Recently, as I just received a new iPhone for my birthday, I have been hooked on the worldwide phenomenon: Angry Birds. The very simple game is centered around flying birds who are trying to kill pigs that have stolen something valuable to them. There are multiple types of birds that have different power ups or specialties that can be used in different scenarios. The point is to destroy the structure, and hence the pigs, by launching the birds. Besides wasting hours of my time playing the game, Angry Birds provides insight into what constitutes a valuable and addictive game.
Firstly, and I think most importantly, it is an extremely simple game. Individuals spanning the age of 4 to 100 can play the game with huge amounts of success. All it takes is a swipe of the finger and occasional tap on the screen. Essentially, the game requires limited or zero skill. Also, if one fails to defeat the pigs on a given level, it is very easy to restart and the failure is quickly forgotten. The images used for the game are also simple and easy to understand. The birds come in different colors, the pigs are always green, and the building structures, depending on the substance, are colored differently. This allows the gamer to easily diagnose the correct way to attack each level. Similarly, the soundtrack and noises associated with the game are superb. The sounds correspond perfectly to what is occurring on screen. There is very little extra or unnecessary noise. The images and sounds help make the game easier and more fun to play. The game makers are not trying to create a game that will stump or aggravate the gamers. They are neither trying to create a game that makes a broad statement about society. Rather, the game is made for many million individuals to enjoy the game while they have a few extra minutes during their day. It is a game that can be enjoyed at all hours and whenever the gamer would like. That’s the beauty of Angry Birds and these are the factors that help make it so addictive and simultaneously fun to play. It is thus no wonder that it has been an international craze, leading to the development of a TV show, printing of clothing, and other merchandise. Angry Birds is extremely successful and it is amazing to see how such a simple game can captivate everyone.
By Micah Kantrowitz