Having the Star Wars treatment thrown out to another seemingly unrelated brand as usual instilled a sense of dread and disdain within us, but before we could say “Jar Jar Binks,” Angry Birds Star Wars docked in at our nearest app store and we have to admit, it’s pretty good.
The Star Wars universe lends itself surprisingly well to the Angry Birds characters and the typical game’s slingshoting, pig-smashing mechanics. Naturally you play as the Rebel Alliance, except this time, Luke resembles a robin, Chewie an oversized furry pigeon and Darth Vadar’s respirator strongly resembles a snout, not to mention the Millennium Falcon, or ‘Falcon’ as the game refers to it as, now features a motorised slingshot on top, oh and R2-D2 is an egg.
The game itself borrows from the best of both the classic Angry Birds titles and the more recent Angry Birds Space, which switched things up with a completely new gravity mechanic. In its current release, the available levels are spread across both Luke’s home planet of Tatooine and the Empire’s crown jewel, the Death Star, which has adopted more porcine features in the Angry Birds universe.
Level design feels more diverse and creative than previous titles, with iconic elements like the Sandcrawler rebuilt in destructible Angry Birds materials, but what makes the game significantly more interesting are the characters abilities. Especially in the opening levels of the game, Luke transforms from farmhand to Jedi apprentice and with this he gains the ability to wield a lightsaber. Sending Luke flying through the air and tapping whilst near stormtrooper pigs unleashes a lightsaber swipe which immediately destroys anything in its wake. At the same time, some enemies have blasters which if hitting a lightsaber will deflect and hit other objects or pigs.
It’s not just Luke who gets in on the action, Han-Solo, Chewie and Obi-wan all lend their unique talents to combating the Empire and in the next major update, Princess Leia will be able to lend a hand wing on the icy wastelands of Hoth. The mix of abilities, playful take on Star Wars characters and iconic sounds and score all help make this one of the most enjoyable Angry Birds games to date and the humorous retelling of the Star Wars story fits into the same vein as Lego Star Wars.
Even with the Star Wars treatment, Angry Birds isn’t for everyone, but coming from one gamer who grew tired of the original titles pretty quickly, Angry Birds Star Wars feels fresher, more exciting and no matter how many times a piece of the original franchise is torn off and handed to another brand, nostalgia always takes hold when John William’s famous fanfare starts up.
If you want to try it out for yourself, Angry Birds Star Wars is available for iOS, Android and is coming soon to Windows Phone too.