Rovio’s popular casual game series Angry Birds has been selling millions upon millions of copies across various platforms, including the iPhone, Android and whatever else it’s offered for. The antics of the birds have also spread into the mainstream, with fruit snacks, stuffed toys, animated tie-ins and even an upcoming movie to celebrate their legacy.
But it’s funny. They haven’t really been in their own compilation on video game consoles, outside of a brief appearance of the first game on PlayStation Network’s Minis page. However, that will change later this year when Activision releases the Angry Birds Trilogy for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The trilogy consists of three of the series’ most popular entries – the original that started it all, Angry Birds; the sequel that’s a tie-in to a Sony Pictures film, Angry Birds Rio; and the seasonally upgraded Angry Birds Seasons. Now, you might be wondering…why didn’t Angry Birds Space enter the picture? Well, Activision isn’t saying, but they also haven’t ruled out that the sequel could very well be added through DLC down the road. Cross those fingers.
If you’re not familiar with the concept, let’s explain it to you. There are these evil pigs, ones that have stolen the Angry Birds’ eggs and taken refuge in some poorly built structures. The birds can’t just walk over and take them back. Instead, they have to launch themselves using a slingshot, strategically shooting themselves so they strike the structures in the right way, bringing them down – along with the dastardly pigs. The goal of each stage is to eliminate all the pigs in the least amount of turns.
At first this is easy thanks to the obvious solution presented in the introductory stages. But, as you go on, the levels get bigger and more ridiculous, and you’ll have to think things through.
Now, the games wouldn’t be any fun if you just used the same birds over and over again, right? This is where Angry Birds adds some diversity, as each bird serves their own special little purpose. The red bird, whom you start out with, dishes out a straight shot, while the tiny blue bird, once tapped, can split into three more birds, widening the damage he can do. The yellow bird can speed up his shot once poked in the air, and so on. Each one has an advantage that the other does not, making them effective when it comes to bringing down structures…and those jerk pigs.
For the home release, Activision is working with Rovio to make sure that the gameplay has something new to offer, even though we’re all quite familiar with how Angry Birds works. (Well, most of us, I suppose.) In addition to regular controls using your routine game controller, you can also use the PlayStation Move on the PS3 to line up your shots, using the controller to wind back the slingshot and fire off whoever’s in it.
As for Xbox 360 users, they won’t be left out in the cold, as they can use their Kinect device to wave their arms and set up their shots accordingly. What’s more, the Mighty Eagle will also be available on occasion, without the need to buy him separately, so you can get through a stage that’s really bugging you, if you absolutely need it.
In terms of making the game everything it can be on the Xbox 360 and PS3 (a 3DS version is in the works as well), Activision and Rovio are making it in high definition, so that the birds look like they really spring to life as you launch them into battle. The backdrops look very good in this early stage, and some of the bonus stages that are being thrown in as extra content are amongst the biggest we’ve seen in the game to date, really upping the stakes when it comes to destroying pigs. As part of a little history lesson to fans, Rovio is also throwing in early concept art, so you can see how the game came to be before it became the million-seller it is today.
Now for the catch – Angry Birds Trilogy is being made as a retail release, and Activision currently has the price point set at $39.99 (or $29.99 for the 3DS edition). Considering that the three included games can be purchased on the mobile front for about $5-$10 apiece, that might be a hard bargain for some folks. However, we haven’t seen the final package yet, so Activision and Rovio could definitely make it worth players’ whiles with even more bonus content, as well as online leaderboards. We’ll revisit this for a hands-on test and let you know how it shapes up before its fall 2012 release.