Angry Birds Space: Should you download it?

Review: Released on Thursday, Angry Birds Space offers dazzling new physics.

A screen shot from Angry Birds Space, the latest installment of the wildly popular mobile puzzle game.

The Angry Birds series has been one of the most successful mobile games to date – and for good reason. Rovio has taken a simple gameplay approach and elevated it to an addictive medium for all kinds of players, both skillful and casual.

But no previously released game can prepare you for "Angry Birds Space," which sticks with the same concept, but adds more than enough new tricks to make it a must-have sequel (avaialble for Apple and Android mobile devices, Macs and PCs).

Once again, the birds are battling evil pigs as they sit in prebuilt arrangements — this time in space. Your team includes both old favorites like the yellow speeding bird, as well as newcomers such as the ice cube-shaped homing bird that freezes enemies on contact.

What’s cool about "Angry Birds Space" is how it conceptualizes using gravity. Pigs are usually placed on planets that have a gravitational pull. You’ll need to adjust trajectory to compensate. Once you do, though, you’ll be surprised with the results. Rovio includes plenty of ingenious designs here, including ones that take advantage of outside debris, such as mines and asteroids.

But that doesn’t mean the game’s gone off the deep end with presentation. This is still an Angry Birds game through and through, with cute little animations, sharp images and a great spacey soundtrack that makes you feel as if you’re on the far reaches of the universe.

Along with accessing plenty of inspired free levels (some paying homage to classic video games like 'Breakout' and 'Super Mario Bros.'), you can also unlock 60 additional levels for a dollar more – not a bad price for filling your Birds fix. While they may be challenging at first, there’s always a solution available, either by figuring out the best one or using an Eagle Tin to get through it. These are provided throughout the game, and you can buy extras for just a buck more through an in-app purchase.

While some may feel that the Angry Birds series has overstayed its welcome (especially with stuffed animals and fruit snacks on shelves), Rovio still has the magic touch when it comes to designing a game around them. "Angry Birds Space" is one of their most engaging affairs to date, filled with dazzling new physics and plenty of challenges you’ll be trying to three-star throughout the night and well into the next morning. It’s intergalactically awesome.

RATING 4/ 4

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.