In space, nobody can hear you scream. However, the sound of an angry bird shot from a slingshot in space is already being heard worldwide.
The original Angry Birds has proven to be the most mainstream video game hit since Pac-Man barnstormed across the planet over three decades ago. One would be hard-pressed to walk into any retail store in the country and not find Angry Birds merchandise or turn on the television without seeing a reference to the popular app and video game.
Now the first true sequel to the pop culture phenom, Angry Birds Space, has hit Apple and Android devices, as well as PC and Mac computers.
Iconic games of the past have sometimes struggled with sequels. The original Tetris has proven a more popular game than any of it’s later follow-ups, while most Pac-Man sequels also fell short of the original. Ms. Pac-Man was the exception to the rule, proving successful in large part for managing to take everything that made the first Pac-Man popular and enhancing it with new features.
Angry Birds Space manages to do what Ms. Pac did decades before. Ten million downloads in the first three days of release show others feel the same. The new title successfully enhances the classic gameplay formula that made the original such an unqualified success.
Fans of the original Angry Birds and it’s spin-offs will be able to instantly recognize how to play Angry Birds Space. The extra challenge of various types of gravity now exists in various ways. Some levels will require the player to put a bird into orbit in order to reach the enemy pigs (who are now apparently “pigs in space”). Others require knocking your adversaries out of orbit and down to the surface of nearby planets and moons. Still others provide the challenge of knocking space junk or asteroids into the green pigs in order to move on to the next level.
New birds join your ranks as well, some of which can be detonated by another touch of the screen while in flight and others that can be split into three flying foul with an extra tap. As with the original Angry Birds the timing and angle of your shots are key, but with the varied ways Angry Birds Space uses gravity and obstacles each level requires a different approach than the previous and often prove far less predictable.
The hype surrounding this new title is justified. Much like the aforementioned Ms. Pac-Man, Angry Birds Space doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, taking everything that worked about the original and improving upon it.
Go ahead and throw down your 99 cents, charge up your smartphone all the way and set aside more than a little free time. Angry Birds Space is an instant classic.
The author of this article can be reached at PatrickScottPatterson.com and on Twitter @OriginalPSP