App Review: 'Angry Birds Seasons'
Filed under: Apps
Rated ON FOR Ages 8 and Up
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the latest free update of "Angry Birds Seasons" introduces 15 new St. Patrick's Day-themed levels of the wildly popular physics puzzle game "Angry Birds." The previous 15 Valentine's Day levels, 45 Halloween levels, and 25 Christmas levels are still playable too. For players who did not have the "Angry Birds Seasons" already, it's a $.99 new app purchase. Gameplay is exactly the same (launch birds from a slingshot to collapse structures and destroy the pigs hiding inside), only now the backgrounds include fields of shamrocks, pots of gold, and pigs with red beards and leprechaun hats to destroy. There's even an Irish remix of the theme song featuring tin whistles. Also available are an iPad version of the game, "Angry Birds Seasons" HD, and an Android version of the game.
The good stuff
- Ease of play: The controls are easy to master, but the puzzles themselves can be quite tricky to figure out. All instructions are shown in pictures, so no reading is required.
- Educational value: The game boasts realistic physics, and winning involves using trajectory, speed, and momentum to your advantage.
What to watch out for
- Violence: When birds make contact with an obstacle they disappear in a tuft of feathers, but they demonstrate no pain and seem perfectly willing participants in the mayhem. Defeated pigs disappear in a puff of smoke. Pigs that are damaged but not yet defeated display bruising.
- Sex: Not an issue.
- Language: Not an issue.
- Consumerism: The app contains links to download the original "Angry Birds," sign up for the "Angry Birds" email newsletter, buy "Angry Birds" plush toys, watch an "Angry Birds" video trailer, and visit the developer's Facebook and Twitter pages. With the St. Patrick's Day update, users can also send Angry Birds-themed St. Patrick's Day cards through Facebook.
- Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Not an issue.
How safe is it?
- Personal privacy: Players can post to leaderboards, and buttons on the title page lead to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. These are optional. Players can also opt in to Apple's Game Center to track achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. With Game Center, players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname. Requesting or accepting a friend via email will reveal the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and the sender's email address. After failing a level, you may be offered a link to search Bing for tips; this takes you out of the app and to the Bing site.
Is It Any Good?
"Angry Birds Seasons" isn't a true sequel to "Angry Birds" since gameplay is essentially the same except for the new seasonal themes (St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day). Nevertheless, the 100 levels (45 Halloween-themed, 25 Christmas-themed, 15 Valentine's Day-themed, and 15 St. Patrick's Day) are as challenging as ever and are a great value for players looking for an extra dose of "Angry Birds" fun. The destruction is done in such a silly and cartoony way that it's unlikely to make anyone uncomfortable.
Phone: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Category: Puzzle Games
Price: $.99, Version: 1.3.0, Size: 15.6 MB
Release Date: 12/10/2010
Publisher: Rovio Mobile
Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.0 or later
This review of "Angry Birds Seasons" was written by Erin Bell.
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