Tag Archives: Angry Birds

Paul’s Preeminent PlayStation Plus Purge – King Oddball

They truly named King Oddball appropriately. This comes from 10tons, which you might remember from a previous Paul’s Preeminent PlayStation Plus Purge, one on Sparkle 2. Seems they enjoy making their strange puzzle games, though this one is focused more on physics and destruction than matching colored orbs and finding keys in a fantasy realm. Still, it’s goofy, and I personally love that; give me all the weird gaming experiences out there.

King Oddball tasks you with ending the world with boulders and…well, your tongue. Which is probably as long or longer than a giraffe’s. The titular King swings a boulder back and forth with his tongue, but it’s up to you to decide when to release it and at what angle. If you time the release accurately, you can crush as many targets as possible with each boulder toss. The concept is simple, but it quickly grows more complicated because you only have so many boulders, plus the inclusion of other obstacles can impede your tosses. You’ll need to master King Oddball by anticipating how boulders roll, bounce, and launch from exploding crates. Physics–it’s a good time. Also, make sure you take advantage of collapsing structures.

The overworld map is broken into a three by three grid, so, y’know…nine squares. Each square is its own set of contained levels, often with a theme, such as grenades or dealing with helicopters, and there’s about 15 or 16 levels to conquer before you can move on to the next square. I completed all of the far left three squares and a little bit of the top middle before deciding that I’d seen enough of King Oddball. I was able to jump on the tile that contained my progress statistics, which, if you really wanna know, look like this:

  • Time played: 00:28:17
  • Total throws: 300
  • Levels lost: 55
  • Levels won: 47
  • Foes destroyed: 311

With the main quest progress sitting pretty at 36%, I think I’m okay moving off of King Oddball. It’s quite fun, really, and more than just an Angry Birds clone, which is what I was initially worried about. I probably could plow through the remainder of the game in a few hours, but I’ve got other things to take care of than throwing boulders at tanks, even if it is quite enjoyable, especially when a boulder bounces back high enough to hit the King and you get a free boulder from it.

Oh look, another reoccurring feature for Grinding Down. At least this one has both a purpose and an end goal–to rid myself of my digital collection of PlayStation Plus “freebies” as I look to discontinue the service soon. I got my PlayStation 3 back in January 2013 and have since been downloading just about every game offered up to me monthly thanks to the service’s subscription, but let’s be honest. Many of these games aren’t great, and the PlayStation 3 is long past its time in the limelight for stronger choices. So I’m gonna play ’em, uninstall ’em. Join me on this grand endeavor.

Cut the Rope, grind out some free Achievements

I’m a curious fella, and so I like to download a range of freebies, judging nothing by its cover or title or clearly-designed-for-mobile artstyle, from walking simulators to platformers to physics-based puzzle games. Like Cut the Rope. Now, I got Cut the Rope as a free download on the Windows Store back in November 2016, many moons after everyone probably already played it on their phones. Or somewhere else. No, really. Allow me to list a few of the places you could have already played ZeptoLab’s indie darling from October 2010: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Leap Motion, BlackBerry 10, Symbian, BlackBerry PlayBook, DSiWare, Mac OS X Browser, BlackBerry, Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo eShop), Chrome OS, Firefox OS, Nook, iPad, and so on. I’m sure I missed a few platforms too. Sheesh.

Cut the Rope‘s objective, from its title alone, should be self-explanatory, but there’s a little more to it than simply snipping some string. Sorry, I love alliteration. Your true goal is to feed candy to a little green creature named Om Nom while collecting stars. The candy just happens to be tied up by a bunch of ropes, and by cutting them and using other elements in the level, like bubbles and puffs of air, along with general physics and momentum, you must guide the candy to Om Nom’s gaping mouth. You can use your finger to cut by swiping it across the touchscreen, but I’m cooler than that and played it on my laptop so imagine the same sweet maneuver, but done on a less-than-stellar trackpad. Boom goes the dynamite. It actually works fine, with the bonus of not having to look at my phone any more than I already do.

I was initially under the impression that Cut the Rope was like nearly every other free-to-play iteration built around getting three stars in a level out there–y’know, Angry Birds, Bad Piggies, Crush the Castle, and on for infinity. Nope. Well, not this version from the Windows Store, at least. If anything, this is Nintendo’s take on free-to-start, with only the first six levels of the first two worlds available for play and the remainder under lock and key. I thought I’d get the whole game and just have to occasionally close some advertisements or deal with an energy meter that limited how much I can play. Turns out, my play time was constricted, to only 12 levels that clearly hinted at fun gameplay and a super cute aesthetic, but I found one way to milk this cow for all it ultimately had. Ew, milk. I must think of a better metaphor for next time; anyways, I’m talking about Achievements. They’re those digital rewards I’m still somewhat interested in popping for the games I play.

Yes, despite only have access to a few early levels, I was able to unlock nine of Cut the Rope‘s 19 Achievements. Not bad for zero pennies and maybe an hour and change of my time. These Achievements revolved around doing tasks a specific amount, such as cutting X ropes, popping X bubbles, and losing X pieces of candy and were easily earn-able through repetition. Find a level that quickly lets you cut, pop, and drop, do it, restart, and the cycle is formed. I was also able to pop “Tummy Teaser,” which tasks you with getting Om Nom to open his mouth 10 times in a row in one of world 1’s basic levels, using a piece of candy on a single rope and having it swing back and forth in front of the teeny green beast for a bit. Strange enough, the Internet said this could only be done later on, in the full version. So this just proves my amazing prowess.

But yeah, ringing these twelve levels dry for Achievements with the music turned off and something else occupying my ears was the most fun I could come up with for Cut the Rope, seeing as the gameplay didn’t hook me enough to purchase the rest of the levels. I ran into this problem before with Can You Escape, also from the Windows Store, so I have to start being a little more critical in my downloading decisions because something labeled free might not always mean complete. That said, let the countdown begin until I inevitably grab Cut the Rope 2, which, in its description, says this:

SWEET! Cut the Rope 2 has arrived and you can enjoy the full adventure for FREE!

Uh huh. Sure.

Not calling party fowl on Angry Birds Rio

angry birds rio IMG_0062

Look, I’m not here to tell anyone that Angry Birds Rio is a great game, but sometimes it’s the greatest game for killing time or farting away on while you watch Giant Bomb be goofballs during your lunch-break. Truly, that’s the only time I’ve played it, generally in spurts of 15 to 20 minutes, which is just long enough for me not to get tired–or frustrated–at the mechanic of tossing birds and stuff and watching everything, hopefully, fall apart. If you’ll recall, I ended up playing a small slice of Angry Birds in 2012 via Google+, but this hot bird-tossing action is now on my Windows 8 phone.

Obviously, Angry Birds Rio is Angry Birds, but this time based around the 2011 Blue Sky Studios computer-animated film. The movie, for those that have not yet seen it like myself, goes like so: a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota called Blu meets the fiercely independent Jewel and takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with the bird of his dreams. Or maybe it’s based on Rio 2, and I’m not going to even bother looking up the plotline for that one. Let’s just assume it is more bombastic bird business.

Well, there’s the movie plotline. Here’s the game’s: Kidnapped, caged, and whisked away by animal smugglers, the Angry Birds escape the clutches of their bungling captors, only to discover a deeper purpose. Rare and endangered birds are being held captive in Rio de Janeiro, and it’s up to the Angry Birds to rescue their feathery friends by busting open their cages and setting them free. Hmm. Pretty much the same thing. Also, I love in a stupid way how they are simply and collectively known as the Angry Birds, as opposed to the Heroic Birds or Friendly Birds. Well, I guess in that first game they were murdering a bunch of pigs…

Anyways, you throw birds at stuff via a slingshot, and sometimes you tap on the screen to create a second effect, depending on the bird type tossed. That formula has remained the same it seems since the very beginning, so what does Angry Birds Rio bring to the table? Um, these things, which I copy/pasted this from the store description, hence the excited writing and hype:

  • 6 fantastic episodes with 180 exciting levels, plus 12 bonus levels
  • Completely new achievements
  • Special hidden fruit trophies to discover
  • Spectacular boss fights–the ultimate test of your Angry Birds skills
  • Expect plenty more to come: Episodic updates continue throughout 2011

Well, I guess I’m like three years behind on this game, and it probably already has all the episodic updates in it already given just how many levels there are, as well as bonus stuff right from the get-go. Oh, and I just noticed that there’s button on the main home screen that does take you to a separate section of levels specifically for Rio 2. Ahh. So all bird bases got covered.

Right. So, those boss battles. From what I’ve encountered, which I think is just two boss fights so far, it’s all about luck. Whereas you might need a balance of luck and skill in several levels to get by, I was only able to defeat the bosses by blindly tossing birds and hoping for the best. It took many tries. There’s actually a solid learning curve for each world, which means getting three stars is quite challenging, often asking you to free all the birds–or kill all them monkeys–in one or two turns instead of five or six. I’ve hit a roadblock several times, forcing me to constantly try new ways of throwing birds; each level is beatable, for sure, you just need to experiment.

I have two worlds of levels left to beat in the Rio section: Smugglers’ Plane and Market Mayhem. And then maybe those Rio 2 levels, plus a bunch of bonus stuff to try. Spoiler: it probably all involves throwing birds at things. I suspect this will be another week or two of time-killing, and that’s fine. If I really need to keep scratching this itch, I’ll just remind myself that I also have the original Angry Birds on my phone too–it was given out for free one day as a special thing–so I can keep tossing birds and watching others play more fun games than me. Again, Angry Birds Rio is not the greatest game out there, but it’s also not the worst and serves a purpose in my life, at least for now.

2012 Game Review Haiku, #32 – Angry Birds (Poached Eggs episode)

2012 games completed poached eggs2

Sixty-three levels
Flying birds, dying pigs, wee
No more Angry Birds

For all the games I complete in 2012, instead of wasting time writing a review made up of points and thoughts I’ve probably already expressed here in various posts at Grinding Down, I’m instead just going to write a haiku about it. So there.

Angry Birds should really be called Murdered Pigs

Yesterday, I played Angry Birds for the very first time. It was bound to happen. You can only avoid these things for so long; it’s kind of like how everyone eventually joins a social media site, no matter how vocal they are about hating those sorts of things; granted, every website these days integrates some kind of social media element in it, and then you’re there, stuck, updating your status, liking posts, and adding “friends” you’d never consider friends if you bumped into them while out shopping for books or something. Um…yeah. What was I saying? Oh, right: ill-tempered fowl.

While it’s been pretty easy to ignore almost all games on Facebook thanks to some settings tinkering and the fact that I really don’t hang out there as much as before, a host of new clickfest titles debuted this week at Google+, a website that I originally called “like Facebook, but without the games.” Guess I can’t say that anymore. What is nice though is that the games section is totally separate from the main feed of the site, so I don’t have to see how many points Joe Hoeblow got on level 9-154 of Murdered Pigs as I’m trying to see what people are really up to. That said, don’t you want to be my friend on Google+?

For those that don’t know, Angry Birds is a physics-based game of tossing birds via slingshots at rather innocent-looking pigs, trying to kill them all. I think there’s a storyline here. Something about the pigs stealing these birds’ eggs, which doesn’t really make sense when you consider that pigs don’t often climb trees. You toss the birds and gain points for how effectively you murder these pigs, as well as how few birds it takes to do so. I played up to 1-15 of Poached Eggs, the first episode, without a hitch, just sort of floating along. At 1-15, a new type of bird is introduced: a tiny blue bird which, when clicked again while in mid-air, splits into three birds. Very cool. Sadly, the game itself neglected to tell me this. I guess it did try with an unclear image while waiting for the level to load, but nothing ever specifically stated that these birds had a secret power, one vital to solving the upcoming level. I only learned this key strategy skill by accident after trying to beat 1-15 for the nineteenth time.

At no point did I ever get the sense that these birds are angry. If anything, they seem cracked out of their tiny  bird brains, shrilling in glee as they are hurled at stone walls and piles of wood, tossed to their death so systematically. All for the murdering of pigs, purported to have stolen eggs. A pig steals, a pig dies. What? I mean, things weren’t even this harsh in 16th century medieval times. Severe cases of theft back then could be punishable by flogging or the cutting off of one or both ears or a hand. And yeah, death by hanging. But surely that’s better than death by bird to the face.

It’s an okay little game. I just don’t get the logic of it all, but that’s the writer in me. Pigs and birds have no famous (or infamous) connection in nature. Might as well toss pineapples at polar bears. I’ll probably continue to play here and there as I find a moment of gaming emptiness, but I can’t really imagine myself going the distance here and seeing all 250+ levels to the end. That kind of grind is for the birds…