The Angry Birds PC version was an inevitability: Rovio’s franchise is a modern-day gaming phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down. It’s already comprehensively conquered the iPhone and Android platforms, and even boasts its own range of must-have merchandise – we’re eagerly awaiting the Angry Birds board game due in May. Find out if it’s made the transition to Windows XP and Windows 7 successfully in our Angry Birds PC review right here.
Rovio’s famous bird-hurling title now has the humble personal computer fixed in its steely gaze, thanks to the recent launch on Intel’s netbook-focused AppUp online store. Needless to say, we’ve duly downloaded this new edition and put it through its paces to find out if it’s worth spending your hard-earned cash on – a valid question when you consider that practically every man, woman and child in the country has already purchased Angry Birds on at least one mobile device.
To get your hands on Angry Birds for PC you’ll first need to register an account with Intel’s AppUp service and download the dedicated storefront. Once you’ve done this you can enter your payment details and download the app in very much the same way as you would on your iPhone or Android-powered handset.
Despite the almost irritating level of familiarity we have with Angry Birds, we’re pleased to report that playing it on the PC is every bit as enjoyable as on a touchscreen device. In fact, the mouse-driven control method showcases many distinct advantages over its finger-focused counterpart.
Your mouse pointer takes the shape of a floating hand, and to launch your birds skywards you have to hover this disembodied appendage over your intended projectile and then click and hold the mouse button. This ‘grabs’ the bird, allowing you to pull backwards to prime the catapult and adjust your angle of fire. Zooming in and out is handled by the mouse scroll wheel. Simple. It is also possible to use a laptop’s trackpad to zoom in and out as on the mobile versions of Angry Birds, but as ever with Windows based multitouch, it’s not a very smooth experience, so we say stick with the USB rodent.
You might assume that Angry Birds loses some of its immediacy when taken away from the comfort zone of the touchscreen, but this edition proves that simply isn’t the case. If anything, we felt as if we had more control over the on-screen pig-popping than ever before.
We were also suitably impressed with how Angry Birds performed on our admittedly humble LG X110 netbook. Despite the aging nature of the hardware, Rovio’s game didn’t even stutter once – and the same can’t be said for the version of the game we have running on our cutting-edge Google Nexus S Android phone.
Another massive bonus of playing Angry Birds on your netbook is the increased resolution of the screen – the colourful cartoon characters and detailed levels have never looked better, and hearing the inane chatter of both the birds and pigs on bigger, better speakers also makes a welcome alteration.
Of course, whether or not you’re willing to take the plunge and purchase yet another version of Angry Birds depends on how much of a fan you are. Although it offers a notable improvement over the iOS and Android editions, this netbook iteration is naturally less mobile than its phone-based siblings, which does limit its appeal ever so slightly. However, if your netbook rarely leaves your side, this won’t be too much of an issue – the downturn in your work-related efficiency might, however.
Angry Birds is also available in the Mac App Store now