I've got to admit, when I first heard that Rovio was set to release a Star Wars themed Angry Birds game, I thought it was a joke. After I realized that it was real, I started wondering how the mobile giant would treat this venerable series that has, admittedly, had its ups and downs over the years. It turns out Rovio has managed to accomplish the impossible: make a Star Wars game in this day and age that's actually fun to play. Angry Birds Star Wars [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)] is an excellent addition to the series with just enough fan service and formula tweaks to make it a must-play.

Folks even vaguely familiar with any previous titles in the Angry Birds series will have no problem with Star Wars. The same premise of flinging birds in a slingshot into Empire-dressed pigs applies and is as enjoyable as ever. In addition, Angry Birds Star Wars splits its levels between the traditional worlds found in most titles, and the gravitational fields-based worlds of Angry Birds Space [$0.99 / $2.99 (HD)] It's a nice mix of levels and a great example of how far Rovio has come with level design.

As was the case with Space, Angry Birds Star Wars makes some significant changes both visually and functionally to the cast of birds. For example, red bird now boasts a lightsaber that can deflect blaster bolts and destroy buildings while black bird (in a Jedi robe) now uses a force push that can send blocks flying if used correctly. Yellow bird now wields a blaster and can fire shots at single location on the screen and fat bird is now simply Chewbaccabird and causes havoc wherever he lands. Even the eagle gets a makeover as the Millennium Falcon (Get it?!). There are far more changes to the birds in Star Wars than any other previous title which goes a long way towards making it stand out.

The birds aren't the only cast of characters to get a makeover, as the pigs have some new tricks up their sleeves as well. Some pigs will boast blasters that will perpetually shoot bolts until destroyed, while sith pigs can keep blocks and other pigs in suspended animation until taken out (which usually leads to a massive scene of destruction as everything comes falling down). Tie fighter pigs also inhabit the skies above plantetoids in space missions and require more than a simple hit to take out. There's a lot of new elements to pay attention to in Angry Birds Star Wars and it all works flawlessly.

A lot of that excellent execution is due to the amazing level design found in Star Wars. Rovio has managed to create a lot of levels that not only require mastery of basic bird flinging, but also with the nuanced aspects of the new special features for each bird. For example, you'll encounter levels that highly encourage you to use red bird's lightsaber to deflect bolts at the opposition. Another level might have you use yellow bird's blaster to ricochet bolts off of bricks in order to hit a target surrounded by blocks while others might charge you to use black bird's force push in a precise fashion to fling blocks to start a chain reaction. Each one of these examples focus on Angry Bird Star War's increased emphasis on precise timing, which is a bit of a different turn from the standard focus on aiming. While this may make the game harder than its predecessors, success also feels far more rewarding.

Like other Angry Birds games, Star Wars comes with a wealth of levels to complete, with available missions loosely spanning Episode IV that take place on Tatooine and the Death Star (complete with Angry Birds-themed cutscenes). In addition, a third set of missions on Dagobah are available as IAP and feature some incredibly tough levels. Star Wars also continues the theme of bonus missions for finding hidden eggs and accumulating enough stars. These missions have you utilizing R2-D2 and C-3PO birds, which have their own abilities (and really shouldn't be restricted to bonus levels). Rovio also seems committed to a wealth of free content updates as the game currently advertises a future Hoth update as free when it arrives.

When you have a series as large and as successful as Angry Birds, it can be a challenge to to keep new titles fresh and exciting while still maintaining that careful balance of fun and accessibility that made it so popular in the first place. With Angry Birds Star Wars, Rovio continues its track record of iterative changes to the core formula while still keeping everything we love about the series. With the added heft of Star Wars fan service, it's not hard to see why Angry Birds Star Wars is an excellent game. It's my favorite game in the series, and is well worth the status of 'must-play' for any iOS gamer.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • mguniverse

    Another five star Angry Turds game? Pshh, get real.

    #TouchArePaid

    • HelperMonkey

      5000AppStoreUsersArePaid?

    • DannyTheElite

      21 million facebook likes were paid
      1st paid app buyers were paid
      #unnecessaryhashtag
      #thisisnottwitter

    • venasque

      Yes that makes sense, because each of the millions of buyers of the previous titles all double checked with TouchArcade first. Also a combination of Star Wars and Angry birds obviously needs paid endorsement to be successful. *rolls eyes*.
      #takeoffthetinfoilhat

    • MrAlbum

      All a review is supposed to do is lay out all of the stuff in the game, and elaborate on the pluses and minuses of the game, and make a recommendation as a result of that analysis. This review does that. Therefore, I see no problem with it.

      #starratingsareworthless

    • MarkyMarc

      Sounds like someone's jealous and envies Rovio's success. Excellent review, I for one enjoyed the game as well.

    • mguniverse

      I hope you all realize I am being sarcastic.

      • MidianGTX

        Probably best not to use sarcasm unless you come equipped with the required literary skills to avoid sounding like a typical internet troll.

      • toxiccheese

        Back peddle?

      • http://twitter.com/warm_concrete Octopus Erectus

        But you shouldn’t.

    • Crex1111

      They must be paying millions of users too.

      #Stopbeingadouche

    • dariusjr98

      Hello.

      #IenjoyusinghashtagsaswelleventhoughIdonthaveatwitter

  • fuzzlor

    Is the title reference to video games awesome?

  • spajdr

    Did rovio paid you for these five stars?

  • nicholasjosue

    The Dagobah IAP can be unlocked for free with three stars on all of the initial levels.

    • mcorleonep

      Yep, it's true. I was considering buying the Dagobah levels but upon reading this, I was nearing 3 star completion of the Death Star levels. Glad I didn't and at least Rovio deserves some credit for rewarding dedicated players.

  • bramblett05

    I agree with the review something about the Star Wars stuff make it more playable then the others. Bad piggies sucked but this is actually good.

    BTW please stop using # like this is twitter or to make yourself look cool.

    • runliketurtles

      Whoa, Bad Piggies is awesome! I had thought it was the best game Ravio put out, until this game. And I've never been a big angry birds fan before this.

    • MidianGTX

      You so crazay. Bad Piggies is easily the best thing Rovio have ever put out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lazar.petrovic.549 Lazar Petrovic

        Actually,the best game Rovio ever came up was Bounce Boing Voyage for N-gage 2.0...

    • stormchild

      Bad Piggies most certainly does *not* suck. :P

  • Chumbake

    After playing through every level of the game, I completely agree with this review. I've never finished an Angry birds game. And I couldn't put this one down.

    And why on earth would you think that these reviewers would accept bribes from Rovio? It's ok to have a different opinion than the reviewer.

  • fastbridge

    I must say the reviews have been spot on lately.

    NOT

  • BrionyEddon

    Finally. A review I agree with. :)

  • ducksFANjason

    Why post the review so soon?

  • http://pinoyteens.net/ PinoyTeens.Net

    Not a fan of the Angry Birds games, though I own all of them - but this one was the best Angry Birds game yet.

  • toxiccheese

    Why do people insist that these good reviews "must be paid"? If you truly believe that, then why are you even on this site?

  • Crex1111

    Did you even play the game?

  • Crex1111

    Definitely the best Angry Birds game to date. Rovio did a fantastic job.

  • TeddyNYC

    Hey Rovio, there's a new Star Trek movie coming out next year...just saying.

  • TeddyNYC

    Hey Rovio, there's a new Star Trek movie coming out next year...just saying.

  • Gamer_Kev

    I have several Angry Birds games, but I've grown a bit bored with the formula and am still on the fence about getting another one. Since all the ones I currently have are for the iPad, maybe I'll grab the iPhone version of this one so I have one around when on the go.

  • Respox

    I thought The Phantom Menace would be the worst thing ever to bear the name of Star Wars.

    I was wrong.

    • stormchild

      No. *Now* you're wrong.

  • Themagicjesus

    I gotta say that a 5 star review is a bit odd. While the game is fun and does add a few things, almost every angry birds sequel feels more like a level pack. You can only give them so much praise when the formula for every game is repeated with minor changes.

    I'm not denying that its a good game, it's a ton of fun like each angry birds, but the formula is done and done.

    I feel a 3.5 or 4 star review seems more appropriate

  • Dirtypancakes

    I believe people are skeptical about the integrity of the review bc of remarks such as "the series has had it's ups and downs" yet this site has still given all angry birds games 5 stars anyway (except seasons - 4). When users see that a review site has been given exclusive previews & heavy ads, we know that a bad review just isn't going to happen. For several reasons. One of them being green.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Rovio has never bought a single ad from us, sorry bro.

  • FuZion

    Whilst I fully expect this to be fun, engaging & horrifically addictive, I can't bring myself to buy another HD Angry Birds that's not universal & doesn't have cloud support between devices.

    I purchased Bastion on my iPad a few weeks back. I thought nothing of this being iPad only due to the screen size but only a few days ago, the devs updated it to be universal with iCloud support. Nice.

    I just think its good customer service to offer those features.

    • stormchild

      I do agree with this. Every game ought to be universal by now. Lack of progress sync is a bummer. I've just ended up not playing it on the iPhone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.farraro Eric Farraro

    Not a fan of Angry Birds, but loved this one. The new birds/characters are great. There's some cool level designs (for instance, one shaped like a Sandcrawler) that make things kind of fun. I don't know if it's new to the series, but the Darth Vader 'anti-gravity power' is a really fun edition, as are the lightsaber/blaster reflections.

    It's probably just the license talking, but I felt that this one had at least a BIT of a story. It sort of reminded me of the LEGO series of games.

    I haven't played Angry Birds since the original, but I've been having a blast with this one.

  • stormchild

    Couldn't agree more. This is just plain fantastic. The cynics are missing out on a great game.

    Yes, it really does deserve 5 stars.

    • micesacle

      Being cynical about a game receiving 5 stars isn't the same as not purchasing said game.

  • Firetruck94

    I hated the original, hated seasons, kinda disliked space, but this, this is the stuff.

  • Zephiros

    Oh come on... Why do you keep giving angry birds game 5 star ratings? Bullsh*t!!

  • Supercupid

    Easy game to fly through of you know what to do I flew through it in 3 hours

  • http://twitter.com/KismetHardy Shihab Salim

    Am I the only one who hates the black obi wan bird with a vengeance?!

Angry Birds Star Wars Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 5