Rovio Entertainment has been keeping themselves quite busy. Hot off the heels of last month's release of Battle Bay, Rovio has delivered on their promise of a June release for their newest take on the Angry Birds franchise. It is titled Angry Birds Evolution, and this time around you are tasked with collecting over 100 different birds in order to evolve your favorites into the strongest pig crushing team around.
If you were expecting something exciting and new on the platform, well, I have some bad news for you. Angry Birds Evolution is a free-to-play gacha game through and through. That means you can expect all of the shady mechanics typically found in the vast majority of FTP Android games. Rest assured, you will be grinding away in order to unlock your next Angry Bird, just hoping for that one rare bird that still eludes you. Now add on top of that numerous evolution mechanics, and you will start to get the picture of what this release has been designed from the ground up to deliver. No, not a worthwhile gaming experience, but money. It is always money.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not against consumerism. I am simply tired of seeing the same gameplay used over and over again in what is essentially the same game with a different skin. In all honesty, the gameplay you find in this type of release is completely inconsequential. There is no skill required. It all comes down to whoever has spent enough time grinding for the best team or has simply paid for easier advancement. To me, that is completely counter-intuitive to what kind of experience a game should offer. I want my gaming skills to matter in the games I play. I want to progress because I earned it with hard work and experience, not because I lazily put in the time or paid to make the game easier. Naturally, to prove my assumption correct, Rovio has included an auto-play button just so you don't have to do any of the work yourself.
But hey, I am sure you are tired of my criticisms. Let's jump into what makes Angry Birds Evolution a supposed game. In the simplest terms, the gameplay is a mix of the original Angry Birds flinging mechanic and Pokémon's collection aspect. To start, you play the game in a behind-the-back third-person perspective while flinging your team of birds one by one towards the pig enemies scattered around a small square arena. Obviously, the more upgraded and rare your team of birds are, the more destruction you can inflict on your pig opponents. In order to build this rare team of birds, you will spend a lot of time earning eggs, which you can then hatch into birds. Once hatched, you can either add these birds to your team or use them as sacrificial tools to upgrade your other team members. Now repeat this scenario ad nauseam, and you will get the complete picture of the gameplay.
Honestly, there is little on offer here that you have not seen plenty of times before. This conveniently means your standard FTP inclusion of advertisements and in-app purchases that range up to $99.99 per item are present. It is also worth noting that Google Play Games is supported, but only through its achievement system. If you want a cloud saving feature, you will have to use the provided Facebook sign-in.
In conclusion, I would say that Angry Birds Evolution is a bog standard gacha game with an Angry Birds skin. The gameplay can be fun at first, in a familiar but repetitive manner. But there is no doubt that a pay wall exists, and that most of the gameplay from then on out will be centered around paying for easier progression. If you find that you can ignore these type of issues, then I say have at it. Considering the fact that Angry Birds Evolution is a free release, I can't fault anyone for giving the game a shot.