I cannot tell a lie. I have spent countless hours flinging various birds at devious green pigs on my iPhone and iPad. Until recently, Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio had kept me free from boredom and often avoiding tasks around the house to complete three stars in just one more level. For several months, though, the games had become stale for me. Even with new updates and levels, I just was not interested in playing much. I guess the three games were different, but it was just the same old gameplay with newer levels. I cautiously watched the promos and news for the new Angry Birds Space with hope that it could rekindle my love for smashing structures with birds. As everyone knows, the game has been out for a few days and wouldn’t you know it, I have lost a few hours with a renewed quest to kill all of the pigs! Angry Birds Space is not merely the same game repackaged with different levels and a few new birds. The game is completely fresh, complete with a new physics engine that brings new challenges as well as new styles of gameplay. Let’s take a look.
After a giant claw kidnaps their eggs, the Angry Birds chase it into a wormhole and find themselves floating in a strange new galaxy – surrounded by space pigs! Luckily the Angry Birds have super powers of their own…
Angry Birds Space features 60 interstellar levels on planets and in zero gravity, resulting in spectacular gameplay ranging from slow-motion puzzles to lightspeed destruction. With regular free updates, new in-app purchases, brand new birds, brand new superpowers, and a whole galaxy to explore, the sky is no longer the limit!
• 60 interstellar levels!
• Regular free updates!
• Brand new birds!
• Brand new superpowers!
• Zero-gravity space adventures!
• Trick shots using planets’ gravity!
• New in-app purchases!
• Hidden bonus levels!
• Beautifully detailed backgrounds!
The biggest difference in this offering of the Angry Bird franchise is the use of gravity and weightlessness in the physics engine. Since the game takes place in space, the items naturally suspend in zero gravity. I am blown away at how well the developers achieved a feeling of floating though space for the birds as well as all of the other items in each level. When a planet is present, the atmosphere (including gravity) is represented with what appears to be a bubble. Any item that enters this area will be pulled inward to the planet surface. There are times when two planets’ atmospheres my overlap. This will change the flight of the birds and hold anything moving slowly in the area suspended in place. You will notice a dotted line showing the expected flight path of each bird when the slingshot is pulled back. This guide is crucial when utilizing gravitational pulls and paths while navigating the universe. The use of weightlessness and gravity together makes this game completely different from any other Angry Birds game and makes for a lot of fun.
Several new powerful birds are introduced in Angry Birds Space. Each of them have a unique power that is crucial to finishing off levels. A short comic is presented before each of the new birds is introduced that easily explain the powers and how to use them. I especially like the control elements in the new bomb bird and the ability to control the path of the laser bird. While some of the birds are new takes on old ones, many of the original favorites are present in space. I have not finished the entire game, but at the end of the first planet, Pig Bang, there is a boss to defeat. The first boss is quite challenging and my only recommendation is to attack his wheels and tires. This is an awesome addition to the game play!
Along with the new physics of the game, Space offers up new items to interact with in each level. There are asteroids, remote TNT and other items that can maximize points and destruction and help with the quest of three stars. There are also secret levels and wormholes to find and achieve that add greatly to the joy of gameplay. I broke my Angry Birds rule of only moving on when I achieve three stars for the sake of this review so I have seen more of the game, but have discovered fewer of the secrets. I did find one Golden Eggsteroid which took me through a wormhole to a new level. The Eggsteroid levels look to be more brain teasers than usual levels and I look forward to finding more of them. By the looks of it, I am sure there are plenty of surprises to be discovered in Angry Birds Space. If you feel like filling spare time and being drawn away from large chunks of your day, go check out Angry Birds Space here in the app store for $.99. Both Angry Birds fans and new players alike will enjoy the challenge and fun the game presents.
What I like: An entirely redesigned physics engine that makes this truly a new version of Angry Birds. Even the music is different!
What could be improved: There seems to be a large chunk of content, including 30 extra levels, available through in-app purchases. One of the things that kept me loyal to the Angry Birds franchise was that one price brought you a great game with endless updates and level additions. As tempting as it is, I do not plan on buying any of these levels out of this belief.
We are all feeling the financial pinch! Blue Plate Special is a weekly review of bargain apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Nothing over $.99.
Current App Bargains
Jet Heroes XD
On sale from $3.99 to free!
Enjoy scrolling shooter games? Then this is a must have! See if you got what it takes to become the Ace in the skies! Take on flying missions and gain experience. More missions won, more fighters to choose from! You will need to muster all your dog fighting experiences to beat the Big Boss in the sky!
— Features —
• Easily control your fighters via simple touch commands
• Staggering number of fighters to choose from
• Numerous weapons with special powers and effects
• Dynamically generated battle stages, endless Big Boss showdowns!
• Online ladder to challenge other flying Aces from around the world!
• Incredibly detailed animation and art designed specifically for iPhone and iPad!
Money For iPad
On sale from $9.99 to $.99!
What makes Money different and why you need it? Money gives your financial management everything you wanted:
1. MANAGE ALL YOUR BILLS and arrange them via a calendar with a BILL REMINDER INCLUDED IN THE APPLICATION. Now you will catch up with any deadline.
2. SEE ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS INSTANTLY. Got several credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts plus cash? Now you will know how much money you have on each account by simply taking a quick look at the screen. Transaction Register is included in the application together with the list of all your accounts. OFX import is supported so you can import your bank records to the Money app easily.
3. PLANNING IS IMPORTANT for many people, and with Money you have a special Budget section. Now you can plan all your income and expenses, and check with the reports whether your plans are accurate. You can have a separate report for each of your item that you care, and that is all made easy to use, very intuitive and available in a few taps.
4. Beautiful realistic design that makes you think of a LEATHER ORGANIZER, and which makes your user experience simple. Everything works as close as possible to a real world organizer and reports printed on paper, and when you deal with your finances, you enjoy the process and take full advantage of working with the iPad.
Money for iPad inherits all of the benefits that you enjoy in Money for iPhone:
Personal finance management application Money for iPhone:
– Top 1-5 Finance app in over 30 countries (Feb 2011)
– More than 500,000 users all over the world
– Over 40 updates for over 2 years on the App Store (previous version Money 4.0)
– Apple Stores pick across the USA
– Finovate Startup 09 selected participant
– Winner of industry leaders-sponsored IT conference
Money for iPad is compatible with your backups created with Money for iPhone! You can easily transfer all your data to an iPad if you used an iPhone.
Awareness! The Headphone App
On sale from $6.99 to free!
Awareness!® lets you listen to music and still hear when someone talks to you, the phone ringing, doorbell, alarms etc. without taking your headphones or earphones off – even with noise cancelling or noise isolating headsets! “ONE OF THE TOP 500 APPS IN THE WORLD” The SUNDAY TIMES.
AWARENESS!® Brand-new V2.5 is heavily refined, has a new helpful interface and includes all the features that were previously paid options!
Enjoy your music – but still hear danger!
Awareness!™ will interrupt your music for sudden loud noises like cars, screams or announcements. A must-have for joggers, cyclists and travellers.
? Awareness!™ could save your life, stop you missing a flight, or just let you listen & talk
? If you walk, run, jog or cycle with headphones, you need Awareness!
? Listen to music AND the outside world
? Warnings, shouts, sirens, alarms and conversations won’t be missed
? DOWNLOAD NOW
? Awareness! listens to the outside world using built-in microphones and headsets. If a sound exceeds background noise, Awareness feeds the sound into your headphones and you hear it!
? Joggers & cyclists – hear that truck before it flattens you
? Travelers – watch a movie without missing your announcements
? Workers – listen to music but hear the phone ringing
? Multitaskers – talk to friends AND listen to music at the same time!