One of the biggest gaming franchises of the past decade comes to VR, and after earlier releases for the Vive and Rift it’s now available for Playstation VR as well. Here’s our look at Angry Birds VR – Isle of Pigs.
There are a few developers/publishers out there who are almost completely defined by a single franchise. IO has Hitman, Larian has their Divinity series of RPGs, and Rovio has Angry Birds. Arguably the biggest game ever to hit mobile devices and one of the most successful crossover products when it comes to releases for other platforms, it’s been around now for almost ten years – and has even been made into a movie.
The reason for its success lies in its simplicity and addictive hook. Anyone can pull a slingshot back and try to knock down a couple of pigs and structures, but new levels and the potential to push your score higher and higher on levels keeps you coming back for more. Different birds with different abilities even added a small amount of strategy into the mix, and subsequent releases expanded on the concept with different themes (like Star Wars) and gameplay elements (like zero gravity in space).
The various RPG and Match-3 spinoffs were never quite as successful, and Angry Birds VR does well to return to the roots of the series. If you were playing Angry Birds back then, this one needs no explanation. Using a pair of Move controllers, you hold your virtual slingshot and pull back the band – easy and intuitive. The perspective is a first person view this time around, but you still get that familiar trail of white dots to denote the trajectory you’re currently aiming for with your bird.
Your birds come in the varieties that appeared in the original Angry Birds titles – and they’re bringing their special abilities to VR as well. Feel free to use a little speed boost with Red, blow up into a large ball or disperse into three smaller birds mid-flight. Instantly familiar stuff for veterans of the series, but intuitive enough for newcomers as well.
VR allows you to view the levels from various angles in 3D, although after a while you’ll mostly find yourself sticking to the standard first person perspective. The game’s 50 or so levels are divided up into different areas of an Island inhabited by (you guessed it) pigs, and you have the opportunity to chase after that sometimes elusive three star score on replays of the levels as well. This stretches the gameplay length somewhat, as just getting through all the levels with a passing grade can be done in about two hours once you get the hang of the controls (which doesn’t take long).
If you have fond memories of Angry Birds and enjoy VR, then this is a must-own. The basic concept works well in VR, it’s easy to pick up and enjoyable to go back to. It’s also a great game to use as a VR demo, since so many people are already familiar with the original games.