Angry Birds is very cool and it is time we acknowledged that. Angry Birds may have started as a limited computer game for smartphones, but it has evolved into a real cultural phenomenon. In addition to the smartphone game, Angry Birds is now a merchandising bonanza. Stuffed toys, t-shirts and other swag featuring Angry Birds hit the market right in time for the holidays last year and were very popular among a diverse range of ages and subcultures. Even Hartz, the pet product manufacturer, licensed Angry Birds for dog and cat toys!
Why is Angry Birds so cool? First, Angry Birds is very easy to buy. The popular game started its life as a game application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Because those products featured a touchscreen, Angry Birds exploded onto the market as one of the first games that utilized that technology well. Apple customers were excited about their touchscreens and Angry Birds gave them something to get truly excited about. While Angry Birds was originally only available as an Apple app, with the rise of Android, the game’s publisher, Rovio, expanded the programming to allow it to play on the Android Operating System. Now, there are versions of Angry Birds for virtually every platform, including Windows, Playstation 3 and the Nintendo 3DS!
Angry Birds is very easy to play. The game mechanic for Angry Birds is ridiculously simple. You pull back a bird in a slingshot and release. When you let go, the bird is launched through the air to a construct that it must knock down and that’s that. Anyone of any age who has working eyes and fingers can play Angry Birds!
The third thing that makes Angry Birds so cool is the graphics. Angry Birds may not feature state-of-the-art computer-generated characters, but it has a very fun interface and the characters in the game are cute. Those who are still discovering the current generation of video games are discovering a level of sophistication to the graphics unheard of even ten years ago. To have a game that looks like an animated cartoon you control on a smartphone is an impressive technological leap still!
Finally, Angry Birds is cool because it is addictive without being indispensible. Angry Birds awards you points for how fast you break down the pig-created constructs and rescue your eggs or other birds. In addition to challenging you to simply solve the puzzle using trial-and-error of physics, Angry Birds encourages you to replay levels in order to get a higher score by achieving your destructive goals faster. At the same time, there is no real character growth throughout the game, so while it is fun to play and replay, it is easy to set aside when you need to do other things.
Angry Birds had all of the key elements for both popularity and success. With Rovio creating specialized Angry Birds games like Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Holidays, the Angry Birds phenomenon will be cool for a long time!
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