Angry Birds Friends first look and review (video)
Everyone loves it when an Angry Birds game gets released and we here at Android Authority are no exception. The latest Angry Birds game, released yesterday, is called Angry Birds Friends and if you’ve been craving some fresh Angry Birds action, you will not be disappointed. Unless you don’t use Facebook, then you may be a little disappointed. As per the norm, our review video is at the bottom.
Of course, what everyone is going to be talking about is the ability to play with friends over Facebook. This both amazing and terrible news. It’s amazing because Angry Birds Friends is a multiplayer game. It’s terrifying because there is no Google+ support. Yes, it’s probably more important that they got Facebook integration down first, since it’s still the most popular social network on Earth, but we would’ve liked to have seen some Google+ integration as well. With Facebook integration comes the usual Facebook stuff. You can send invites to your friends, send them gifts, etc to get them involved and playing with you.
The gifts come in the form of power ups. There are a number of power ups in Angry Birds Friends including slingshot power ups, replacement birds, bird power ups, and even a laser sight to help you target things better. Even during the tutorial these power ups were immensely helpful and you’ll be gifting your friends power ups just so they’ll gift them back to you. Especially the bird replacement, which can make a 2 or 3 bird level into a 1 bird level.
As for the game play, it’s everything you’ve come to know and love from Angry Birds. You shoot the same old birds at the same old piggies. The only difference is that there are new levels, it certainly looks better, and, of course, tournament play! When engaging in tournament play, you can open a tab on the right side to see who is in the lead. While it may appear as though you’ll be facing a friend one on one, what Angry Birds Friends really falls under is a single player game with a leader board.
Essentially, there are several levels that you can play every single week. Your Facebook friends who also play this game play the same levels each week. Your score appears on the right hand side along with your friends. The one who scores the highest on those several levels by the end of the week wins. So this isn’t like a blow-by-blow multiplayer game between two people. This was slightly disappointing. There is a strong pro for it, though, and that’s that if you don’t want to wait for a friend to get online, you don’t have to.
In terms of mechanics, it’s almost identical to the old Angry Birds. The old birds make appearances and the newer birds that have been introduced in later versions are re-introduced as well. So when you get down to the core of the game, you’re playing the same old Angry Birds that you’ve always played. Nothing special there but you have to appreciate the consistency because it’s still enjoyable.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics and sound in Angry Birds Friends is about on par with most of the games in the series. The graphics are sharp and in focus with a lot of colors. The sound is whimsical and fun, just like always. The levels are zoomed out more than they usually are so you can see the whole stage a lot better without being required to pinch to zoom to see it all. The powers and upgrades alter the appearances of the birds, the slingshot, and other parts of the level. Due to it being zoomed out more, when things go boom, it’s a lot more fun to watch things go flying around.
We wish we could’ve spent more time on graphics and sound in Angry Birds Friends. However, it’s nothing you won’t get in other Angry Birds games.
Is Angry Birds Friends a big deal?
Well of course it is, silly! It’s an Angry Birds game. They’ve been downloaded like a billion times. Since Rovio has had a couple of disappointing games recently, like The Croods, having a nice, solid Angry Birds offering is just what they needed to bounce back and become the darlings of Android gaming once again. Like the rest, you can expect this game to get millions upon millions of downloads and join its brethren at the top of the Android downloads list.
Obviously, what separates Angry Birds Friends from the pack is the Facebook integration and multiplayer. We think people who aren’t busy being outraged that it’s not available for other social networks will enjoy this aspect. Angry Birds Friends turns what was once a game dedicated to sitting alone, playing alone to sitting alone, playing alone, but with a leaderboard to see how your fellow lonely people are.
Of course, that is just our interpretation. We’d love to know what you think of the new Angry Birds Friends.