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Angry Birds - What am I missing?

10-06-2010, 10:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 119
Angry Birds - What am I missing?

Alright, my desire to find out what all the fuss is about has finally overcome me. What the heck is supposed to be so great about Angry Birds? It's been sitting at the top of the sales charts forever, and people are constantly comparing new apps to it - "Is this the new Angry Birds?"

I've downloaded the free demo at least four times and I still can't figure it out so clearly I'm missing something. There's a feature, or a control, or SOMETHING that I have failed to find and I want to know what it is.

Here's what I see. I pull back the slingshot and shoot a bird at a structure. I have no good way to aim this bird precisely, which means that the effects of my shot are somewhat random. Sometimes I get a good shot that lands where I want it to and pigs die. Other times not so much. I could probably just flip a coin and have just as much fun. Heads I killed a pig, tails I didn't. Whee. Even if I COULD aim better with some sort of guide lines or something, I'm still not sure that would make it a great game - it still looks very trial and error oriented to me.

Alright, bring it on. What's the totally obvious thing that I don't see here? Maybe the demo is just so gimped that it doesn't show the brilliance of the full app?

I guess I don't *need* to like this game, I've got tons of other games I love, most of which I found out about here and many of which fit the "usual suspects" of games everyone seems to love. It's just this ONE game that isn't making sense to me for some reason.
10-06-2010, 10:35 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 24
This was obviously worth creating a new thread.

10-06-2010, 10:38 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 2,377
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I feel the exact same way about Crush the Castles (which has a similar game mechanic). Really don't see what all the fuss is about. It is totally boring to me.

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10-06-2010, 10:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3,099
You are not alone. I very rarely spend any time with physics games, which I refer to as trial-and-error games. They just are not fun to me.

I dont really understand the appeal either. There are physics games I have played more, without what you describe as the random effect.

Currently playing Hero Academy 2 and South Park Phone Destroyer
10-06-2010, 10:42 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 741
You've exaggerated the gameplay a little. After your first shot on any level you know quite well where your next shot will land. Part of the fun is trying to hit something you can't see.

The thing that makes the game interesting is that there are tons of levels, so everytime you play you have a new challenge and no time pressure.
10-06-2010, 10:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 329
I really don't like games like Angry Birds but that one game really makes an exception.
What you described there is in fact the very thing that makes the game that good.

In games like Worms (the one with the worms shooting each other with guns) you need to hit your opponent and if you miss you've failed.
With Angry Birds you might miss but suddenly you might notice your miss hits some other structure and the whole stage collapses and voila, you've just made a new record.

The aiming is bit tough at times but it only takes a second or two to hit pause button and then restart the level to try again with a bit different ankle.
Also worth noting is that you can pinch zoom to make targeting easier, but then it's harder to hit long distance targets since you can't see them.

In short; in this game you need to practice a lot of trial and error.

Btw, it would be cool to have an option to keep your last 3 flight paths on the screen for a while. Maybe even color code them so you can tell a difference between each bird type's flight paths.
10-06-2010, 10:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 119
I did discover the pinch zoom eventually, which helps some in that you can actually see what you're shooting at.

I used to play Scorched Earth a lot long ago (forerunner to Worms) and loved it. I think some of the key differences there are that you could put in precise angle/velocity values instead of the vagueness of pulling back, the lack of emphasis on having to land perfectly on target with every single shot (the game was to kill the enemy, not to do as much damage as you could in 3 shots), and that you could see your target more clearly, being both onscreen at once without having to zoom out and make the aiming less precise.

Last edited by dboeren; 10-06-2010 at 10:51 AM.
10-06-2010, 10:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Flour Bluff
Posts: 1,737
Your not missing anything.

Angry birds is like Doodle Jump - Nothing to get excited over.

The reason they are top games is because people don't know what good is. So they take lame games and try to make them good because they can't tell a good game from a nongood game.

This is why all of the good games are hard to find and random, lame games get pushed to the top.

"The previous Dead Trigger thread was the most reported thread in the TouchArcade forum's history." - Eli Hodapp
10-06-2010, 11:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 837
i agree. i keep trying to like it. keep coming back to it, just to make sure. nothing.

as stated above, i think it appeals to the masses but not so much to gamers. my girlfriends daughter loves it and constantly calls me out on how far she's gotten, so i think i'll probably have it on my phone forever...but it doesn't get a lot of PT.

i think likening it to other physics-based games is a little unfair. a lot of the physics games are considerably more predictable, much more intuitive and require a certain kind of logic to succeed. with AB, i think you've hit the nail on the head with the coin flip. sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't.

oh well.

in fairness, it is very polished, has a great community following and has regular updates that keep it fresh for those who enjoy the game. all of these things go a long way in extending the life of a PUAP type of game like this and the developers should be commended for the energy they put into their title.

that being said, the gameplay doesn't suit my tastes.

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10-06-2010, 11:09 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by acrotran View Post
You've exaggerated the gameplay a little. After your first shot on any level you know quite well where your next shot will land.
Which would be OK except that you can't afford even one shot for rangefinding. Because of the large score bonus for unused birds, this pretty much spoils your score for the level.

Anyway, at least I'm heartened that several others feel the same way. I think I'm going to delete the demo for the last time and get on with things. I just picked up Cut the Rope and I've got a lot of candy to feed this little guy