Rovio Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Rovio RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Why Where's My Water Was Better Than Angry Birds Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:52:15 -0400 daisy_blonde

In 2011, Disney Mobile published a small puzzle game that turned out to be quite a hit -- Where's My Water?. Some people accused Disney of ripping off Rovio's popular title, Angry Birds, but arguably, Disney Mobile was innovating by using water based physics in an innovative way and creating a new IP just for the computer gaming market.

We take a quick look at the game's development and discuss why it's better than Angry Birds.

Development and Spin-Offs

Disney was no stranger to giving other well-known developers the rights to make games, such as Capcom and Virgin Interactive in the 1990s, the latter of which developed the excellent movie tie-in game for The Lion King.

However, development for Where's My Water? was done by Creature Feep, a relatively unknown development team that was actually part of Disney Mobile. Interestingly, 'creature feep' is a well-known internet Spoonerism of 'feature creep'. This refers to a piece of software doing way more than originally intended with future updates (such as all the needless features now in iTunes, like Apple Music).

Indeed, perhaps this name was a nod to the spin-offs the game would eventually have. Its success spawned a cartoon show, a Hasbro board game, a web series, and sequels with other well-known Disney characters, such as Where's My Mickey?

The team was headed by Timothy FitzRandolph, who developed the Xbox indie hit JellyCar, which would be later ported to iOS. Disney later acquired the rights to this game and its sequel, JellyCar 2.

According to FitzRandolph in an interview with USA Today, the focus during early development was on water physics and letting the player use the tactile nature of a touchscreen to guide the water. This makes the game distinct from the slingshot physics of Angry Birds, and is genuinely something other games weren't attempting at the time. It shows that Disney is trying to diversify and not copy other trends du jour.

Swampy was the first new Disney character to debut within a game as opposed to a film or TV. He was voiced by Justin T. Bowler (who mainly speaks in Muppet like grunts), and it showed a change in strategy for the company, which was perhaps an influence on their later game-focused developments, such as using Amiibo like existing Disney assets for Disney Infinity.

Plot and Gameplay

The main (and very basic) plot of the game is that Swampy, an alligator living in the sewers, feels constantly dirty and wants to wash all the sewer gunk off in the bathtub. Thwarting him is fellow alligator Cranky, who uses crafty means to stop Swampy getting his water supply. You, as the player, must make sure Swampy gets his water by using your finger to guide the water from a running tap or other water source, such as a pool of water. 

As you progress through the game, various obstacles get in your way, such as green ooze, which melts dirt, and purple poison, which must not come into contact with the water you are trying to get to Swampy.

This is by far one of the best uses of tactile puzzle solving that a smart device has to offer now, let alone back in 2011. I find it less gimmicky than other apps such as 

Angry Birds, as using your digits is essential rather than tacked on like some platformers or RPGs ported to smart devices. Given that it's a Disney app aimed at kids, the difficulty level isn't too hard, either.

Where it ramps up is at completionist level, as an additional objective is to collect all three rubber ducks by splashing them with water until they disappear (similar to the stars in Angry Birds). However, unlike Angry Birds, water rather than air (and slingshots) controls the physics of the game, and there are lots of new challenges to keep you on your toes.

Where's My Water? also lets you play as other characters, such as Cranky and Allie. In Cranky's levels, the objective is to collect the purple ducks by filling them with poison. In Allie's levels, your objective is to get water to all the musical notes in a specific order. I found it very addictive and I enjoyed the animated vignettes between each group of levels, which were like a digital comic book. Indeed, Angry Birds' later incarnations borrowed this comic book style to tell their stories -- this is a clever way to avoiding huge spending on re-recording voice acting for localization.


The music and sound effects fit the tone of the app. However, in my version, the music and sound effects can cut out. Perhaps this can be fixed in future updates.

Where's My Water in 2017 How Its Legacy Compares to Angry Birds

Swampy and friends still hold up in comparison to the games of 2017. It may not have the sheer frustration and retro styling of other indie games like Super Meat Boy or VVVVV, but it is a unique concept.

Its positive reception contributed to many ports -- with Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Android all receiving their own versions of the game. 

Interestingly, following the lackluster reception of Disney Infinity 2, Disney announced in December 2016 that it would be shutting down its video game business entirely. Perhaps this is not surprising, given their acquisitions of Lucasfilm and Marvel since 2012, but it is a blow to developers who want to make that mark through funding from larger organizations.

By contrast, the Angry Birds movie, which came out in 2016, missed the hype train surrounding the original mobile title -- and received a lowly 46% aggregate score on Metacritic. That said, as the Angry Birds Wiki page explains, the game has spawned a successful and tactile arcade experience in which you "become the slingshot" by moving a light on the screen to where you want your angry bird to be aimed. Where's My Water? lacks this sort of experience, but its success has been emulated by similar games such as Splash Canyons

Perhaps Rovio, unlike Disney, was trying to tap into the 2011 zeitgeist in order to emulate America's entertainment behemoth. Indeed, the team revealed to Business Insider that the company was trying to be like Disney. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery -- and although Where's my Water? came out after Angry Birds, the gameplay mechanics and original design make it a great innovator rather than a great imitator. 

Battle Bay Ship Guide: Which Is Best For You? Mon, 15 May 2017 19:03:12 -0400 Tobbpitt

There are five ship types in Battle Bay, and each one has its own specializations based on its stats and item slots. There's a big difference between a Shooter and a Defender, just like there's a big difference between an Enforcer and Fixer.

Knowing the differences between each ship type lets you pick what's best for your playstyle. You have to choose based on whether you like to deal massive damage, support, or tank -- just as you would in an RPG. And just like those games, you play to your role. You don't want to see any Fixers trying to run-and-gun in the frontlines or Speeders hanging out back. Play your ships the way they're meant to be played for the best results.

Before we go into each ship's specialization, let's go over the types of items and what they generally do. Each item color specializes in a type of function -- whether simply being weapons, passive stat increases, or active uses to turn the tide of battle. Here's what they are:

  • Red Items: These are weapons. Every ship has at least one red item slot. The more red slots, the more weapons you can equip.
  • Yellow Items: These are use items, of which Battle Bay has a wide variety. Some examples of yellow item abilities are:
    • Tesla Bolt: Stuns an enemy for a couple seconds
    • Frost Blaster: Freezes an enemy ship for a few seconds.
    • Nitro: Gives you a massive boost of speed for a moment.
  • Blue Items: These give passive stat improvements, including:
    • Bandage: Grants you passive HP regeneration every 5 seconds.
    • Turbo: Increases your ship's speed.
    • Rudder: Improves your ship's turning speed
  • Green Items: These are the least common of the colors and most often are used on Fixer ships. These are also use items, but are only geared towards support. The three currently in the game are:
    • Repair Box Launcher: Drops a box in the water for friendly ships to pick up and heal.
    • Repair Pulse: Repairs nearby friendly ships.
    • Duct Tape: Repairs your ship's HP over time.

With that gone over, let's get into each ship type and what you need to know before settling on one over the other. No two ship types are equal in all ways, so choose whichever sounds best!


The Shooter is your starter ship, but don't let that make you think it's useless. It's surprisingly good, especially if you like to have a whole array of weapons at your disposal.

This ship mostly specializes in red items, meaning it can have the most weapons equipped at a time when compared with other ships. This makes it ideal for the trigger-happy player.

By default the Shooter has the second highest speed in the game and its agility is average, which just adds to the versatility of this ship. You can choose pretty much any weapon type and do well with the Shooter -- and it has just enough blue item slots for you to customize its stats to your liking.


The Speeder specializes in exactly what it sounds like: going fast. But that doesn't mean that's all it's good for.

With the lowest HP out of all the ships, this one makes up for it with its exceedingly high ship agility and its fast speed. Its turret agility is just average, but that can be dealt with using blue items if need be.

This ship specializes in yellow and blue items, which make it an amazing disruptor if equipped with the right combination of yellow and blue items. It can essentially stun for days if played right. You see a ton of Speeders at high ranks, and for good reason.

People tend to compare the Speeder and the Enforcer because their item slots are so similar, with the Enforcer being more geared toward weapon usage and the Speeder being better suited to stat-improving blue items. But the combination of lots of yellow and blue slots with the ship's speed allows the Speeder to shut down the enemy team much easier than the Enforcer.


The second slowest ship in the game, the Enforcer may seem like a bad choice when compared to the fast Speeder or the extra-heavy Defender, but it has its uses -- those being a combination of heavy artillery and yellow use items.

The Enforcer was born to shoot, and packs the highest base turret agility in the game, as well as a very high ship agility -- both of which make this a very maneuverable ship despite its slower speed.

Its maneuverability, the heap of red and yellow item slots, and its reasonably high health make the Enforcer a great long or mid-range combatant depending on your loadout and playstyle. Of all the other ships, this one is probably the most diverse in playstyle...but you lack the stat versatility seen in the Speeder above.


Battle Bay's true tank ship, the Defender doesn't have much going for it in the way of maneuverability nor utility. (No yellow items for you!) But it is absolutely stacked with blue item slots, and has a few reds to keep you shooting to victory. And that's not even touching on its innate defense stat, which effectively reduces all incoming damage.

Just like you'd expect a moving fortress to be, the Defender is the slowest tank in the game by default. Don't let that deter you, though -- if you stack this bad boy with a couple of Turbo items, you can make up for its slowness. Stack it with any blues and you can make up for just about any weaknesses this ship may have. Or, of course, more health.

This ship is best in the front lines, taking damage that would otherwise go to your squishier teammates and doling out damage with short to mid-range weapons. It's a bummer the Defender can't stun or dole out other disruptive item effects, but that would make it the best ship by a long mile. Be happy the Defender specializes in tanking and spanking.


There is no ship you'd like to have on your team more than a Fixer, even if you don't want to play it yourself. These are Battle Bay's healer tank, and they do a pretty great job.

Fixers specialize in using the ever-rare green items, all of which are focused around either healing the team or the Fixer itself (as you can see in the item examples at the start of the article). That's what makes this ship so valuable on a team, but is also what makes them so rare: most people just don't dig healing in games.

This ship can do more than heal -- with a handful of weapon slots, a tiny dot of yellow, and some blue for those much-needed stats. But a team wants a Fixer to heal, and that's exactly what you should do when playing one. You may not carry your teams as obviously as Speeders or Enforcers do, but as a Fixer you will be one of the most important players on any team at any rank.


Hopefully this rundown has given you a better idea of what Battle Bay's ships are best at. Whether it's the offense-heavy Shooter, the versatile Speeder, or the handy-dandy Fixer, each ship has its own uses that -- in the right hands -- can be a real terror on the waves.

How to Add Friends in Battle Bay Wed, 10 May 2017 12:01:53 -0400 Erroll Maas

Battle Bay, the new addictive mobile game from Rovio Entertainment, has seen quite a bit of success recently -- although some players are having problems with it. Many seem to be having a difficult time adding friends, accessing their guild, and entering the chat system. If you're one of them, then this guide is here to help!

Adding Players as Friends in Battle Bay

There are a couple different ways to add players to your friends list in Battle Bay. Here's the rundown:

Use the Chat Function

Have a friend type something to you in the chat. Once they do, you can select the "add friend" option by tapping on their name and selecting the option. This is probably the easiest method to use.

Look for Their Boat

Another way to add friends is by seeing their boat in the main hub. When you do, just select the add friend option after tapping on their name. This is probably the most difficult way to add someone, since you may have a hard time searching for them.

Use the Leaderboard

The third and final way to add a friend is to use the leaderboard. Once again, you should just find their name, tap on it, and select the add friend option.

Ahoy, Mateys!

Really, the TL;DR here is that you add someone simply by tapping on their name and selecting the option, no matter how you go about finding that name in the first place.

As soon as you have added a friend, you can check to see if the method you used was successful. If they're offline, the circle next to their name will be red, if they're online, it'll be green. To start a chat with them, just tap on their name from your friends list.  You can also tap their name and select “Remove Friend” if that's something that you need to do.

We hope that helped clear things up for you! Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!

The Angry Birds Movie Review Mon, 23 May 2016 06:00:18 -0400 Donald Strohman

Who here hasn't played the Angry Birds video game at least once in their lives? In its prime, the Angry Birds franchise was taking the entire world by storm, spawning numerous spin-off games and a merchandising empire that most mobile game companies could only dream of. But when the flair for the franchise began to spiral away, and the merchandise was no longer flying off the shelves, it was only a matter of time before developer Rovio Entertainment would look elsewhere to try and reinvigorate interest in the Angry Birds.

Yet, who would have ever guessed that specific area would be a feature length animated film? It's inarguable that younger audiences will likely swipe at anything Angry Birds-related coming their way for the next few months, but even with that in mind, the end result of The Angry Birds Movie is nothing more than a mixed bag of harmless kid's fluff.

The Plot

The Angry Birds Movie stars Jason Sudeikis as the series' iconic bird Red. While just about everyone is happy and carefree with their lives on the isolated island, Red keeps finding himself at the butt of everyone's inconsideration and lack of care, causing him to go into self-exile away from the bird village. However, after being assigned to anger management classes to "help pluck away" his irritability, he comes across three other birds with agitation problems, Bomb (Danny McBride,) Chuck (Josh Gad,) and Terence (Sean Penn.) Yet, everyone's lives are about to flipped upside down when a group of pigs, lead by Leonard (Bill Hader,) arrive aboard a ship onto their little island, claiming they want nothing more than to be friends. Red, of course, is suspicious from the get go, and plots to find out what the pigs are really up to.

The Positives

As far as animated movies go, The Angry Birds Movie doesn't hold a stick to the likes of Disney/Pixar or Aardman Animations, but that doesn't mean it isn't without its positives. The animation of the birds themselves is done very nicely, as if you could reach out towards the screen and pluck a single feather off the birds' bodies. In turn, the animation also leads to a good amount of jokes that hit their mark well enough.

Despite the first half of the movie feeling rather directionless, some of the movie's best gags stem from the zany antics of the three main leads. On that note, the casting choices fit their parts really well. Jason Sudeikis added a good amount of cynicism to the role of Red, Josh Gad's hyper personality fit well with the role of Chuck, even Danny McBride's performance as Bomb was done nicely. But of all the characters, the one I enjoyed most was Sean Penn as Terence. It feels criminal that the character of Terence wasn't given more screen time, since he commands the most laughs every time he appears in the movie. His introduction into the anger management classes was one of the most memorable parts of the film for me personally. 

[Spoiler alert!]

Where the film shines brightest is the last third, when the pigs finally steal the island's eggs and plan on eating them. Having rejected Red's pleas that the pigs were up to something, the inhabitants finally realize the error of their ways and turn to Red for guidance. This is when he gets the idea to slingshot themselves at the pigs' castle to retrieve their eggs, and it leads to a lot of fun action pieces and comedic moments that help make up for the rest of the film's lack of proper direction.

A lot of the kids in my theater were hamming it up at the tail end of the feature, so if for no other reason, they'll enjoy themselves just to finally see the birds flinging themselves at some pigs.

The Problems

Tragically, as mentioned before, The Angry Birds Movie ultimately feels like nothing more than an uninspired children's flick for the least demanding audiences. While Pixar has crafted numerous films that can appeal to both kids and adults alike, The Angry Birds Movie forces in some of the weakest adult humor I've seen in a long time. There's one scene where Chuck offers a solution to the stolen eggs by telling the female birds they should "start getting busy making more eggs." Intelligent adult jokes are more than welcome in animated features in my book, but almost every time The Angry Birds Movie attempts to tell a joke geared towards older audience members, it's so in-your-face and tasteless that it comes off as nothing other than cringeworthy.

What's worst of all, however, is how little of a character this film tries to have for itself. Sure, it has its message of "anger can be good when used to progress yourself", but all the elements used to craft this motion picture can be picked out from just about any other movie from years ago. Why bother with a great idea, like having some of the original orchestral music based off the original Angry Birds' tunes thrown into the movie, when you can painfully force in Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" or Limp Bizkit's cover of "Behind Blue Eyes"?

Why try to craft a flowing narrative from beginning to end, when we can just force all the action pieces towards the very end? Or better yet, why bother having some more intelligent humor thrown into the mix, when the film has plenty of butt and urine jokes to entertain only the little kids?

The Presumption

If there's any real appeal for an adult to go see The Angry Birds Movie, it's to unlock the Piggy Island levels in the new Angry Birds Action! game (find out how to do so by reading our article here.) Other than that, this film feels ultimately harmless, but also unmemorable. When the appeal for the Angry Birds video games has disappeared and the kids look back on this movie, they'll likely forget why they ever liked it. Sure, they may laugh themselves into a coma when they're five years old, but any adult would be hard pressed to find something truly memorable in this movie.

In fact, I could see this as a movie that would age terribly, since it relies so heavily on its audience members to have played the games. Once those games are gone, anyone who stumbles across this movie in the future might be left scratching their heads as to why it needed to exist in the first place. But I'm sure your kids will have a good time seeing this picture. Don't go see it with them, however. Drop them off at a screening of The Angry Birds Movie, while you go see The Nice Guys instead.

In the end, this animated feature has its moments of fun and comedic value, but it also doesn't try to do much of anything inventive and doesn't have enough narrative heft to warrant seeing it in theaters. If you desperately need to go see this feature as an adult, I'd recommend waiting for it on Netflix. Because despite having a slingshot at its disposal, The Angry Birds Movie can never quite manage to get itself off the ground.

Rating: 5/10 

Is The Angry Birds Movie Doomed From the Start? Mon, 16 May 2016 14:30:01 -0400 Donald Strohman

If you haven't already heard, the film adaptation of the popular Ratchet and Clank video games has been receiving negative reviews. This feels like a giant waste of potential, much like all the other terrible video game movies out there. However, less than a month later, it appears that Sony will be tossing their hat into the ring of video game adaptations with The Angry Birds Movie.

Most audience members have agreed that The Angry Birds Movie announcement feels a little late to the party and could be nothing more than an attempt by Rovio Entertainment to reinvigorate fandom towards their franchise. In 2014, the company suffered a 73% decrease in game sale profits, and a 43% loss in merchandise sales. In 2015, 260 worldwide employees were laid off from the company. There have been several Angry Bird spin-offs/sequels since the explosion of the original's popularity, such as Angry Birds Star Wars and the recent Angry Birds Action! Since the dip in popularity, however, few titles have managed to even come half way towards what the fandom used to be.

So there's no real argument that the movie is a giant cash grab and an attempt to bring new light to a once beloved series of games, but will that ultimately matter if The Angry Birds Movie is a GOOD cash grab? People often forget that beloved franchises such as the Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons were created specifically just to sell toys. It's almost entirely guaranteed that The Angry Birds Movie will spawn some sort of merchandising resurgence, whether by customer demand or corporate supply, so it all whittles down to whether or not the content we are provided in this upcoming flick is of a great enough quality or not.

The good news is that, unlike the trailer for the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot (which was officially declared the most disliked movie trailer in YouTube history,) the reception towards the Angry Birds Movie trailers have been mostly positive. With actors like Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, and Bill Hader thrown into the mix, not to mention the family-oriented brand of humor inclusive to children and adults, this film could very well end up being a great video game movie.

However, as noted before, video game movies are rarely (if ever) considered to be good. It needs to be stated that the directors for this feature are newcomers, with The Angry Birds Movie being their feature debut into the director's chair. If that wasn't a red flag in itself, the writer behind the Angry Birds' feature film debut was also responsible for the first two Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. 

Yet, what could end up being the film's biggest downfall is how much has already been revealed in the trailers. So far, the biggest action point the trailers have offered us is when the birds have to go get their eggs back from the pigs. Other than that, the scenes have mostly been humor driven. While good jokes are always a plus in comedic trailers, it could end up being all The Angry Birds Movie is about: the jokes. There needs to be a reason to keep audience members invested in the narrative, whether it's great characters or suspenseful action sequences, and so far the trailers have given us very little of either. Characters such as Bomb and Chuck are mostly detailed by their mannerisms featured from the video games with Chuck being hyper and Bomb having the ability to explode. Up to this point, only Red's portrayal has changed, and even that's mostly just your typical "reject finding his place" backdrop.

However, through it all, I would be more than happy to see The Angry Birds Movie become a critical and financial success. Only time will tell if the flick will serve as the resurgence Rovio Entertainment desperately wants, but until then, all we can do is watch the clips and judge for ourselves.

The Angry Birds Movie releases on May 20th. If you're interested in seeing clips from the upcoming feature, be sure to check out the Angry Birds official YouTube page here

Angry Birds Action! is different from the other Angry Birds games Tue, 03 May 2016 12:38:11 -0400 Sergey_3847

A film adaptation of one of the most successful mobile gaming franchises - Angry Birds, will be released on May 20, 2016, in all cinemas. A huge marketing campaign for the movie includes a new mobile game as well, titled - Angry Birds Action! And, it is a completely different kind of game than what we’re used to playing.

Despite the huge popularity of the series, Rovio, the game’s developer, still puts a lot of effort into the game in order to stay relevant on the market. After several so-so spin-offs, last year’s Angry Birds 2 proved that people still love their Angry Birds now as ever before.

However, Angry Birds Action! sends you into a completely different dimension. The birds have new powers and abilities, and instead of hunting and destroying pigs, they spend all their time gathering eggs and candies. Now, the game looks like Pinball with characters and atmosphere from Angry Birds.

New Type of Gameplay

The new gameplay drastically differs from any other Angry Birds game. Every level includes several playfields that contain different kinds of obstacles.

In the beginning you get two or three birds that you can change at any moment. As usual, birds have different colors and abilities. Some of them can break walls, while others can make targets explode.

Instead of using a slingshot, the bird simply propels through an area from a top down perspective. As soon as it hits the tower or any other target on the field it automatically bounces back into the opposite direction and hits the other one, just like in Pinball.

The main tactics on each playfield is to carefully combine the right types of birds for the best effect. The main goal is to destroy all objects on the field and gather as many eggs as possible in the first stages of the game. Later, your main targets become candies or boxes with explosives.

Also, timing is a big thing here that actually limits your gameplay. There are even special energy gauges on the screen that slowly drain out. If you want to continue playing, you have to fill them up by either waiting or spending diamonds, an in-game currency that can be purchased with real money.

Additionally, now there are treasure chests on the playfield, which may contain a lot of coins. It’s a good idea to spend a turn or two on hitting those chests.

Several new items included in the game, such as poles and cannons, are very helpful. You can use cannons to fire off the bird many times without spending more turns, if it bounces back again. This tactic can be used to destroy harder obstacles, such as wooden towers and stone walls.


The game is pretty fun and brings back the good old feeling of playing Angry Birds, but with a new twist. On top of that, Rovio launched an interesting marketing campaign that every fan should get acquainted with before the release of the "Angry Birds Movie".

You can download Angry Birds Action! from Google Play or iTunes for free.

Angry Birds developer fires 213 employees Thu, 22 Oct 2015 19:19:30 -0400 Cameron Patel

The Finnish mobile game developer Rovio, who is famous for creating the Angry Birds franchise, has just announced that they will be letting go 213 employees. This comes after they already cut 110 people last October. The reduction of workforce has been due to a variety of reasons, the biggest one being the company's falling annual earnings. Recent data shows that this might be the third year in a row in which their profits have fallen.

Even though Rovio hasn't created a successful franchise since the original Angry Birds in 2009, the second numbered entry in the franchise, Angry Birds 2, has been met with both critical and commercial success.

These layoffs are also due to restructuring efforts after the CEO, Mikael Hed, left the company last year. Rovio is refocusing the company only on “gaming, media, and consumer products”. All other enterprises are either being discontinued or defunded - including their learning initiative, Angry Birds Playground, which was Finnish educational concept exported to China and Singapore that allowed kids to learn in a fun environment.

The relatively new CEO of Rovio, Pekka Rentala, explained the layoffs:

"Fundamental changes are needed to ensure Rovio succeeds in its global ambitions to be the leading entertainment company with mobile games at its heart. This is personally a difficult decision. However, it is certain that a leaner and more agile Rovio is absolutely necessary to move forward and take the company to new successes in the future."

This coming May, Rovio is releasing Angry Birds 3D, a wide release movie which the company hopes will be a huge success and produce a renewed interest in their only profitable franchise.

Angry Birds 2 Review Fri, 07 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Matt_Paprocki

2009's mobile gaming market was different. Angry Birds was optionally free, supported by ads. There were full versions, one SD the other HD, $1 or $3 respective to the device/version. In only six years, every bit of that pricing model seems alien. "Pricing" in general is alien, actually.

Angry Birds was an oddball. It escaped traditional games media until it could no longer be ignored. In 2009, Nintendo's waggling Wii was puttering out and the slow descent into nothingness that were Facebook games drew interest, but never the successes which came before. In hindsight, snarky stories about Zynga's collapse and the Wii's gluttonous need for mini-game collections appear like defense mechanisms – no way these pithy farming games and motion games could garner more interest Gears of War.

And then they did.

In what seemed like mere weeks, Android and iOS platforms spurred the lean Angry Birds' concept of fowl versus pig into as much relevancy as Pac-Man versus ghosts or Mario versus Bowser. Pesky yet accessible casual gameplay mechanisms – pull back, let go, smash stuff - won over same-y, eight-button duck-and-cover war shooters. The market said so.

Pay to break stuff

The next shift followed when studios cannibalized their own designs to dribble in a new face: free-to-play. It remains a crooked, shifty means of profit laundering which has led to “free” micro-army simulations landing $4 million Super Bowl ads and knock-off Kung-Fu Panda action RPGs stitched into the mat during Ronda Rousey's UFC 190 title defense (and a follow-up ad). Consumers no longer pay for games; they pay for objects or digital currency, neither of which actually exist outside of profits in the millions per day

Therein sits Angry Birds 2. The idea of a seperate “HD” version is laughable  and a paid edition more so. Replacing the ads is a currency (gems) and sucking the life out is a lives system – pun so, so intended. In place of rapid restarts is a series of invasive “please share stuff on Facebook," desperate calls to rate the app, or "watch this video" prompts. There are more pop-up intrusions than in a shady corner of the internet, nine pages deep in a Google search. 

“We gave you this free thing so help us,” is the translation. Never mind the theme park, animated movie, T-shirts, plushies, board games, and breakfast cereal the $3 original built because $3 is now too much.

Infuriated Fowl

It's a shame: Angry Birds 2 is beautiful. Lush, gorgeous, vivid; those words are merely marketing jargon, if admittedly absolutely correct. Watercolor-esque backgrounds and hard cartoon lines carry a personality. Angry Birds was a take away of the Flash-based Crash the Castle - a reason for “smart” insiders to brush Angry Birds off (another defense mechanism) – but ignored how critical personality is in reaching an audience.

Unidentifiable knights attacking an ill-defined castle this is not. Angry Birds 2 overwhelms with character. Close-ups of birds waiting to pounce; terrified pigs waiting for their inevitable crushing; taunting on both sides for the victors; they're wonderful touches. That mischevious theme song is suitably remixed too. Add more birds, more power-ups, more... stuff, and a mobile sequel is born. A notable one too.

The game is a widely appealing cutie. Developer Rovio understands the marketability but appears utterly flummoxed by their own success. After understandably selling the Birds out to mingle with Star Wars, Transformers, and others, it would appear their own design philosophy was lost in the popularity swell. That, or targeted mobile audiences are okay with the constant intrusions to buy one off, digitally fabricated items now. It's an audience used to this form. So maybe this aversion to mobile's befuddling pay-to-win landscape is a defense mechanism and maybe Angry Birds 2 will become an icon too. Nothing is surprising anymore.

Angry Birds 2 has flown the coop to Android and iOS devices Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:42:52 -0400 Tobbpitt

If you've been waiting for the real sequel to Angry Birds, the wait is over: the game is now out on Google Play and the App Store. It's time to get flinging!

It's been six years since the release of the first Angry Birds and since then we've seen fifteen entries to the series, some better than others. Angry Birds 2 is the first real direct sequel to the original game, and Rovio's packed some new features into the game.

Angry Birds 2 features levels with multiple stages, spells to turn the tides in your favor, and even the ability to choose which bird you fling out. Not only that, but now players can compete with one another in the new player versus player Arena feature. 

One thing that may be bad news to fans is Angry Birds 2 features a life system. If you lose a level, you lose a life -- and it takes 30 minutes to recuperate lives. Luckily you can hold onto a maximum of 5 lives. But if you blow those all in one level, you're going to have to wait a while to keep trying or pony up some cash.

Whether you're hyped or just curious, you can get your hands on Angry Birds 2 right now on both the App Store and Google Play. Let us know what you think about Rovio's new bird-flinging adventure in the comments below.

Angry Birds 2 flinging to iOS and Android July 30th Sun, 19 Jul 2015 20:05:46 -0400 Tobbpitt

Like it or not, Angry Birds is one of the biggest titles in modern gaming. We've seen a lot of series spin-offs over the past few years that have been both a joy and a disappointment, but soon we're about to come face to face with the next generation of the series: Angry Birds 2 is coming.

Angry Birds 2 will be released simultaneously for both iOS and Android devices, but not much else is known about the game aside from Rovio's claim that it will be the "mother of all sequels". We'll see about that!

The promo site is currently live but doesn't say much just yet. There's a short teaser trailer, which you can watch above, but that doesn't tell us much either. All we can do is hope this will live up to being the actual Angry Birds 2 and not be of the same quality of some of the spin-offs.

There's not much to be said for the sequel for now, but surely it will be a solid addition to the series. It couldn't not be, being the "actual" second game in the series, right?

Angry Birds is Now Five Years Old - Happy Birthday! Thu, 11 Dec 2014 05:16:56 -0500 Ashley Hall

Five years ago yesterday, a small company called Rovio released what would become an insanely popular app: Angry Birds. Since its release in December of 2009, Angry Birds has expanded beyond the popular online flash game and into the franchise realm near several big brands like Star Wars and Transformers.

It’s not even just a game anymore; beyond the several apps and online games, Angry Birds has a web series, fan books, game guides, as well as plushes and other merchandise. They even have play parks in several cities throughout the world.

In the Chrome store, the original Angry Birds has nearly 70,000 reviews and about 8.6 million users. A majority of the reviews are positive, giving the game an overall rating of 4.57 stars out of 5. On iTunes, the game has over 820,000 reviews, averaging about 4.5 stars, as well.

Part of its growing success comes from the updates to the game, in the form of theme changes as well as partnering with major brands. Characters in the game have names and backstories, as well, which gives them more personality. The gameplay remains much the same: shoot various size birds with different powers at obstacles, using a slingshot, in order to break them down and defeat little pigs.

The games remain highly popular, topping lists of best-selling apps for every major release, so clearly something is being done right by this once small company.

Happy belated birthday, Angry Birds.

Chief Angry Bird Steps Down, Does Anyone Even Care? Sat, 30 Aug 2014 23:13:07 -0400 mchiu

Recently, several news outlets have reported about Rovio CEO, Mikael Hed, stepping down as head of the Angry Birds. It must have been a slow news day or something, because after its 2009 debut, does anyone even care?

Angry Birds has had an incredible run under Hed, with 12 sequels made to the original game, and spawning its own cartoon series, not to mention its enormous merchandising empire. It’s amazing that this simple game has become such a global hit, however, I figure a lot of that has to do with this Finnish company’s stealing a page out of it’s Scandinavian neighbor, Ikea, in giving instructions with no words, and just pictures.

According to Business Insider, the company’s profits had fallen 52% in FY 2013, and revenues had onl gone up a mere 3%, while the headcount ballooned from 500 to 800 employees. (WTF??? Have they heard about outsourcing out there?)

It’s amazing that a single game could build an enormous company, and their subsequent attempts at making anything other than Angry Birds flopped almost immediately.

Personally, I really don’t care about this news, but it just seems to have popped up in a lot of places where I figured it wasn’t really news. The company can continue to make another 100 sequels, and I don’t think anyone would really notice.

We all know that the mobile gaming space is way oversaturated by now, so the fact that a once mighty mobile game company is falling now really isn’t news. It started with Zynga’s one-hit wonder, Farmville, and their bloated egos into thinking that they were kings, only to be ironically taken over by a company called King, which is now well on its way into the shitter after it’s one-hit wonder, Candy Crush Saga.

Rovio has now announced that Pekka Rantala, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer who joined in June, will take over the reigns come January 2015, when the switch occurs. He comes from Nokia, where he was the SVP of Worldwide Marketing.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic on Rovio and Angry Birds. What do you think? I don’t think bringing in this new CEO who seems to have very little background in the world of mobile games, and comes from a company that has pretty much lost its dominance in the mobile phone space will do much for bringing it back. Let me know what I’m missing in the comments below.


Angry Birds Epic Launched on iOS and Android Devices Sat, 14 Jun 2014 08:35:26 -0400 Tobbpitt

If you've ever wanted to play an Angry Birds RPG, now is the time: Rovio Entertainment have released Angry Birds Epic onto the iOS App Store and Google Play, and it's free to play!

Angry Birds Epic hopes to be the longest game in the franchise, boasting a sizable campaign and a large number of characters and items to collect as you make your way through Fantasy Piggy Island. Did I mention it's packed with silly hats and costumes? Tons of silly hats and costumes!

Player reviews have been making their way to game's respective app stores since the games release. Fans of the series enjoy the gameplay, but many have a bone to pick with the buff-providing advertisements presented before a battle. Often before you begin a battle, the game will ask if you would like to watch an advertisement to receive a buff for that fight. 

I can attest to the reports that these advertisements are intrusive, and even leave a bad taste in your mouth after losing a fight you were offered a buff prior to (that you turned down). The gameplay is exactly what fans of the series would want from a turn-based Angry Birds RPG, but the massive emphasis on in-app purchases and ads right out the gate can be a downer if you're not into that kind of thing.

Be sure to nab this game soon to see what your friends will be talking about next week!

Have you given Angry Birds Epic a go yet? If so, let us know how you feel about it (and its cool costume items) in the comments section below.

Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthroughs and Guides Levels 1-10 Thu, 08 May 2014 01:48:12 -0400 Steamboat

[{"image":"","thumb":"","type":"youtube","id":"3873","description":"Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-10 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide"},{"image":"","thumb":"","type":"youtube","id":"3872","description":"

Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-9 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-8 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-7 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-6 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-5 On Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-4 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-3 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-2 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough and Guide


Angry Birds Star Wars Death Star 2 Level 6-1 One Bird 3 Star Musical Walkthrough

Mobile Games: Proving Grounds for the Big Leagues? [Updated] Tue, 18 Mar 2014 10:15:39 -0400 Proto Foe

Angry Birds, Plague Inc, Elder Sign: Omens, Into the Dead, and Deus Ex: The Fall...

What do these five titles have in common?

They started on mobile.

[Addition] Before we get started, I'd like to give a glimpse into my definition of 'Big League': Personally I see the hitting the big leagues as making a sustainable product, something that can attract a core following at first and then be picked up due to word of mouth. This happens a lot in the mobile sector, mainly due to the low costs or F2P nature of the titles. Hitting that stride on both PC and console is no easy feat, though the below titles have done so or are very close to doing so.

This should not make you angry.

Take Angry Birds for an example: who could have predicted flinging a multitude of birds at pigs would be so much darn fun? After conquering the mobile market with ease, Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, took to other stages to showcase their game. From console and PC, Smart TV  to social media, Angry Birds is never more than a few clicks or presses away from your eye

Since 2009, the popular franchise has generated nine titles and a spin off.

Thanks to the success of Angry Birds, Rovio were able to land a licensing deal to make a game (and merchandise) based on a little franchise called Star Wars. Thank you, mobile.

After infecting tens of millions of the Human race on the go, Ndemic moves to eradicate the PC Master Race.

Overall Best Strategy Game - IGN

Here you have Plague Inc. A game about wiping mankind off the face of the Earth by using as many gruesome plagues as you can think up think up. Personally, I like to send a horde of zombies over to New Zealand... NZ is my nemesis country!

Created initially by one man in his spare time, James Vaughan, Plague Inc has gone on to be a smash hit on both Android and iOS. Hitting both #15 and #18 on the top paid titles charts on iPhone and iPad respectively. Plague Inc. also has won many numerous awards, including a 2012 Game of the Year award from IGN for "'Overall Best Strategy Game."

Since 2012, Plague Inc. has gone on to mutate on a regular basis, adding several paid expansions on the mobile front, and now moving to Steam with the assistance of proven games developer Auroch Digital. The early access version of Plague Inc. Evolved is a fantastic next step for the IP. Sporting a redone interface, audio library and graphics, but keeping the same engrossing gameplay, Plague Inc. Evolved is porting done right.

I can only hope that we see more games from Ndemic Creations and its partners. Thank you, mobile.

No matter what anyone tells you... Old Gods know best.

Okay, maybe this didn't start on mobile per say, but it has found a comfortable home on mobile. The Arkham Horror inspired Elder Sign: Omens is a fantastic take on the classic board game mixed with eyebrow raising, eye twitching moments of frustration where you fall victim to the Old Gods.

As with most mobile titles you should expect to put in five to ten minutes and feel rewarded. Or in the case on Elder Sign: Omens, punished. Fantasy Flight spent couple of years supporting the mobile version before heading to PC to add some extra spit and polish.

If you look around you can find ways to play this single player game with friends! Thank you, mobile.

A game that has you running back for more.

Tech Glen

Windows mobile sadly is a very under represented place for games.

Run, dodge, stumble, run, get eaten, and dodge. Simple, effective, and challenging gameplay: that is Into the Dead in a nutshell. Creators PikPok initially made the title available on Android and iOS, a basic start for most games, then with help from Rush Digital Interactive Into the Dead was ported to Windows Phone.  Windows mobile is sadly a very under represented place for games.

Into the Dead has also been ported to Windows 8.1, again by Rush Digital Interactive. So if you ever wanted to run, dodge, dodge, stumble, run and get eaten on your home PC or laptop now is your chance. Thank you, mobile.

We never asked for this, but we are glad it was made.

Android Spin

Set in a futuristic cyberpunk dystopia, Deus Ex: The Fall is a parallel story to that of Adam Jensen's tale in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Increased fidelity and overall polish is nothing short of a master class in the mobile to PC transition.

Created by Eidos Montreal, with the support of the studio N-FusionDeus Ex: The Fall was the game we never asked for. Though, I am glad that it was made; who would turn down a chance to step back into the world of Deus ExBoasting impressive visuals, story, and gameplay, The Fall is a fantastic addition to the arsenal that Eidos and Square Enix have acquired and built, and it gave the world a way to experience being a badass on the go!

March 18th is rapidly approaching and with this we get the PC version of Deus Ex: The Fall. Taking the core of the mobile experience and mixing in mouse & keyboard, enhanced boss fights, increased fidelity and overall polish is nothing short of a master class in the mobile to PC transition, I hope. Thank you, mobile.

 Answering the question.

Do I believe that mobile is the proving grounds to the big leagues? Honestly, yes. I hope that the brief examples I have shown here are signs that it doesn't matter if you are a part-time developer, AAA game producer or somewhere in between, a mobile start will not harm your product so long as you can deliver when it moves to the big leagues.

What are your opinions? Let me know below or via Twitter @ProtoFoe. Thank you, mobile.

Flappy Bird's Departure Got You Angry? Have no Fear, Angry Birds: Stella is Almost Here Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:07:29 -0500 MandieM

Just when you though that your life was over because Flappy Bird was taken out of the app store, Roxio steps in to save your day. Roxio has plans for a new game the company says is going to change up the Angry Birds franchise.

The New Poster

Angry Birds: Stella is going to feature a brand new character, a female bird by the name of Stella. And in a notable move by Roxio, Stella is said to be all about empowerment and inspiration and is supposedly set to tackle some real issues. Information is scant right now regarding the game, with Roxio releasing only two images as a teaser. 

This is a bold move by Roxio--until now, their casual game series has mostly been silly, humorous, and very light. According to Angry Birds CEO Mikael Hed,

“Angry Birds Stella is breaking the mold by introducing strong, passionate characters who really stand for something, while adding plenty of action and reality into the mix."

It is interesting to note that the company chooses a female character for this introduction, rather than a male character. 

The header image shown above show a number of birds, with a very queen-like bird watching over the smaller avians. Is it possible that "Stella" will be an evil bird turned against the crew of feathered friends? Or is she the loving caretaker, simply watching out for them?

Very little other information has been provided about the release at this time.

NSA Could Be Spying On You While You Play Angry Birds Mon, 27 Jan 2014 09:51:45 -0500 Amanda Wallace

The NSA has been under fire in the last six months for using large sweeps of cell phone data to "track terrorists." PRISM and other similar programs ignite people's anger on the subject of their privacy. However, newly published slides from the NSA (as well as its UK counterpart GCHQ) shows that they might be finding a new way to collect data: Angry Birds

Angry Birds, in this case, is used as an example of what the industry calls "leaky" smartphone applications. In case you haven't read the large terms and conditions document that comes with signing up for an app, these apps are transmitting data over the internet, and it's not terribly secure. 

The Guardian sums it up well: 

The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps, ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users' most sensitive information such as sexual orientation - one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show attempts by the NSA and GCHQ to "piggyback" on this leaked consumer data. The NSA has evidently spent "more than $1 billion in its phone targeting efforts," and believes that cell phones are a common avenue for terrorist communication and planning. 

How insecure is your data? Here's an example slide from the NSA presentation entitled "Golden Nugget:" 

golden nugget


So what can the NSA get? Depending on the application, quite a bit. They can get access to the photo itself, as well as location, "buddy lists," and other metadata. Google Maps queries were also an avenue for data collection, leading to a 2008 document stating "anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system." 

What does this have to do with Angry Birds? The GCHQ used the game, which was downloaded 1.7 billion times, as a case study to figure out how leaky such common applications could be.  In 2012, the game company is criticized for its widespread data collection, and the manner in which is transmitted the data to ad companies.

It effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has stated that it had no knowledge of intelligence gathering attempts being made by either the NSA or GCHQ. 

Tracking cookies, incredibly common on most sites, are also apparently a focus for these security agencies to use against "valid foreign intelligence targets." This metadata can occasionally include information such as location and other private details. 

President Obama spoke earlier this month about restricting the NSA's reach and its collection of metadata, but this latest information goes beyond the bounds of what was known about the NSA's data collection. 

Angry Birds Invade the NHL Fri, 24 Jan 2014 09:43:19 -0500 Lauren Puga

Angry Birds’ most recent big-name affiliation is sure to ruffle some feathers.

Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment announced today their new partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the introduction of a new mascot, NHL HockeyBird. According to a post on Rovio’s official site, the aptly named bird will serve as a “true symbol of the energy, intensity and joy of the game.”

As part of the 2014 NHL Stadium Series Tour, NHL HockeyBird will be making appearances in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Vancouver. In addition to the mascot himself, Rovio will also be debuting two interactive crowd stadium games – Slingshot and Snapshot. The games will use “state-of-the-art voice activated technology” and be displayed on the stadium’s big screens. 

“NHL HockeyBird performs based on the cheering and applause of the fans,” Rovio’s announcement reads. “The more noise you make, the more power he gathers. The more power he gathers, the better he performs!”

Not enough excitement for you? Rovio and the NHL will also be releasing a line of officially licensed NHL HockeyBird merchandise. Start saving!

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first Hockey-playing mascot to come from the Angry Birds franchise. HockeyBird was originally the mascot for the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. No word on whether these are in fact the same puck-dribbling birds. 

National Geographic Releases Angry Birds Issue Thu, 03 Oct 2013 14:15:55 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Some might call it the death knell of the magazine industry, but the critically acclaimed monthly magazine series has just released an Angry Birds issue. 

Well, National Geographic Kids has.The "Special Issue" is designed to take kids on an "exciting adventure," led by the titular Angry Birds as they explore the seven continents. 

Meet bottlenose dolphins in North America, lions in Africa, giant pandas in Asia, and more. Readers also will get a personal tour of cool landmarks such as Machu Picchu and the Colosseum, meet people from fascinating cultures, and play fun games that have a global twist. 

This is actually the second National Geographic publication to feature the Angry Birds franchise. The first was a book called "National Geographic Angry Birds: 50 Stories of the Fed Up, Feathered, and Furious," which was a book about getting to know all of the bird species featured in the Angry Birds franchise and featured a meshing of graphics from Rovio and photography from National Geographic. 

National Geographic Angry Birds

So fear not National Geographic fans! Rovio has not tainted your beloved, critically acclaimed, existing-since-1888 publication. It's just an example of modern media interacting with a longstanding bastion of the print world. You can pick up the special issue on the National Geographic website

What do you think about Rovio and National Geographic's partnership? 

Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Levels 21-30 - 3 Star Solutions With Trick Shots Fri, 20 Sep 2013 23:03:20 -0400 Steamboat


Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Level 5-30 One Bird 3 Star Solution - High Score


Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Level 5-29 One Bird 3 Star Solution


Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Level 5-28 One Bird 3 Star Solution




Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Level 5-26 One Bird 3 Star Solution


Well I was going strong on OB3SS until I hit level 22


Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Level 5-24 One Bird 3 Star Solution - High Score Trick Shot


Angry Birds Star Wars Moon Of Endor Level 5-23 One Bird 3 Star Solution - High Score


Well I was going strong on OB3SS until I hit level 22 (I still think a OB3SS is possible). Level 23 was good level with a high score and then once again levels 25 and 27 got me.


Well I was going strong on OB3SS until I hit level 22 (I still think a OB3SS is possible). Level 23 was a good level with a high score and then again levels 25 and 27 got me. Level 25 will be a tough one to get a OB3SS on but I think that Level 27 can be done with enough time and patience.


Updated! See new level 27 video # 11. Then there is level 30 with its trap doors and hidden pigs. This is a great level and requires good timing to achieve a OB3SS. Good Luck!