The phenomenon of “Angry Birds”

It’s rare that an iPhone game becomes well-known enough to be mentioned in the mainstream media. It’s even rarer for that game to be ported to actual gaming consoles. But all of thatand morehas accompanied the meteoric rise of the comical time-waster known as”Angry Birds.”The premise of the game is simplyslingshot birds of different types across the screen to defeat the evil pigs that have stolen their eggs. These pigs can be defeated either by a direct hit, or by collapsing a structure on top of them. The game’s strategy depends upon the type of bird you fire, as each different color has a different ability. Only the red bird (with no special powers) is available in the beginning. Later birds include the blue bird (capable of splitting into three smaller birds), the black bird (capable of self-destructing), and the white bird (capable of dropping explosive eggs). As the player gets more birds in their armory (or flock, if you insist), the pigs also become hardier, even wearing helmets to protect themselves from attack. What’s made this game so popular? We’re not exactly sure, but something in it has caught on with the world at large. After gaining stellar reviews on its initial release, developer Rovio and publisher Chillingo have released additional episodes adding new levels, new birds, and other bonus content. The game was initially available for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, but after “Angry Birds” took off (pardon the pun), other devices wanted in on the action. Other versions have been released for the Nokia N900, the iPad, the Palm Pre, Symbian-equipped phones, and Android. However, that’s not all.Rovio is releasing a PC version as well as a PSP and Playstation 3 version. It’s also been suggested that the Wii and Nintendo DS could see their own editions of the title. But the realm of video games isn’t going to hold the birds for long.Already, you can purchase plush dolls of the birds and pigs on the Angry Birds official website. T-shirts are also available. Most fascinating, though, is a statement by Mikael Hed (Rovio Mobile’s CEO) imagining an “Angry Birds” film franchise. While it wouldn’t be the strangest game-to-film adaptation we’ve heard of (Battleship, anyone?), it will certainly be interesting to see if these birds have the staying power to handle a film, or if their happy song will eventually die out. It seems we’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, for more information on the big news in the world of mobile games, remember to keep checking