Angry Birds

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ah, the pleasures of revenge.

Angry Birds is an artillery Puzzle Game. The premise of the game is that some evil, egg-munching pigs (officially named "Bad Piggies") have raided the nests of some birds who mean to get their eggs back, whatever it takes. Said egg retrieving involves launching the birds from a slingshot at the pigs, who are protected behind elaborate obstacles of wood, ice, and stone. It's a simple concept, but the execution is often anything but easy.

There are several different types of birds, most of which have a special ability activated by tapping the screen in mid-flight:

  • Red birds ("Red") are simple projectiles; aim and launch.
  • Blue Split birds ("The Blues: Jake, Jay and Jim") split into three tiny birds.
  • Yellow Dash birds ("Chuck") double their speed and act like missiles.
  • Black Bomb birds ("Bomb") act like bombs, blowing up shortly after they land or if you tap the screen.
  • White Egg Bombers ("Matilda") drop an exploding egg and shoot up at an angle.
  • Green Boomerang birds ("Hal") act like boomerangs, reversing direction and speeding up.
  • Big birds ("Terence") are slow but, on impact, will either cause a lot of damage or move a lot of blocks.
  • Orange Balloon birds ("Bubbles") are small, but puff up into a larger size if you tap the screen. They deflate after a short while.
  • The Mighty Eagle is an enormous bird who will wipe out all the pigs in a level. Unlike the other birds, it incurs a one-time activation fee.
    • The "Year of the Dragon" episode of Angry Birds Seasons introduces the Mighty Dragon which does the same thing as the Eagle but in a different fashion.
  • The Rio version adds Blu and Jewel as special birds in some levels, in two different versions: Chained Heat, where they fly straight forward with a large impact, and Blu alone, who flails around madly after landing or tapping.
  • Angry Birds Space gives most of the non-Rio birds a slightly Darker and Edgier makeover (seen as they pass through the space warp in the backstory animation) and changes some of the colors. In particular, the large red bird becomes green, the Mighty Eagle becomes a Space Eagle that wipes out everything around the launched fish tin instead of killing every pig, and the yellow bird is replaced by a purple bird that will travel at high speed towards whatever point you touch on the screen. The game introduces a completely new light blue bird shaped like an ice cube that freezes all items around it, making them easily smashed by blue birds.

The Puzzle Game aspect (and the game's main source of difficulty) revolves around the best use of the available birds in each level to collapse the obstacles onto the pigs, as all the pigs have to be taken out to win a level. Scoring per level is based on pigs killed[1], damage done to the obstacles, and the number of birds left over at the end of the level[2], with 1 to 3 stars awarded upon completion based on all of the scoring factors as well as points. In some levels, it's more important to finish using as few birds as possible; in others, it's a matter of causing as much destruction as you can. Achievements can also be earned for finishing episodes, three-starring all levels in an episode, scoring a certain number of points in an episode, and other things. Each episode also includes a number of hidden Golden Eggs which, when found, open bonus levels.

Main games:

  • The original, with seven episodes released to date.
  • Angry Birds Seasons, featuring (mostly) holiday-themed episodes. The 2011 Season contains episodes for Halloween, Christmas Tropes, Valentine's Day, Saint Patrick's Day, Easter, summer, and the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. The 2012 Season, so far, has new Halloween and Christmas episodes, a Chinese New Year-themed episode, and a Cherry Blossoms-themed episode.
  • Angry Birds Rio, a sequel/Crossover with the movie Rio wherein the birds are captured and shipped to South America.
  • Angry Birds Space has the birds all go into space, where they actually launch themselves from one planet to another to rescue their eggs from evil space pigs. The artstyle for that game is not unlike Spore or Super Mario Galaxy.
  • Angry Birds Star Wars
  • Angry Birds Star Wars II
  • Angry Birds Go!
  • Angry Birds Epic
  • Angry Birds Transformers
  • Angry Birds Fight!
  • Angry Birds 2
  • Angry Birds Action!
  • Angry Birds Blast!

Spin-offs:

  • Bad Piggies
  • Angry Birds Stella
  • Angry Birds POP!

Originally released for smart phones[3], the game is now available for play on tablet computers, e-readers, the Google Chrome web browser, as a Playstation Minis app [4], and on Facebook. As of November 2011, Angry Birds, in all its incarnations, across all platforms, has been downloaded 500 million times. The only game with distribution figures that come close to this mark is Tetris[5] It's even been parodied on an Israeli sketch comedy show, which used the endless conflict between the birds and the pigs as a metaphor for the Arab Israeli Conflict.

An animated film based on the franchise was released in 2016.

Related is the Angry Birds Holiday Comics series.

Tropes used in Angry Birds include:
  • Action Bomb: The black birds.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Green pigs.
  • An Ice Person: The blue cuboid bird in Angry Birds Space.
  • Animated Adaptation: Two or three animated shorts have aired on Nickelodeon.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The premise of several levels in Angry Birds Space.
  • Automatic Level:
    • A few of the bonus levels are like this.
    • Subverted in some bonus levels which are built around chain reactions: there's a random chance that the mechanism does partially fail, and some of these can be failed completely if you don't shoot a bird properly to trigger the chain reaction.
  • Ax Crazy: The birds, arguably, based on how over-the-top their protective instinct is (see No-Holds-Barred Beatdown below).
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Unlike the pigs, the birds are zooming around in vacuum with no ill effects.
  • Badass Moustache: One of the stronger pigs sports them.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: These videos show that the birds are the best egg carers in the world. Should anything threaten them, you quickly learn why they are called Angry Birds.
  • Big Bad:
    • Arguably, the pig king.
    • Nigel for Rio, presumably.
  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: The Eagle, of course.
  • Black Sheep:
    • The Green Bird. It's not really recognized, only being included in a few T-Shirts and such.
    • They released the Green and Big Brother Bird plushes. However, it hasn't appeared in Angry Birds Rio yet.
  • Boss Battle:
    • In Angry Birds Rio:
      • Level 4-15 is a battle against Nigel, who appears twice more in cameos, one to send marmosets out against the birds, and the other to capture Jewel and Blu. He reappears again in level 12-15 for the climactic battle.
      • Level 8-15 is a fight against the marmoset leader, who jumps around on platforms. He shows up again in level 14-15.
    • In Angry Birds Space:
      • The final levels of the first two planets in have boss battles against the King Pig in a tank-like contraption and flying saucer, respectively.
      • The fourth planet has a boss battle against a pig so large, it generates its own gravitational field.
    • You have to fight Lard Vader in the final levels of the Death Star and Cloud City episodes in Angry Birds Star Wars, and both he and the Emperor at the end of the second Death Star level.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • It costs $1 to unlock the Giant Eagle.
    • In Angry Birds Space, you can earn Space Eagles for completing the first two planets; once you run out, you have to buy them.
  • Brick Joke: In Angry Birds Rio, when the birds first get abducted, their eggs are left behind. At the end of the game, the pigs appear and are about to eat the eggs when the birds crash the plane on top of them.
  • Carnivore Confusion:
    • Actually averted; pigs are omnivorous in Real Life, and eggs are fair game.
    • In some levels, there are hams hanging from some of the obstacles.
  • Catapult to Glory: The entire game mechanic... and it's Played for Laughs.
  • Christmas Episode: One in each "season" of Angry Birds Seasons. In the first, the birds tear up over the Christmas Star.
  • Cool Helmet:
    • In several levels, pigs can be found wearing old-school military helmets, making them that much tougher.
    • In "Mine and Dine", some pigs wear miners' helmets.
  • Crossover: Angry Birds Rio, in which the poachers from the film capture the birds, who escape and set out to rescue Blu and Jewel. Subsequent levels are set in the movie's Rio de Janiero and have the birds targeting the marmosets instead of the usual pigs. Blu and Jewel are also available as ammunition in some levels.
  • Destructive Saviour: All the birds exemplify this trope.
  • Deus Ex Machina:
  • Disaster Dominoes: Several levels can only be solved by causing collapses at strategic points that trigger additional collapses. On the other hand, hit the wrong spot and some of the pigs will be too well protected by fallen rubble.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The trailers often show how disproportionate the birds are to insects who merely touch, much less tip over, their eggs.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • If you fail a level, the remaining pigs (and marmosets in Rio) do this as the last bird disappears and the "Level Failed" screen comes up. Even the pigs' grunting while you're playing a level sounds like laughter at times.
    • Nigel does this in Rio if you flub a shot.
    • An animated pig in an air bubble does this on the "level failed" screen in Angry Birds Space.
    • Lard Vader laughs at you on the "level failed" screen in Angry Birds Star Wars. In Angry Birds Star Wars II, it's Lard Sidious.
  • Five-Bird Band: The birds can be seen as this.
  • Flying Saucer: A Recurring Boss in Angry Birds Space flies around in one. Some of the normal pigs can also be found in structures made to look like one.
  • Food as Bribe:
    • In the game's fluff, the other birds are terrified of the Eagle and offer it a can of fish as payment for fighting the pigs. In-game, when you use the Eagle, a can of fish appears by the slingshot (replacing any unlaunched birds) which you launch at the pigs; the Eagle comes zooming in and lands on or near the can. See the trailer here.
    • The Mighty Dragon from Angry Birds Seasons is a bit more jovial, but still has to be convinced to help via a fresh golden fish.
  • Foreshadowing: Green pigs. Doesn't that start rumors of a space-themed game?
  • Fragile Speedster: The yellow bird (purple in Angry Birds Space): its ability makes it the fastest bird, but a glancing touch on an obstacle before it gets where you want it and it's wasted.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Subverted. The birds can't hurt each other, either through impacts or special attacks. However, a bird that's stunned or jumping into the slingshot will knock out a launched bird, so carefully timing launches and waiting until the bird(s) poof out from where you want to aim are generally good ideas.
  • Game Breaking Bug: In at least one level, a bird could get stuck and refuse to disappear. [1]
  • Gluttonous Pig:
    • If the pigs just gave up on eating the eggs and ran for it, they'd save themselves a world of hurt.
    • In the spin-off 2011 Christmas comic, the pig king thinks that the meaning of Christmas is for him to eat all day long.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The "boxers with red hearts" variety can be seen flying out of destroyed luggage in Angry Birds Rio.
  • Gravity Sucks:
    • This is a game mechanic in Angry Birds Space, as all the planets have a gravitational "bubble" that not only pulls the birds toward them, but can also pull floating pigs to the ground to be eliminated if they're pushed inside it. It also affects how everything falls once a bird hits something, as objects will scoot/roll around the planet in the direction they fall until their momentum runs out.
    • Chuck's ability zigzags the trope in Angry Birds Space. Gravity affects him as long as he's just flying or after he hits something, but his speed boost makes him immune to gravity. Boba and Jango Fett's abilities in the Star Wars games also do the same.
  • Guide Dang It:
    • YouTube can be your best friend if you're stuck on a level.
    • Finding the golden eggs. Here are some of the more nonsensical ways to get them:
      • Tapping the sun on the level select screen.
      • Tapping the treasure chest on Level 1-8.
      • Selecting "Danger Above", then scrolling the screen all the way to the left.
      • Launching a white bird backwards, then tapping the screen so that the white bird "jumps" and hits the middle of the pause button.
  • Harmless Villain: The pigs. Even when they're under attack, all they do is stand around. Some are even floating aimlessly in Angry Birds Space, and many times, the pigs are actually sleeping as long as there's not a bird near them.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: The birds.
  • Jack of All Stats: The small red bird: average speed and impact strength in comparison to all the others.
  • King Mook: The pig king, who can take a lot more damage than a normal pig and also wears a crown.
  • Level Ate: The Birthday Party levels in the original game.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • The Eagle again: it's on and off the screen in less than a second and will annihilate any obstacles in its path, not to mention killing all the pigs.
    • The orange bird, believe it or not. It's fast[6], packs a surprising punch for its size (it can easily smash through wood and ice), and its ballooning ability can cause a lot of damage if used properly.
  • Mama Bear/Papa Wolf: The birds can count for either if you want to assign them genders.
  • Mighty Glacier: The large red bird: slowest-flying, packs a wallop on impact.
  • Mobile Phone Game: It started out as this.
  • Nice Hat:
    • The "leader" pigs wear small crowns.
    • "Ham 'Em High" has a desert/Western theme, and sombreros are scattered around in the levels. In later levels, the pigs sometimes wear cowboy hats.
    • In the St. Patrick's Day episode, several pigs are wearing Irish hats.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • In the original animated video, a mosquito decides to chow down on an egg and is beaten to a pulp by the birds. The pigs steal the eggs while they're busy with said beating.
    • In the video that introduces the Eagle, a butterfly brushes an egg and tips it off the edge of the nest. The birds watching the nest pound the poor butterfly into the ground.
  • Off-Model: The yellow bird looks slightly different from its usual appearance in the trailer for Angry Birds Rio. This is how it usually looks, and this is how it looks in the trailer.
    • This has to do with the fact that they were done by an outside studio, leading to all the birds being a bit Off-Model and Out of Character. It wasn't until Rovio started animating shorts and trailers in house that they started to look like the games and act as you would expect them to.
  • Oh Crap: In Angry Birds Space, the pigs look scared when a bird or debris gets close to them. One of the possible scoring achievements is to scare at least 6 pigs with one bird.
  • Opening the Sandbox: In the first game, you can't play any of the other episodes until you clear the first one.
  • Perpetual Molt: The Eagle's flight path is marked by a trail of feathers.
  • Perpetual Smiler: The orange bird's default expression is a cheerful smile (or as close to one as a beak can get).
  • Perspective Flip: It is planned that there will be a spinoff involving the pigs' side of the story, though whether it involves a team not unlike The Psycho Rangers remains to be seen.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The orange bird; see Lightning Bruiser above.
  • Pokémon-Speak: In the original game, if you listen closely enough, the Boomerang Bird actually says, " Angrrry.... Birrrd!" when fird from the slingshot.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • Most of the episode names, including such classics as "Poached Eggs," "Ham 'Em High" and "Easter Eggs".
    • The board games are subtitled "Knock on Wood" and "On Thin Ice".
  • Put the Laughter In Slaughter: Not only do the birds laugh and cheer when you complete a level, several of the birds sound like they're laughing when you draw back on the slingshot, and yell delightfully as they're launched.
  • Raygun Gothic: The aesthetic of Angry Birds Space.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: During the game's development, the developers decided that the birds needed an enemy once the game had been developed enough. At the time, the "swine flu" epidemic was taking the media by storm. Now you know why the birds' enemies are pigs.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: This.
  • Recurring Riff: All of the theme tunes for the various episodes of Angry Birds Seasons are holiday-appropriate reworkings of the original's theme.
  • Recycled in Space:
    • Crush The Castle with birds and pigs.
    • Two Angry Birds sequels fit this. Angry Birds Seasons focuses on holidays and special days, while Space literally takes place IN SPACE
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The game's main gimmick.
  • Roboteching: Somehow, the purple bird in Angry Birds Space can do this.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Happens often. If you make a miscalculation, the bird can go flying over the top, missing everything, or the bird can hit a structure but not cause any significant damage.
  • Series Mascot: The red bird.
  • Shadow of Impending Doom: The Eagle casts one on the level before impact.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the eagle trailer, the three pigs that stole the eggs hide in a straw hut, a wood house, and a brick fortress.
    • Level 17 of the "Summer Pignic" chapter of Angry Birds Seasons is a space-themed level which is set on the moon; the obstacles resemble a lunar lander and a moon car. It was released on July 8, 2011, the date of the final launch of the space shuttle Atlantis, which was also the final launch of the space shuttle program.
    • In the Wild West themed "Ham 'em High" chapter, Level 14-5 has a DeLorean as one of the decor pieces.
    • The Angry Birds Space birds are obviously based on comic superheroes.
    • The purple bird in Angry Birds Space is wearing a red visor, apparently a tribute either to Cyclops or a Cylon Centurion.
    • The Angry Birds Space bonus levels are homages to classic computer games, including Space Invaders, Super Mario Galaxy, Breakout, Bubble Bobble and Pong.
    • Some of the floating pigs in Angry Birds Space are inside structures that look something like TIE fighters.
  • Shows Damage:
    • The pigs get black eyes, lumps, and bruises as they take glancing hits. If you fail a level, beat-up pigs show missing teeth when they grin.
    • In the game, the birds look stunned after they hit something, and the green bird's beak crumples. In the artwork, the birds show the same kinds of injuries as the pigs, and the red bird's beak is crumpled.
    • Individual components of the obstacles show cracks before breaking completely.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Trailer: The Space Eagle was not shown or mentioned in the promotion for Angry Birds Space.
  • Sixth Ranger: Five of them.
    • In the third episode, Green Birds are introduced. These birds have the ability to reverse their course like boomerangs.
    • The fourth episode brings in Giant Red Birds, which can cause more destruction than the standard Red Bird.
    • The Rio installment introduces Blu and Jewel as "guest star" birds in some levels.
    • The "Ham'o'ween" episode introduced a new "Globe Bird"/"Orange Bird".
    • Angry Birds Space introduced Ice Birds, who can freeze blocks, making them easier to destroy.
  • Smug Snake: The pigs certainly look very satisfied with themselves, particularly if you fail to complete a level. Somehow, the more damage they take, the more insufferably smug some of them look.
  • Space Is Cold: In Angry Birds Space, pigs exposed to the vacuum of space will freeze solid and shatter. If they enter a gravity well on a planet, they'll unfreeze and act just fine.
  • Space Is Noisy: "Yahoo!" *crash* *boom*
  • Space Friction: Objects you hit in Angry Birds Space that don't enter a gravity well will eventually slow down and stop moving.
  • Spread Shot/Recursive Ammo: The blue bird, which splits into three when the screen is tapped.
  • Springy Spores: You can bounce birds off mushrooms in some Rio screens.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Your opponents are all green pigs. Why? Because it's a game about green ham and eggs.
    • The Mario level in Angry Birds Space.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The black birds' special ability is blowing up, and the white birds' is to drop an explosive egg.
    • Several levels feature TNT crates in strategic locations.
  • Super-Deformed: The art style, which is done in a deliberately cartoony manner. Both the pigs and the birds are basically spherical.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Certain birds are best used for different situations.
    • Blue birds are able to easily shatter ice. However, they are useless against wood and rock.
    • Yellow birds easily break through wood, but are stopped short by rock and ice.
    • Black birds punch easily through rock, but are less effective on ice and wood.
  • Taking You with Me: Subverted: the game treats the birds like kamikazes, but it's pretty clear that they don't actually die, especially after watching the cartoons.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The female birds and pigs in the Valentine's Day episode of Angry Birds Seasons.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The pigs have no sense to either fight back or flee when they're under attack, which makes sense only as a game mechanic. And that's not mentioning the various boulders and TNT boxes they've got (in)conveniently within the same bases they reside in.
  • Toothy Bird: The red bird in the menu icon has visible teeth.
  • Unstoppable Rage: "Those pigs stole from the wrong birds!"
  • Waddling Head: The pigs. They look like green pig heads (without legs), but they do leave pig hoof-prints behind.
    • Watch the trailer introducing the green bird: the pig in the hat also wears sandals, despite having no visible feet.
  • The Wild West: The setting for "Ham 'em High".
  • World Building: As Andrew Stalbow touched upon in the 2011 Web 2.0 Summit, the promotional materials are doing just this. For example, the Angry Birds Seasons comics and a product tie-in commercial establish the game as taking place on an island.
  • Your Eggs are Being Carried Off To Another Base
  1. 5000 points per pig.
  2. 10000 points per bird.
  3. iOS, Android, Symbian, WebOS, Windows Phone.
  4. Playable on the PlayStation Portable and Play Station 3.
  5. 35mil via Game Boy; 100mil via phone. However, this is for copies sold, and only on those two platforms; there are no figures for PC, nor for pirated or shareware versions.
  6. Somewhere between the red bird's normal speed and the yellow bird's fast speed.