Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Angry Birds Friends brought the fowl-flinging sensation to Facebook, and unsurprisingly, it proved hugely popular in that format. Now the socially connected spin on the franchise makes the return trip to iPhone and iPad while maintaining the distinct, free-to-play approach that defined that browser-based take. On a platform that already hosts five distinct Angry Birds games packed with several hundred total levels, the prospect of playing in one six-stage tournament per week may not seem remarkable, but it's the competitive aspect that puts an interesting tweak on the usual formula.
Despite the shift to a native iOS app, Angry Birds Friends still requires a linked Facebook account, and plays nice with the web version of the game to fill up your leaderboards with rivals' scores. Each week, the game delivers six fresh stages to tackle again and again in the hopes of ending the week with the highest score amongst your linked buddies. Smashing the smirking pigs with as few birds as possible is still the goal, but here the objective is helped by ample power-ups – like ones that shake the foundations of the structure, or make your bird more resilient – that can be purchased within using accumulated currency. And as with nearly every free-to-play game, you can stock up on digital coins by spending real cash.
It's that emphasis on purchasable power-ups that makes the score-crushing quest less satisfying than it should be. There's still a competitive angle to figuring out the best use of items to smash through a stage, but when those perks can be purchased without limits, the playing field hardly seems level for most players. And purists who wish only to use the provided birds to formulate their pig-pummeling strategies won't know if the people they're competing against are doing the same. Angry Birds Friends has appeal for both casual and die-hard series fans; the former get a free franchise entry, while the latter have more fresh content to soak in, and a way to show off their skills. But the free-to-play concessions come at the expense of some of the trademark charm.
The bottom line. Angry Birds Friends brings the Facebook favorite to iOS, but while the new angle is interesting, the competitive balance seems muddled.
iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone running iOS 4.3 or later
It's a free, non-demo Angry Birds game. Fresh tournament with new levels each week. Nicely presented, as ever.
Power-up-centric approach pulls some of the charm out of the Angry Birds approach. No way to know if people you're ranked against are paying for power-ups or playing without.