Angry Birds is back! And whilst it feels like it never actually went away, that is because we have had over 15 different Angry Birds games since the original back in 2009. The new game introduces new functionality, new level mechanics and animations worthy of Disney.
The first thing you will notice with ‘2’ is the card based system for choosing birds. Not all are unlocked from the beginning and not all are available at the start of any level. The 240 levels (with more to come) are multi-staged, meaning you have to use the same set of birds across various stages in a mini-golf style game. Destroying a level in a single bird earns you a strike, two gets a birdie and any more that that means you are in trouble.
Additional cards/birds can be earned by how much damage you do on a level. A damage metre on the HUD shows when to expect your reinforcements.
Other additional cards come in the form of spells. These are a limited resource and can be earned and bought for gems/real cash and include rubber ducks that fall from the sky, freeze, that turns all materials to ice and even red hot chillies that chose one pit you heat up and explode.
The animations are fantastic and Rovios entrance into the cartoon market really shows, as the game feels polished and thought out. Of course, the monetisation has also been well developed. Packs of gems can be purchased and cost anywhere between £0.79 and £79.99.
Weirdly, the monetisation method of paying for extra birds and spells actually makes the game feel like you have more to lose. You only have so many lives, and you don’t want to pay for for. If you really need one more life or bird then there is a a option to watch an advert before handing out cold hard cash. I must have seen the ‘Game of War’ advert around 50 times now.
As far as I understand, your lives refill daily so you can make your way through New Pork City, Feathery Hill, Eggchanted Woods all the way to Misty Mire without spending a penny.
Once players have passed level 25 they can enter the stadium. Inside, players have to see how far they can get through an array of levels using one set of birds. Additions birds can be earned and the final score is added to the leaderboard along with players from around the world. This competitive side to Angry Birds adds yet another string to an already ample bow and increases it longevity for hardcore players.
Overall, Angry Birds 2 delivers on producing a better, more strategic game than the original with better visuals, more interesting mechanics and added features to make the game more fun. The monetisation is both a blessing and a curse and sometimes gets in the way, as you would expect. However, I am still yet to pay out and I have had hours of fun. Welcome back!