I always said Angry Birds could last forever. All they have to do is keep making more levels. The possibilities are infinite. That’s basically what they did for Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio, but with Angry Birds Space they have actually changed the game.
Angry Birds is the benchmark for physics based games, so it’s a really big deal that they’ve changed the physics. In space you have a lot more factors to think about -- there’s orbit, gravity, freezing and more.
The basic setup is the same as the other Angry Birds games. Your slingshot is on the left side of the screen with an array of differently powered birds to fire strategically. However, you immediately notice the difference because the pig houses are built around the core of a planet. You can see the spherical atmosphere surrounding the planets, sometimes intersecting with other planets’ atmospheres.
So you’re not only firing birds into the pig structures, you’re firing them through the vacuum of space, and then into a planetary orbit. You can use this strategically and send birds revolving around one orbit and into another, using the gravitational pull to plan your ultimate path. You’ll notice right away that the dotted line indicator curves because the nature of outer space means that you’re not firing in a straight line.
Many of the structures and birds are the same, so you have some familiar elements. Glass, wood and stone are still the building blocks, but now there are asteroids and space bubbles you can pop to impact the pig structures. There are the regular and popular Red Birds, Bomb Birds and Blue Birds that split into three. New space birds include Ice Birds that can freeze stone and wood so they can be easily destroyed by Red or Blue Birds, and Lazer Birds that hone in on a target you tap. They seem to be this game’s equivalent of the Yellow Birds, adapted for specific space targeting.
Powerups include Space Eagles. You can earn multiple Space Eagles, and activate when you want to use one. This launches a block and when you tap again, it opens a black hole for the Space Eagle to come through and destroy everything. It’s a "God" move to clear difficult levels, but you score Space Eagle points depending on how much destruction you’re able to cause. There are also warp levels that take place within a planet’s surface.
The music is a space aged twist that still feels like Angry Birds music. Instead of the farmland whistling, it’s grand lasery music. The birds and pigs still make familiar noises, but changed a bit because of the new environment. Bombs blowing up in space resonate with a powerful echo.
Angry Birds Space has boss levels where you have to hit moving targets, which is a new action packed twist. Different planets have different space environments, including the ice planets and the candy game Utopia with bouncy gum surfaces. Clever stuff.
There are a few annoying flaws. The boards are so vast, you either have to zoom out which makes your birds harder to see, or stay close and fire a little bit blind. Even on the big iPad screen, it doesn’t really detect sensitive fingering, so you may spend an inordinate amount of time honing in on that perfect angle you want to shoot. And sometimes you’re just trying to scroll left and it makes your bird fire to the left of the screen. When that happens you just restart.
Angry Birds Space shows there’s a lot more life in this franchise. It’s not just new levels, but new worlds and physics that they've created. Just like before, you’ll be obsessed with getting three stars. I’m just positive I can clear it in a single shot! Just one more try!