angry birds

PLATFORM: iPad (& every other platform)
RELEASE DATE: 12/2009

DEVELOPER: Rovio
PUBLISHER: Chillingo
ESRB RATING: E for Everyone

Angry Birds isn’t a video game.

There is this very popular phenomenon happening all around us. Unsuspecting people are toying with the laws of physics in our gaming world. Through the guise of little, simply rendered “birds” and a sling shot, they are honing their trajectory skills. Sure, right now, these average joe’s are only knocking over blocks and destroying sadly painted green “pigs” but what are they being prepared for? Surely these people, who wouldn’t be caught dead playing a “vidya game”, aren’t indeed playing one themselves? No, it couldn’t be, there must be something much more sinister at work.

There is a revolution coming, folks. And Angry Birds is just the first, heart-warming casual game leading the way. We’ve all felt that pride of knowing all there is to know about a game. Mastering, not one, but a whole genre of fighting games. Soon, we may have to share this with everyone. The popularity of Angry Birds is evidence of an impending invasion of casual gamer’s, with whom we might have to share our controllers. Lets look at some examples.

The older lady on the train. What is this? She has a better iPad case than me! Nothing too gaudy, like her purse, but rather a simple thin plastic sheath. She looks so comfortable with the gadget as she casually lines up her shot and flicks her manicured nail. I wonder if she would be up for a coop match?

The toddler who wants to play the bird game. Everyone knows somebody with a kid. More and more these little monsters are everywhere. Even in restaurants you can hear them tugging on their dad, trying to get at his phone. Toddlers, aka digital natives, now have a new family member to occupy their short attention span. Mama, papa and the bird game.

Mom who can’t work her phone enough to change the ring tone has, and plays, Angry Birds. There she is, caring a minimum of three bags on her way to wherever. Juggling her keys, gym bag and a small puppy while reading her eBook. What’s this? She’s not changing the song, she’s knocking over blocks with birds?

The hard core gamer who can’t stand these “casual games” and considers their mass use as a spit in the face. Sure, he gets to brood even harder at these new Angry Birds people now, but at what cost? Now, they want to know things. “What games do you play on the Wii? What do you stream Netflix on?” and “Do they still have Mario?” The hardcore are not the most friendly bunch, it’s a good thing they are on our side. FYI – they don’t play Angry Birds themselves, but they’ve had it downloaded since 2009 and can tell you what game it’s ripped off from.

Twelve million copies sold with no sign of sales slowing down. This app is spreading like wild fire. You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t tried it yet. Luckily, Angry Birds is just one shiny needle in a hay stack for now. Most other iOS and Android games are crap. Seems the major players making games are just dabbling in the new wave of devices out there. Some large franchises like Dead Space and Need for Speed have app game versions but they are severely scaled down from their console counterparts.

Angry birds seems to be the test subject for breaking in a new product. “How’s that new tablet.. does it have Angry Birds?” Its simple mechanics allow it to easily be ported to every platform possible. Thats a long, profitable and unusual journey for a video game. This test subject has garnered enough attention to go mainstream; eventually the mainstream will want something else to play. Very soon the household staple fight over the remote may be the fight over the game controller.

A
For Assimilation

2 Comments

  1. Interesting review. I’d agree with the notion that most other iOS games are crap, but that may be partly due to sheer volume. There are nearly three times as many games for the platform than every other console from the last 25 years combined:

    http://www.tuaw.com/2010/11/17/the-staggering-size-of-ioss-game-collection/

    If even 5% of iOS games are good, that would put it on pretty solid footing. And Gabe here makes a great point:

    http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/8/1/fire/

  2. Good write-up, I think you’re dead on.

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