Game

Another Angry Birds game! Developer Rovio steps further again beyond the original series that made it famous

Price: Free
Version: 1.2.3
Size: 101 MB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Developer: 
Rovio

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The original Angry Birds – plus the Seasons game featured various birds, introduced over time, including Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, White, and more recently Orange. They would pit it out against the pesky Green Pigs in a physics based game. Slingshotting the birds using a one-finger motion against the pigs and their various forts and structures made out of wood or ice would dethrone them and win the player the game.

Defeat the piggies by destroying their fortresses with blasts

Defeat the piggies by destroying their fortresses with blasts

It was an entirely new concept designed to fit perfectly to what was a new platform for gaming at the time. In Blast, however, Rovio has taken all those characters and concepts and put them into another style of game that’s exploded on mobile – tap-to-match. The premise of Blast is all the birds have been entombed in balloons, which need bursting. They can only be burst if two or more birds of the same color are adjacent to each other. The green pigs are also here, and frequently protect themselves from the birds with their fortresses. Each level has different goals – such as burst 20 white birds, and 12 red birds, or destroy 15 pigs, 12 blues and 7 orange birds. Elsewhere other elements are introduced like hot air balloons across a mammoth 270 levels.

New dynamics are introduced over time, such as bubbles and cages

New dynamics are introduced over time, such as bubbles and cages

As with the recent Angry Birds Action the franchise sits apart from the original series. Action was 3D, but it was also free, continuing Rovio’s shift to ad-supported titles was really cemented with Angry Birds 2. For Action at least, it was to its detriment.

At this point in the review – we want to be honest. This is a second draft. We initially wrote how Burst learnt nothing from Action and that it’s continued to trade gameplay over profits by forcing players into IAPs. In hindsight, we may have just thrown a tantrum over a particularly hard level. After continuing the game, we were able to move on without feeling forced to make IAPs.

Use powerups to blast larger areas

Use powerups to blast larger areas

Blast does employ one dynamic, which is a hugely infuriating freemium ploy, which is to lock the game out unless you make an IAP. When you lose your initial 5 lives, you won’t get another until you’ve either waited 25 minutes or used in-game currency to add another 5 lives. Initially this was unacceptable, but once we settled down into an everyday play dynamic, we found that we only wanted to play about 5 lives worth of time whenever we picked it up anyway. Plus, you can use in-game currency for more lives, which is surprisingly easy to accrue without using real world cash.

Of course, buying powerups (of which there are many, exciting and explosive ones) will help, but there are also powerups that come naturally in game play. If you’re patient, luck is eventually on your side, and you’ll get a great sequence of birds to help you complete your target. There are no annoying pop up ads at the end of each level either, though you can watch a video to get a free powerup.

It's incredibly frustrating when the game locks you out unless you pay for more lives

It’s incredibly frustrating when the game locks you out unless you pay for more lives

Aside from this dynamic, Angry Birds is a beautifully designed game. The attention to detail is what you’d expect from a major games studio – when you blast the birds, or employ a powerup, subtle vibrations from the iPhone’s taptic engine are pleasantly relayed. The music is also original, great, and catchy.

Blast is a massive game, with plenty to keep you interested, and generally speaking, light users will never need to make an IAP. We were pleasantly surprised, especially after Action. However, it’s hard to fully accept a game that prevents users from playing for an allotted time unless they pay. It’s a cynical ploy, and it can be rectified with a one-off purchase to remove ads or time constraints. ABB, of course, doesn’t have this, which is a great shame.

Review: Angry Birds Blast – Rovio continues its freemium adventures... have they learned any lessons?
A great, easy, fun game to play. But don't lock your players out.
For
  • Great design
  • Loads of levels
  • Doesn't get samey
Against
  • Locks you out if you run out of lives – unless you pay
  • Too much is based on luck of the draw
3.5Overall Score