I'm a firm believer that Rovio Mobile has a high-ceilinged vault in the back of its office filled with mounds of cash and coins from the billions and billions of Angry Birds [$.99 / Lite / HD] purchases. I reckon it'll need to build a new money vault rather soon as a direct result of the game's latest update, which adds 15 new themed levels and the long-awaited Mighty Eagle, a bit of paid DLC that adds a new, pig-annihilating bird to the Angry Birds roster.

Let's back up a second. Update 1.5 adds a Wild Western-themed chapter called "Ham 'Em High." A total of 15 new levels are introduced, none of which feature anything stunningly new from a design perspective aside from cowboy hats and sombreros. It also adds a new Golden Egg "for y'all city slickers" to discover.

But the update also adds the Mighty Eagle, a one-time, $.99 bird purchase. The Eagle is basically the Angry Birds version of a nuclear bomb. To use it, you slingshot a can of sardines into the environment. When the can stops, the Eagle swoops down and banks off the geometry, causing the physics to react from the aftershock. This clears the level of all pigs and then you can progress.

The thing to note here is that the Eagle can only be used once an hour if you're using it in levels that you haven't completed. But if you use it in levels that you have completed, you can go to town as often as you like, with no hour cooldown.

There's a cool meta-game with the Eagle, too. After you clear a level, a destruction indicator pops up and reports the percentage of the level you destroyed. The goal here is to to completely wreck a level. Once you've got 100 percent, you get a small feather next to the stars on the level select screen, luring completionists in to replaying the whole game again with the Eagle.

It's hard for me to tell if the Mighty Eagle disrupts the game's balance. I think it's more of a creative level-skip than anything else, considering you don't get the same sort of satisfaction from pounding the Eagle "Win" button. But these new levels are the only ones I've yet to beat, so my frame of reference is bad. The hour between skips seems like a good compromise between letting you skip forward if you're stuck but preventing you from just skipping through the entire game.

All in all, this is another good update from Rovio, and the new Mighty Eagle destruction gauge makes the new IAP a must-have for every Angry Birds lover.

  • Gobeatty

    I've beaten the 15 new levels without using the Mighty Eagle. Glad to read about the extra gameplay elements with the Eagle and that there is no 1 hour reset if used on already-completed levels. My kids will LOVE the Mighty Eagle!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Corey-Watford/100000938231196 Corey Watford

    Is this update THE FULL Retina-because this is the only thing keeping from buying this game

  • TheTheory

    Always glad to get more levels. Probably won't bother purchasing the eagle, though.

    • phucko

      whatever guy. you know you're buying the eagle.

  • yeahbudddddy

    does anyone know why the mighty eagle update leads to a badge with a number 1 appearing on the angry birds icon?

    how do you get rid of the badge, it is really annoying!

  • Dgende

    How do you get rid the the Mighty Eagle notifications?

  • Cwfrederick

    im sorry to say but the mighty eagle thing is pretty lame, and im pissed i spent a buck on it. it basically annihilates just about everything leaving little room for the clever aiming that makes the game rewarding. its only real use is for kids who do not have the skill to actually pass the levels without it, so they can move on to other levels.

  • Methatswho

    No, what it does is keeps junior from getting frustrated and bored when stuck on a level. A smart business move.

  • angry eagle

    anyway to remove the eagle icon? wish I hadn't brought it would love to let it fly away...

  • ROD

    The eagle icon gets in the way!!! I can't touch a flying bird cuz the eagle icon is in the way. How do I get rid of it??? Wish I hadn't bought it for this reason...

    • Some dude

      You don't have to touch the bird, touch anywhere on the screen

      • m1kesa1m0ns

        No, the problem is the damn Mighty Eagle button is in the way of many shots, at least it is if you're on a phone. Really annoying.

    • Auntie

      I agree that the eagle eye gets in the way. Can't they put the icon on the bottom? Or activate the eagle in another way, not on the screen area that is touched often?

      • m1kesa1m0ns

        No- then they can't coerce you into buying it.

  • Anonamus

    the mighty eagle is way awesome i think they should make more levels with it!!!!!