|Angry Birds Space
iOS, Android, Windows PC, Mac
If I raked in hundreds of millions of dollars, I'd be ecstatic. Overjoyed. Exploding with happiness. The last thing I'd be is angry.
But I'm not a bird in a blood feud with a bunch of egg-thieving pigs.
Call of Duty, Halo and blockbusters of their ilk have certainly made a ton of cash, but you could argue that no video game of this generation has sold more copies or reached more people than Angry Birds and its spinoffs, with 700 million downloads across half a dozen platforms.
And now, the birds are blasting off to the cosmos to fight a bunch of PIGS... IN... SPAAAAAAACE! (It's a Muppet Show reference, kids. Sorry.)
Angry Birds Space is the first true sequel to the 2009 blockbuster iPhone game that eventually spread to the Android, Mac and Windows PC platforms, among others. But this is no mere add-on -- the fundamentals of the game have been tweaked, a few feathers have been ruffled and the result is a whole lot of fun.
As you'd guess from the title, Angry Birds Space is set in the inky black of the cosmos, and introduces gravitational fields and zero-gravity inertia to the familiar formula of flinging superpowered birds at cowardly green pigs.
It's a simple thing, but it gives the game an added dimension of challenge and zest, as you slingshot your birds around planets or through asteroid fields to strike at hunkered-down pigs.
There's a nice amount of variety to the levels, a wonderfully cartoonish sci-fi vibe, some new birds (including one that freezes materials to make them shatter easily) and five unique "Eggsteroids" levels, all of which helps the game feel fresh again.
Where Angry Birds Space disappoints a bit is in its length.
If you're not striving to get a three-star rating on each level, you could probably burn through the game's 60 levels in a couple of hours. If you're an OCD gamer like me and need to hit three stars on every level, it might give you a day of fun.
Sure, that's not bad for a game that can be had for as little as 99¢ for the iPhone (it's a little pricier on other devices), but it irks me how Angry Birds Space is always trying to sell you something, be it spending real-world money on a set of 30 locked challenge levels, or on Space Eagle uber-birds to complete all the alternate challenges. Even the loading screen has ads flogging Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio.
Still, I never thought I'd feel compelled to fling myself into an Angry Birds game again, so these avian astronauts must be doing something right.
This first true sequel to Angry Birds gives the formula some new wings, but it's a bit too short and keeps pecking at you to buy more content.