To be frank, October was a bit bare of notable game releases, unless you count ports and adaptations of older titles. Our monthly top seven contains three ports, one adaptation of a card game, and one modified version of a casual PlayStation title. Only Botanicula and Rovio's surprisingly engaging Retry stand on their own. Still, there's plenty to choose from if all you need is a diversion, and our Honorable Mention section includes some choice entries for RPG and horror fans.
You have to look back pretty far to find a Rovio game that doesn't star aggravated avians. Last year the company developed the official mobile game for the unremarkable Dreamworks movie The Croods, but before that you have to look all the way back to Amazing Alex in 2012. Perhaps Rovio simply got tired of seeing their main franchise ripped off by a thousand mediocre wannabes, because now the internal developer LVL11 has released a Flappy Bird clone.
Wait, don't close that tab just yet. Retry, teased back in May, actually has some surprisingly solid gameplay elements. For one thing, you move your plane forward with careful taps that both tilt it up and activate the propeller, making real "flight" possible (instead of insane sine waves in the air).
Many moons ago, a plucky little game company named Rovio decided that a hungry wolf wasn't the only thing that could blow down the homes of snarky pigs — airborne fowl would also join in the on destruction. In subsequent lunar cycles, those homicidal kamikaze birds would continue to bring their particular breed of catastrophe down upon on the poor, defenseless porkbellies; and in turn, generate many money-dollars for the twisted jerks that inspired them. The loathsome avians are back to carry out more dastardly plots in Angry Birds Stella.
Angry Birds Stella takes us on a journey through Golden Island as we strive to rid it of the green pig-folk.
Rovio has caught on to the slight possibility that this many years after the release of the original Angry Birds, some of you may have potentially (if only ever so slightly) grown bored with the concept of slinging the same ol' birds at the same ol' pigs. The company has since experimented with other game concepts, but at the end of the day, you have to stick with what pays the bills. So instead of taking a chance on creating an impressive, turn-based adventure through a beautifully animated world - actually, that's precisely what they've done with Angry Birds Epic, it just happens to center around those same ol' limbless birds.
Flappy Bird is a game with only a single button. Players tap their fingers against the screen repetitively to get this plump little bird to flap its wings fast enough to resist the gravity of whatever massive planet it must live on, but not so fast quickly that it flies up into pipes hanging from the ceiling for who knows why. The game takes seconds to learn, and it still manages to be frustrating as $%&#.
Now Angry Birds developer Rovio is looking to release a game that has all the potential to be even more infuriating. The game's called RETRY (at least with a name like that, no one can complain about not having fair warning).
Update #1: Rovio has since taken to its blog to address the issue. Regarding Android in particular, the company has this to say:
On Android the issue occurs because, for technical reasons, the purchase history cannot always be restored on that platform. Our customer support is aware of the issue and we would recommend contacting us at [email protected] to anyone who is still experiencing this.
We've reached out to the company for further clarification.
Update #2: Rovio has confirmed that previous customers should still have access to the original five levels without having to buy anything again, but it encourages them to contact its support line rather than wait for the app to recognize their purchase history.
Who's ready for a new Angry Birds game? If you're not, you might just want to ignore the gaming news for the next month or so. After a tepid critical response from kart racer Angry Birds Go, the next entry in the series was revealed as a short social post leading to a small sub-site of AngryBirds.com. The title will be Angry Birds Stella.
According to the Angry Birds Wiki (of course there's an Angry Birds Wiki), 'Stella' is the name of the Pink Bird whose only real job before now was playing Princess Leia in Angry Birds Star Wars.
Rovio's newest game is about what the Finnish developer knows best – birds. Though, they seem decidedly less angry this time in their little downhill race carts. Like it or not, this game is going to be huge.
Angry Birds Go is Rovio's first major free-to-play game on Android, so expect to be hit up for cash on occasion (maybe a lot of it). This is a casual racing game built around a variety of quirky downhill tracks. The birds we know so well from the original games are here with hastily assembled vehicles and special powers that harken back to their physics puzzler roots.
The Angry Birds franchise has thus far been on the lighter side of the free-to-play model - the original game launched free and ad-supported on Android, and later versions added small charges for HD versions and a few in-app bonuses like the Mighty Eagle. But it looks like Rovio is pulling out all the stops when it comes to the upcoming kart racer, Angry Birds Go. Pocket Gamer reports that gamers in New Zealand (where the game is getting an early launch on iOS) are finding it positively stuffed with in-app purchases.
The game apparently includes just about every kind of IAP scheme you can think of.
There comes a point in the life of every great gaming franchise where all original gameplay ideas have been exhausted. And right after that point, the developers give up and make a kart racer. For Rovio's omnipresent Angry Birds, the game is Angry Birds Go, a racing game that travels down the same well-trodden path as Mario Kart and a million also-rans. It comes out December 11th.
As cynical as that opening statement is, I have to admit that Angry Birds Go looks like a pretty amazing kart racer. First of all, it's a full 3D game - the first in Rovio's history, as far as I know.