry Birds has received 30 brand-new levels that takes you deep into the Piggy laboratory. There players are met with three new piggy potions that change the appearance of the piggies. Also, there is a new Shock Wave ability for the Bomb bird that creates a strong electric blast during play.
Angry Birds and Puzzle & Dragons! Angry Birds and Puzzle & Dragons!!! ANGRY BIRDS AND PUZZLE AND DRAGONS! OH MY! Yeah, sorry, anyway…
GungHo Online Entertainment, the publisher behind the rocking Puzzle & Dragons, announced that it’ll be collaborating with Rovio Entertainment to bring an Angry Birds-themed event to their Puzzle & Dragons game. Starting Monday, November 18, and lasting until Sunday, December 1, fans will be able to enjoy the Angry Birds characters in a special dungeon event within Puzzle & Dragons.
“We are excited to announce the collaboration of Puzzle & Dragons and the Angry Birds games from Rovio Entertainment,” said Daisuke Yamamoto, Producer and creator of Puzzle & Dragons, in a press release. “Angry Birds is one of the most recognizable entertainment franchises in the world, and we are thrilled to be working alongside Rovio to give our fans a look at what it would be like if Angry Birds characters invaded the world of Puzzle & Dragons.”
The birds are back (again)! Not content with simply hurtling avian critters into pork-filled structures, Rovio has changed things up significantly for their next offering. Angry Birds Go! is a fully 3D kart racer featuring a bunch of recognizable series characters, loads of special powers, and upgradable vehicles. Yes, you read that correctly; it’s a kart racer.
Angry Birds Go! will be hitting the App Store on December 11 for free, and I have to admit the video makes it look pretty interesting despite the severe change in direction (and genre). What do you all think? Is it too ridiculous to fathom? Are you anxiously waiting to get behind the wheel? Did the video sway you either way? Feel free to chime in below!
Posted by Rob Rich on September 18th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Beware the pork side. Rovio’s sequel to their spin-off based on one of the most popular movie franchises of all time is here!
Angry Birds Star Wars II follows (loosely) the events in the “Star Wars” prequels, and even lets players decide whether they want to be good, or play for “The Pork Side.” It’s more of the same great Angry BIrds physics mayhem you know and love but with two sides to play, over 30 playable characters, the ability to swap characters in the slingshot as you play (finally!), and Telepods integration.
Rovio has teamed up with Red Bull to release a new video that answers some of our questions about what type of game Angry Birds Go will be. It showcases what an Angry Birds endless runner would look like, which ultimately hit a snag and fell over. So, they went one step further to show us what it would be like with birds behind the wheel! Check out the trailer below!
I wonder how much road rage there will be in Angry Birds Go? I mean these are Angry Birds after all.
Rovio Entertainment announced Angry Birds Star Wars II, which will follow the story of the three prequel Star Wars movies. Things are in place to take a twist towards the dark side in the upcoming game as well as players can choose to “join the pork side” and play as one of the evil piggies.
Angry Birds Star Wars II is set to get even more interesting as Hasbro is adding an interactive capability to the gameplay and content of the game by releasing Telepods. Think Skylanders; Telepods are physical toy characters that players can place on their iPhone or iPad camera and scan it into the game. There will be over 30 physical characters at launch for players to teleport into their games, Skylanders style.
Being a fan of Skylanders myself, I’m highly interested in checking out this new Angry Birds experience, which will launch on the App Store this September, 19th.
“Angry Birds Star Wars was a blockbuster hit for us and Lucasfilm with over 100 million downloads since its release. We are thrilled to be able to introduce the exciting next chapter in the Angry Birds Star Wars saga to our fans around the world,” said Jami Laes, Executive Vice President of Games at Rovio Entertainment, in a press release. “Some of the most amazing character additions are versions of young Anakin, Mace Windu and Darth Maul. Hasbro’s TELEPODS technology also provides a great way to extend the experience beyond the app and bring a whole new dimension to the gameplay.”
Rovio posted a new blog that says they will announce a brand new Angry Birds game on Monday, July 15th. The teaser image (below) that accompanied the blog post resembles Star Wars Episode 1, the image that shows a young Anakin with the Vader shadow in the background. Rovio also mentioned that the new game will feature the biggest character line-up ever, awesome new powers, and more surprises.
Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.
On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.
2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning
The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.
Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.
At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.
2009 – Moving Right Along
The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.
Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.
So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.