Game review: Angry Birds Evolution is boring and lacks staying power – just like the movie
Developers Rovio have tried something different by introducing turn-based role-playing mechanics, but the game’s grab-bag of unoriginal elements taken from other titles and ugly veneer of last year’s film make this one to miss
Remember when smartphones were just taking off and Angry Birds was the height of mobile gaming? How far we’ve come since those days.
Actually, if Angry Birds Evolution (available for Android and iOS) is any guide, it seems we haven’t come very far at all.
As the name suggests, developer Rovio has tried to “evolve” the Angry Birds series, and the latest instalment is essentially a turn-based role-playing game. The core of the game is still the same – launch your birds into combat – but the mechanics have changed and Evolution attempts to harness a grab-bag of elements from popular games of the past seven years.
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These include overloaded story elements from complex mobile games, a vast range of characters similar to Pokemon Go, turn-based dynamics from 8-bit role-playing releases – and all with the ugly veneer of that lousy Angry Birds film which came out last year. The developers were no doubt unaware of how badly the movie would be received as they mimicked it.
None of the game is original, and even when spliced together Frankenstein-style, it still doesn’t really work. The overall objective is to build up your bird army, with each successful match gaining you new recruits, alongside special attacks and a variety of power-ups. The whole thing is completely unnecessary, but you can see why they did it – Rovio obviously wants players to spend as much time (and eventually, money) in this world.
You’re expected to obsessively collect characters, time lives around pointless resource missions, compare special moves with your fellow players, and generally treat it like one of those games that you must check every few minutes. The only problem is it’s all just very boring and for the same reasons that the movie failed, the game lacks staying power.
Evolution is the 15th game in the series, which alone tells you where things are going. The original was a flash-in-the-pan success, and should’ve stayed that way – because with every subsequent release, Angry Birds becomes less angry and more sad.