Angry Birds is making me…well….um….you know….ANGRY!
I was never one to jump on the Angry Birds bandwagon, as a man who is turning 30 next year I feel a little embarrassed to mention my interest in computer games. I think it is actually quite sad that I won’t admit who I am some times, in fact computer games is the only thing I tend to hide. Right, it’s out there on the internet I can now go into a corner and weep in shame!
Anyhow, back to the irate avians. I had played crush the castle games on the internet in random periods of boredom so when Angry Birds came out a few years back I thought it was just another boring rock flinging type game. But those guys at Rovio had other ideas! The marketing executives took a somewhat stupid move in my opinion and decided to give Angry Birds Seasons away for free. Finding it on the app store I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. In my opinion games apps are only for short-term play when your waiting for someone at the train station, have five minutes free before you need to leave the house, are on the toilet or are waiting for the wife to try on the sixteenth pair of jeans that day whilst you stand in that awkward imaginary sheep pen around the changing rooms whilst men hide behind smart phones trying not to make eye contact. But clever, smarmy, smart arsed Angry Birds had other plans. Damn it with its array of different locations each with unique and beautiful designed background art, each with different sorts of blocks and fiendish design. Damn it with its large array of different birds with varying abilities which continues to expand. Damn it with its clever hardness curve that starts easy but builds up to rather difficult. Damn its choice of levels so if I get stuck I can move to a different world and come back later. Damn it with its star system that makes you want to go back and complete levels with three stars. I want a life but you sir, you just wont let me! I even hate it when my wife says, ‘are you playing Angry Birds again?’ I feel like a scolded child, I feel like I am somehow doing something wrong, and worst of all I feel like I have been demoted to the lowest common denominator like I am a contestant on Big Brother or am appearing on The Only Way is Essex. In short it makes me feel dirty.
That is the things about Angry Birds, it is absolutely amazing. It takes a simple genre of game and makes it not only aesthetically pleasing but clever, difficult and diverse. I am constantly playing levels wanting a certain type of bird but not getting it only to take a step back and look at how my current menagerie could solve that dilemma. I can really see why it is such a big hit.
But then you see I though that was it, one free game that I play on a bit. I have times where I play it a lot, I have times where I don’t play it at all. Then Rovio hit me with a bombshell, they raised my annoyance. It was as if they looked straight into my chest grabbed my heart and started manually pumping it so the blood went round my body really fast. Yes you knew Rovio, you knew I was a Star Wars fan, you knew that despite Lucas making Episodes 1 and 2 I still love it, you knew that I was happy with the galactic world in spite of the Disney fiasco (actually not a bad thing in my opinion), you knew I’d buy it. It just kept flashing up, that little banner when I was on Angry Birds Season….’buy angry birds star wars, buy ANGRY BIRDS STARS, BUT ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS!’ It was only 69p, I should not be annoyed. But marketing doesn’t work on me! Actually what is really frustrating it that it does but I know when it does. I could feel it taking over my body and I was aware. There I was on the app store, ready to download, oh wait I’ve got a new phone, I need to re-register my credit card details before I can purchase, I’ve won. Yes, no 69p loss for me. The next stage was a blur, my credit card was in my hand, what was I doing? 69p gone, but I tell you something it was worth it! I though Seasons was good but Star Wars is amazing! Little red Luke Skywalker bird with his lightsabre, Black Obi-Wan bird with his force push, Yellow Han Solo bird with his laser shot and big hairy Chewbacca bird. And the space levels with planets with gravitational pull, oh I’m in heaven.
I still don’t think it is right. I don’t want my phone to take over my life, but at least I know what all the fuss is about even if I feel like a hypocrite. Like the man who doesnt eat cake and the next minute is tucking into a slice of victoria sponge who the person who says wrestling is stupid and not real then is caught watching WWE Smackdown (that has actually happened to me). All I really want to say is that Angry Birds is not as good as everyone says, it’s better and it blows all my principles out of the water and thus makes me angry and overjoyed at the same time. Lets just hope they don’t bring out Angry Birds Pirates of the Caribbean or that’s another 69p I’m down!