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“Angry Birds” hit IPhone users

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Staff Writer

What could be more fun than launching exploding birds at fortified green pigs? Nothing, according to the iTunes App Store; Angry Birds is at the top of the charts.

This simple puzzle game has dominated the market for touch-screen electronics.  The gamer uses a slingshot to launch birds to get back their eggs that have been taken from evil green pigs. This is a level-based game with a set number of birds; each level is completed by destroying all of the pigs before running out of birds. As the game progresses, each level becomes harder adding structures to protect the greedy pigs.

Angry Birds was created in 2009 by Rovio Mobile, a Finnish computer game development company. The idea for the game was pitched by senior game developer Jaakko Iisalo, he presented a screen shot of a characterized angry bird. The board enjoyed the characters so much that they created Angry Birds around the screen shot.

At the time of development, the “swine-flu” epidemic had taken over much of the media, and seemed to be a formidable enemy for the birds.

AB is a rather simple game of physics and the company had an estimated budget of €100,000 for development.
The game quickly became popular in the U.S. in the spring of last year, hitting its peak in the Fall 2010 and hanging at the top of App Store. Rovio’s site even crashed to the volume of user downloads, more than 2 million downloads it its debut weekend.

This month Rovio announced that AB had reached over 100 million downloads worldwide. AB is the #1 paid App in 68 countries. The US and UK have the most downloads but the list also includes countries like Kenya, Moldova, and Jordan. The game has even swooped into pop culture; Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 parodied the game with the host slingshotting fake, dead birds at his office mates.

So why is this simple game so popular?  What has separated it from any other touch-screen game?

Chris Holt of Macworld said the game is simply, “an addictive, clever, challenging puzzler.”

Other gamers agree.

“It’s addicting,” Tim Carey ’12 said. “I like it because the birds are angry.”

It seems that the sheer, brainless, simplicity of the game has made it such a popular fixture among gamers.  But it’s entertainment for everyone. With easy touch screen controls it is easy to pick up and will be hard to put down. It’s definitely worth uploading to your smartphone for the reasonable price of $0.99 on any App Store.