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.


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