Friday, October 14, 2011

Angry Birds: The Board Game

Ok, so you have a problem with a pack of irate green pigs who want to sit on all of your furniture and random sheets of glass. You're pretty much at a loss as to what to do, so why not launch birds at them and hope that that solves it. I mean, whats the worst that can happen, right? well...

Angry Birds is a game that more or less every one is familiar with in some capacity. Be it they've played the video game on their iPhone/Android, or they've given a stuffed bird as a gift to someone, theres a really real chance that they are at the very least familiar with Angry birds. Question is, did they know there is a board game?

Board game is a loose term in this regards, but it does exist. In the box, you'll find a red bird, a yellow bird, a black bird, a various amount of pigs, plastic lumber, a fake star, a fake set of eggs, a bunch of cards, and a catapult.

In the game, players will draw a card from one of four levels of difficulty (level 1 being the easiest and so on) which will have a structure that you need to build with the plastic lumber and stack pigs on accordingly. Then, you need to take the birds and launch them at the structure and knock the pigs off of said structure. If you do so, then you get the points. If you don't, then you are SOL. First person to a certain amount of points wins the game.

And thats it, but its not.

You see, in theory this is the coolest game ever and how can there be any problems? I mean you get to launch plastic birds at plastic pigs who are loitering on plastic lumber, who are all sitting on your kitchen table. How is this a bad thing? Well, that depends on how you define it.  In the video game, each of the different birds have a special ability that you can use to your advantage in order to get the most things knocked over. The yellow bird could be double tapped and fly extra hard and extra fast into a very specific location. The black bird would land and blow up as if it were a keg of dynamite. These were pretty bad ass effects that you'd hope you would get to replicate somehow in a killer board game of the same name. Except you can't.

In the board game, all the birds have the same effects and are purely included for the sake of completion, not competition. It'd be pretty cool if the black bird was full of lighter fluid and would spray it everywhere as its flying through the air, and then setting itself on fire upon its landing, but that makes very little sense. But nope, black bird flies the same as red bird, which is to say not very well.

Which brings us to a pretty key point of contention with this game. The catapult is not made very well. The games directions call for setting up the structure that the pigs are supposed to live on about a foot a way from the catapult. when you got to launch your birds, they will either fall about nine inches short of your target, or will sail right over them without any remorse. This is a pretty serious issue in game play because in both scenarios you don't hit the stupid structures and are left with an army of pigs staring back at you and laughing. Check out this series of action shots (below)

And that is the catapult in action

Now, I accept that I may not be the best person to launch a bird into the air at an army of pigs due to my recreation degree. But when shared with friends, they faced the same challenges as I. Some one at some time should have hit some pig with some bird. But you never will. And that is a problem.

For whatever reason, the catapult was not made for these birds in mind. In turn, the birds included in this game are extremely light weight and has made it increasingly difficult to actually make a difference in the game. Honestly, its just the catapult that is an issue. There really isn't anything you can do to get the birds to do anything unless you were to whap the yellow bird out of the air after you launch it, or blow up the black bird when it lands, but then you're house ruling it.

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