The Angry Birds Phenomenon

Posted on April 25, 2011

Angry Birds is that rarest of games. Through simplicity and clever game design, the Finnish game maker, Rovio, has created an instant classic destined for greatness.

While initially released in Apple iOS, the rise of the game directly corresponds with the rise of the Android operating system for mobile phones. The growth Android hit a tipping-point at about the same time Angry Birds was hitting the main-stream. It quickly became the must-have game app for Android phones. However, Rovio has not been shy to port the game in as many forms as possible. As of the writing of this piece, there are currently Angry Birds versions for iOS, Maemo, Palm WebOS, Android, Symbian3, PSP/Playstation 3, Windows, and Mac OS. Angry Birds’ popularity has reached something of a milestone in March of 2011 with more than 100 million copies of the game downloaded.

Gameplay is simple but addictive. The player uses a slingshot to hurl various birds (with different actions) at the blobular pigs who have stolen the eggs of the thus angry birds. It takes skill, luck and logic to knockout all of the pigs on a given level screen. Action is divided into episodes. “Poached Eggs” is the initial episode that comes with the game. In February of 2010, Rovio released the second episode, “Mighty Hoax,” which included golden eggs which unlock the bonus episode, “Danger Above.” 2011 has brought a new episode, “Ham ‘em High” with a chapter released each month so far during 2011.

Rovio is currently planning a number of current commercial exploitations for their property with toys, cartoons, and possibly a movie in the offing. Possibly the most exciting development in the Angry Birds world is the upcoming port to Facebook. Facebook’s huge user-base and a rabid, built-in pre-existing fan-base is sure to make the game a huge hit on that platform when it arrives in May, 2011. It will be hard to keep people down on the farm once they have played Angry Birds.

In the meantime, the daily fight over my Android Tablet will continue with sound of, “Dad, dad, it’s my turn to play Angry Birds!”

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