An­gry Birds must de­stroy Pig Em­pire in galaxy far, far away

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports -

Hordes of de­struc­tive fowl in­vade a galaxy far, far away in the hope­lessly ad­dic­tive An­gry Birds Star Wars (Ac­tivi­sion and Rovio, re­viewed with Wii U, rated Ev­ery­one, $49.99). Con­sid­er­ing the An­gry Birds game fran­chise ac­counted for more than 2 bil­lion down­loads since its ini­tial re­lease for iOS sys­tems back in 2009, it shows a stay­ing power stronger than the Force.

So this Sky­walker saga spin-off was a wel­comed fit for fans. Only once avail­able for mo­bile de­vices and desk­top com­put­ers, it ar­rives for the Wii U with more than 200 lev­els avail­able in­clud­ing 20 ex­clu­sive to en­ter­tain­ment con­soles.

The side-scrolling, puz­zle ad­ven­ture finds a player trav­el­ing around the “Star Wars” universe — from Ta­tooine to Hoth, Dagobah, the Death Star and the Cloud City — and reap­ing de­struc­tion as the Bird Re­bel­lion strikes deep against the Pig Em­pire.

For those un­fa­mil­iar with the An­gry Birds premise, a player’s ob­jec­tive is to pull back a sling­shot and align the path of an orb-shaped, wing­less bird tar­get­ing pig heads hid­den in and around struc­tures made up of var­i­ous stacked blocks and ob­jects.

Hit the pigs, caus­ing them to pop into ob­scu­rity. Erad­i­cate the snort­ing en­e­mies and clear the level with birds to spare to reap the great­est point to­tals and star awards.

Do not suc­ceed and, for the Star Wars edi­tion, Darth Vader: Lard of the Sith ap­pears, mock­ingly laugh­ing at your fail­ures.

In this An­gry Birds edi­tion, fans will find a se­lec­tion of fa­mil­iar bird rebels to launch that of­fers pow­ers to help de­stroy the struc­tures.

Th­ese in­clude an ho­mage to Obi-Wan Kenobi in a bird wear­ing a Jedi robe that can Force push at the blocks, one wear­ing a Luke Sky­walker hair­cut that pulls out a lightsaber to cause lim­ited de­struc­tion while in mid-air and a vested Han Solo bird that a player can use to shoot ar­eas with his blaster.

Ad­di­tion­ally, look to an elec­tri­fy­ing R2-D2 (an egg with R2’s nog­gin on it) for help, Princess Leia equipped with a trac­tor beam and a beaked C-3PO that ex­plodes into golden shards to break apart a wide swath of a struc­ture.

A nice touch also of­fers help from Han Solo’s famed ship, the Mil­len­nium Fal­con. It re­quires a player launch a hom­ing bea­con (sil­ver egg) to trig­ger the space­craft to swoop down and at­tack the area where the egg landed.

Look for Rebels to face some clever as well as puz­zling ob­sta­cles dur­ing the mis­sions such as grav­i­ta­tional fields, pesky as­ter­oids, probe droids shoot­ing lasers at the birds, and blocks of ice that need to be cracked open.

The Wii U tablet of­fers the ver­sa­til­ity of us­ing its touch-screen to con­trol the game or a com­plete com­ple­ment of ana­log sticks, trig­gers and but­tons to han­dle the birds and view the ac­tion from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives.

Yes, that ac­tion is car­toony cute through­out with pigs dressed as Tusken Raiders, Stormtroop­ers and Boba Fett (find his jet­packs to un­lock more mis­sions). There are oc­ca­sional cut scenes plucked from the orig­i­nal tril­ogy of films, all speck­led with “Star Wars” sound ef­fects and rous­ing mu­si­cal in­ter­ludes fea­tur­ing John Wil­liams or­ches­tral themes.

Ad­di­tion­ally, suc­cess­ful play­ers will un­lock stick­ers of the char­ac­ters, art­work and some re­ally amus­ing car­toon seg­ments star­ring the An­gry Birds in Ge­orge Lu­cas’ fan­tasy epic (the reimag­ined Cantina scene find­ing a gruff bar pa­tron los­ing part of his pickle at the blade of Obi-Wan is price­less).

Be­sides solo chal­lenges, a pair of play­ers can co­op­er­a­tively de­stroy the Im­pe­rial pigs, or up to four play­ers can com­pete for high point to­tals.

Of course, its pre­mium point might cause some to scratch their feath­ered heads as the en­tire game is avail­able on com­puter tablets for the eye-pop­ping price of 99 cents.

Ex­cept not ev­ery­one in the galaxy owns a tablet, do they now Grand Moff Tarkin breath, but I’m guess­ing most kids own an en­ter­tain­ment con­sole.

De­spite the chok­ing price point, An­gry Birds Star Wars beau­ti­fully melds two pop-cul­ture worlds to­gether and de­liv­ers a truly mem­o­rable ca­sual gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the en­tire Rebel fam­ily who wields the power of the Wii U.

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