Angry Birds, for those who don’t know, is a much beloved game available on literally every platform under the sun. Throughout its existence it’s been praised for its fun nature and simple puzzle-like gameplay. It’s received multiple stand-alone expansions, each adding a bevy of new environments and challenging levels. The question is, how does a game like this translate to the television screen? Does it add up to a fun and addictive distraction, can it compare to its mobile counterparts, or do these birds need to fly south?
Telling a story of some clearly ordinary misshapen birds that have been wronged by some bad piggies that have eaten their eggs, the birds take revenge on said pigs by killing them. Instead of an epic bird versus swine battle, you’re thrown into physics puzzles with the aim of tossing the ‘angry birds’ – who each have different skills based on their color – into where the pigs reside, thus taking them all out in each level. The aim isn’t to hit a pig directly with a bird, but instead to use environmental objects like wooden panels, glass blocks, rocks or even explosive boxes to dole out splash damage. Each bird also has a different special ability. There’s the now iconic red bird, a yellow bird that breaks through wood easily – thanks to being pointy – and can pick up speed and momentum mid flight; there’s also a blue bird that can miraculously break into three separate birds creating a spread shot. A black bomb bird can create a shockwave-like explosion, while a white bird drops an explosive eggs. There’s even a green bird that returns like a boomerang once flung; a orange bird puffs up when its action is done and, finally, the big red bird aka ‘Big Brother’ smashes everything with its strength.
Over the course of the three games included in the package (Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio), which are broken down into episodes and in turn broken into levels, there are tons of levels to playthrough as you destroy the evil pigs strongholds. Defeating pigs and destroying parts of the level raises your score and you gain a bonus for beating all the pigs while still having some feathery critters left in reserve. In Classic and Seasons there are hidden golden eggs that you’ll come across as you play; these unlock bonus levels that are sometimes more challenging or more fun, such as defeating an entire pit of piggies with a single angry bird. Rio has you collecting fruit to unlock the golden egg levels instead. Essentially this is a near perfect copy of previous Angry Birds games, except without the recent update that gives Angry Birds Classic a perk-like system to make it easier, and more accessible, for newcomers. I’m rather glad that these features aren’t present in the console version, it seems that now these are the only place you can play the game as originally intended.
Angry Birds Trilogy was built to take advantage of Kinect and PlayStation Move compatibility, which means it has similar control methods to playing with a touchscreen, but it can be just as enjoyable with a controller in hand. Story sequences have now become cutscenes instead of panel based slideshows as they previously were. The transition to your big screen has done wonders for the colors and art style featured in Angry Birds, each color is more vibrant than the last and backgrounds now move instead being the two dimensional palettes they once were.
Angry Birds Trilogy offers fans a chance to bring the addictive puzzler home to friends and family. It’s a great title for kids to enjoy, as well as being a great time-killer. If you’re a fan of the mobile version, then you’re more than likely going to pick this up – that is if you don’t mind already owning the exact same game (bar some new levels). It’s not for everyone mind, as it can be repetitive and those who refer to themselves as ‘hardcore gamers’ will see it as nothing more than the casual timewaster that was the mobile version. The price point of $39.99 on home consoles could sway opinion, but it’s still over three times more than all the mobile games; luckily the impeccable care that has gone into the HD translation is great. With a slim offering of handful of exclusive levels to this release, and no promise of any downloadable content it makes this game a hard sell for anyone but the dedicated.
Audio/Visual – 5/5: Enhanced HD visuals provide a vibrant look with new trilogy themes, cinematics and moving backgrounds to boot.
Gameplay – 4/5: Same addictive nature that the series is known for; however after prolonged play it can become tiresome and repetitive.
Innovation – 1/5: Nothing’s changed in format despite the move to consoles.
Value – 2/5: On the surface it has value at bargain price for hundreds of levels; however the exact same game is available for much less on mobile devices.
Final Score: 3/5