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Angry Birds Seasons Review: More Fun from the Dependable Franchise

There are not a lot of things in life that don’t benefit from getting a little Christmas injected into them, and Angry Birds follows this principle. Developer Rovio has taken their booming franchise and wrapped it up in shiny paper and ribbons for the season . . . What can you say about a game that just keeps stringing you along this way? It’s like a drug. Since we know we’re going to keep playing Angry Birds either way, it’s nice to have a Christmas version. And with just a few days left in the Advent-style release of the levels, it’s safe to say that this is more of Angry Birds at its best. Need I say more? I doubt it, but that won’t stop me from going into detail.

As usual, those green pigs have went and gone out of line, stealing the birds eggs and thus deserving punishment. In a true display of force, the birds will go about their revenge slinging their bodies in a kamikaze attack to crush the pigs. You get to be the one to direct the shots, and you’ll have to learn the unique abilities of each bird in order to bring down the pigs’ fortresses and cause as much damage as possible . . . None of that should be new, but this time picture everything taking place in a snowy wonderland. The Christmas installment of Angry Birds Seasons brings ice, snow, presents, mistletoe, and pine trees into the mix, meaning that when you just have to get away from the family for a few minutes this holiday, you can still stay in the Christmas spirit when you pull out Angry Birds.

The control scheme remains untouched, as does the assortment of birds that will serve as your arsenal. You pull back the bird in the sling shot, adjust the trajectory, and then let him fly. The pigs continue to get more creative in the construction of their hideouts, so the developer’s description is quite right when they say it will take logic, skill, and brute force to bring them down.  The birds come in several varieties, including those that lay eggs, explode like bombs, drill through wood, or just land a big impact. These continual updates from Rovio continue to be much appreciated, but I’m surprised that we haven’t seen more introductions of entirely new characters and game mechanics. They seem content to stick to the basics so far. And who can blame them?

As far as scoring, your highest goal will continue to be getting “three stars” on each of these twenty-five levels. Doing so requires racking up huge points by causing major destruction (beyond just smashing the pigs) or not using all the birds at hand so they can be cashed in for a point bonus. The goodies in these stages come in the form of gift-wrapped presents, which just adds to all the merriment.

My favorite thing about this addition to the notorious franchise is how the developer chose to roll out the levels. We get to play one each day until Christmas, no more or less. In my case, this has kept me eagerly checking back each morning, and prevented me from tiring myself out on the game and leaving it sit for long periods of time . . . However, this aspect seems to have the fans divided, as many are raging against Rovio in the forums due to the wifi requirements. This seems to be a new alteration since the Halloween version, and Rovio would do well to pay attention to the complaints.

Speaking of Halloween. We are, of course, primarily concerned with the Christmas levels in Angry Birds Seasons, but just consider it an extra special bonus that 99 cents also gets you the big pack of Halloween levels. All in all, there’s a lot to do in Angry Birds Seasons , with promises of more to come when more holidays hit in 2011. So, if you’re an avid bird-slinger, this purchase just makes too much sense to put off. It’s the best, most season-appropriate way to stay on top of all the action, and the price is oh-so-low. Rovio and their Angry Birds are still wearing the crown for physics puzzlers, but for the month of December it looks more like a Santa hat.

Our Score: 4.5/5

Angry Birds Seasons - Rovio Mobile Ltd.

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