Well, it’s been an unusual summer. After the end of a long-term relationship just after Independence Day, I suddenly had lots of time. I went to the gym 18 times in August. I’ve hung out with my kids, wrote some stuff, rediscovered Monk, taken many walks. And yes, played lots and lots of Angry Birds.
It’s a game you can play on your computer or cellphone. But it’s much more. It’s simple on the surface: Some pigs have stolen a nest of bird’s eggs and have constructed various defenses to keep the eggs for themselves. The birds just want their eggs back. Since they can’t fly, they depend on you to fling them in a stretchy rubber sling at the pigs to destroy them and their fort-like homes.
Angry Birds lets me unleash my inner warrior as I go after those greedy green pigs with the zeal of a, well, angry bird. Starting each new game is like traveling back in time. A spooky surreal landscape appears, with the echo-y chattering of birds. The pigs are silent for the moment, waiting. They seem to be smiling. The birds line up for their brave duty, then…the rest is up to you.
How much do I love these Birds? Instead of counting the ways, I’ll tell you about the birds and their special qualities.
Red Bird is the first one you meet. With a finger or mouse pointer, pull back on the sling in which Red sits, and let go. He soars in a graceful arc into sheets of glass, wood, stone, a pig, or maybe, harmlessly into space. With a direct hit, though, he can do quite a bit of damage.
Yellow Bird is the heat seeking missile; touch the screen after his launch and he speeds up. Boy, does he speed up. And his maddened visage combined with his torpedo-shaped body gives him a don’t-mess-with-me aura.
White Bird is big, round and heavy. He (she?) doesn’t sail as far, but can lay eggs which double as bombs. You must let the eggs/bombs go while in mid-flight or they’re wasted.
Black Bird. My favorite bird of all, this behemoth is actually a bomb in disguise. Heave him deep into the center of the pigs’ latest house, wait for him to glow red, then KA-BOOOM! – watch those walls and floors dance. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as blowing up a pig house real good, along with the helmeted porkers inside.
If you eliminate all the pigs (they go ‘poof’ and disappear on impact), the birds win, letting loose cheery squawks of victory. But if even one pig remains, you lose, and must endure an ugly chorus of pig laughs.
Summer’s almost over. Will I be playing Angry Birds into the fall and winter? I guess it depends on the pigs – will they ever give back those eggs? Not likely. Birds, line up!