Angry Birds is a puzzle video game developed by Rovio, a developer based in Finland. Since its release for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices, over 10 million copies of the game have been purchased, and versions have appeared for other touchscreen-based smartphones.
In Angry Birds, players take control of a flock of birds that are attempting to retrieve eggs that have been stolen by a group of evil pigs. The pigs have taken refuge on or within structures made of various materials, including wood, glass, and stone, and the object of the game is to eliminate all the pigs in the level. Using a slingshot, players launch the birds at the structure, with the intent of either hitting the pigs directly or damaging the structure, which would cause it to collapse onto the pigs. If all of the pigs are defeated by the time the last bird is used, the level is completed and the next level is unlocked. Players may re-attempt levels as many times as they wish, and may also replay completed levels in an attempt to boost their score.
There are many different types of birds used in the game. Each level starts with the number and types of available birds pre-determined. The birds must be launched in the order provided, thus requiring the player to strategically use each bird’s abilities in order to defeat the pigs. At the beginning of the game the red bird is the only one available. As the player advances through the game, additional birds appear, some of which have special abilities that are activated by tapping the touchscreen while the bird is in flight. For example, a blue bird will separate into three smaller birds, a black bird will self-destruct and a green bird will reverse direction like a boomerang. In higher stages of the game, additional objects located within the structures, such as explosives and rocks, are used in conjunction with the birds to destroy hard-to-reach pigs. The pigs themselves also appear in different sizes and with different abilities. Small pigs are relatively weak and easily destroyed either by direct hits or by debris from the damaged structures. Larger pigs are able to sustain more damage before being destroyed, and some pigs wear helmets as armor making them even stronger.
Points are scored for each pig defeated as well as for damage to, or destruction of, structures. Bonus points are awarded for any unused birds. Players receive one, two, or three stars for each completed level, depending on the score received. Additional levels have been made available through free updates from time to time. Levels are contained within chapters of the overall game story. These chapters include: “Poached Eggs” (released with the game in December 2009); “Mighty Hoax” (March 2010); “Danger Above” (April 2010); and “The Big Setup” (July 2010). A bonus area, entitled “Golden Eggs”, was made available in March 2010, and contains levels and features that are unlocked by discovering the golden eggs hidden throughout the game.