Hey everyone! For today's Editorial, I thought I'd discuss something that I really like, and I know many others like: Angry Birds!
It was an instant breakout hit, and we gotta wonder why. Yeah, that's a good question. Why did the Angry Birds become so popular?
First off, the Angry Birds have a fairly simple concept: Toss the Angry Birds at the fortresses of their enemies, the Bad Piggies. Problem is, this is "technically" nothing new. The concept, I mean. Long before the Angry Birds came around, there were already games in which you threw projectiles at fortresses to crush them and every living being inside them. It has always been an interesting kind of Flash game, of the kind you can find on Newgrounds. What makes it different, what makes it apparently better than the rest?
The setting, of course! If you've never played Angry Birds, here's a quick recap of the story. The Bad Piggies are hungry, so they go steal the eggs guarded by the titular Angry Birds. The Angry Birds still somehow fall for the Piggies' pranks. The Piggies, knowing how the birds will come to get them, build fortresses to protect themselves. However, you don't anger a bird who's trying to retrieve its offspring. Hell no. So the birds place themselves into slingshots and launch themselves at the Piggy fortresses. And they won't stop until all the piggies have been killed.
Now, re-read that paragraph out loud, and try not to laugh. That's the point; the concept is completely absurd, totally hilarious.
Another reason? The game's difficulty. The first levels are always easy, and then it gets progressively hard as time passes, right? Despite all that, the game remains simple. The concept is simple. Extend the slingshot's rubber band, move up and down to aim, release to shoot. Click again to use the bird's special ability if it has one. Simple, don't you think? No matter how hard the levels become, there's always this fact: The game is easy to learn for everyone. Despite this simplicity, the game remains extremely difficult to master. Some levels require a lot of preparation, as well as good aim and being able to predict what exactly is going to happen. In some cases, you can lose with only one Bad Piggy remaining because one piece of wood didn't fall the right way. Other times, you must kiss goodbye to your third star for a level because a bit of stuff didn't crumble down.
Also, I think the franchise is interesting for another aspect: The levels are short and most can be played - and beaten - in less than a minute. As a result, when you have only a few minutes with nothing to do, hop! Just start up Angry Birds, play a couple levels, and then stop once you have something to do.
Also, last but not least, I think there's other, minor reasons. The fact that it's free at first (no, scratch that, it's a very important reason); that you can pay for additional items to use in the game, to make it easier, although this is not necessary to enjoy the game; the comedy that takes a big part of the storylines; that you can compete with friends for the highest score and see the rankings for a level; that there are always new levels available in weekly tournaments, keeping the game fresh; and last but not least, the fact that the birds' powers are pretty creative and that it takes a moment to get used to those as well. Actually, what made it popular is the combination of all these aspects. Hard to say if it would have been as popular if one or more of those aspects weren't present.
All reasons that prove that a game doesn't have to be complicated to be fun and addictive. As for me, I've been playing for a while now, on Facebook. Over two hundred levels with new gimmicks or ideas that come up... Hurray!