Why are we addicted to Angry Birds?



What do David Cameron, Slash of Guns ‘N Roses fame and Salman Rushdie have in common? They’re all said to be crazy for the same game.

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Angry Birds has captured the imagination of both casual and hardcore gamers

Angry Birds, a basic strategy game where you catapult birds at structures housing pigs across a number of levels, has become a gaming phenomenon.

While it might not sound like much, the Rovio-developed game has dominated the app sales charts on smartphones and tablets around the world, before flying onto laptops and desktop PCs.

If that’s not enough for you, there’s Angry Birds merchandise and even a film in the pipeline.

So what is it about Angry Birds that has got so many of us hooked on taking out those dastardly swines?

It’s enjoyed great popularity with people who maybe wouldn’t have considered gaming at all before. Maybe you’ll find yourself having a go while waiting for the potatoes to boil, or whip out Angry Birds to kill 10 minutes in between appointments.

There’s no console to carry around because the app is already on your smartphone or laptop, so you can dip between gaming and your emails. An attempt to complete a level might take 30 seconds or so.

Half a minute is about all the time you need to get the hang of Angry Birds. Take aim with the catapult and click or tap on the screen while the bird is in mid-flight to get it to split into three, drop a bomb or pick up speed.

Playing Angry Birds is a rewarding experience. Passing a level with a one star rating isn’t terribly difficult, but you get more points for completing it without using all the birds in your arsenal and racking up bonus points.

If you’re a fan then I bet you’ve completed the game by passing each level, but you’ve since gone back to try and gain three stars on each one. It gives Angry Birds great replayability and adds kudos to getting three stars on each level, so hardcore gamers are hooked.

Failing to complete a level isn’t that upsetting or frustrating for casual gamers. You can restart with just a couple of clicks if you miss your targets.

The penalty for losing? Well, the greedy pigs might have a bit of a laugh at your expense, but you’ll be back.

Angry Birds characters are loveable without being childish. The birds look suitably put out by the egg theft that has taken place, and the pigs look fat and ripe to be taken down a peg or two.

With its intuitive gameplay and its bite-sized nature, it’s easy to see why Angry Birds has been such a success. It’s Tetris for the 21st century.

Our appetite for more levels and seasonal themes continues. Fresh challenges are always in the pipeline and after the success of the Valentine’s Day edition, Rovio is planning on bringing out a version for St Patrick’s Day.

Even if you’re not a gamer, what’s stopping you from getting involved with Angry Birds? If it’s good enough for world leaders, rock stars and famous authors…

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