There was a time when Eminem was confused about who was the Real Slim Shady. Well, there is just one thing we want to say to Eminem: We feel your pain. In around 2009, a game popped up on the iOS platform where small, round, flightless angry birds wanted to get rid of the evil pigs (who had stolen their eggs). The game was based on the concept of a slingshot and basic physics and angles were at the core of the game. It was colorful, easy to play and became a total rage in no time. Angry Birds was one of the games which got the whole idea of casual gaming in the spotlight for the first time. The game was the Pokemon Go of 2009 and made fanatic fans over time.
And of course, as the game was a success, we saw more and more versions and sequels of it come out in the following years, from Rovio Entertainment, the company behind the original Angry Birds game. We recently reviewed the latest one which has been added to the Angry Birds list and guess what: it did not feel like an Angry Birds game at all. Angry Birds Blast (that’s the name of the game) in fact looked more like Candy Crush, a bubble popper rather than the classic physics puzzle which made the series famous. And this is not new – the whole Angry Birds situation has been getting chaotic over the past few years.
There are so many versions and concepts revolving around a single idea that it is getting confusing and annoying with each passing day. For instance, if we go to the Play Store or the App Store and search for ‘Angry Birds’ we will easily get a dozen of results from Rovio itself.
There is a game where Angry Birds are racing called Angry Birds Go, there is a game which is actually based on role playing called the Angry Birds Epic… and there are also Angry Birds Transformers, Angry Birds Star Wars, and what not. And this is where the matter is getting a little messy.
When we think of Angry Birds the sight of some annoyed flightless birds slingshotted at the forts of evil piggies travels through our mind, but the recent versions of the game actually take us to someplace else and that someplace actually reminds us of a few games that already exist in the arena. Yes, the competition is getting fierce and yes, you need to change and develop the game over time but one can simply add different levels or can bring in a few challenging bits and make it even more engaging, but we do not understand why the game which hit the jackpot back in 2009 is trying to copy mediocre concepts now.
There are games which settled in our smartphones like a paying guest and the craze of such apps vanished into thin air in no time but Angry Birds instantly just walked into our smartphones and made a space for itself. Now when we see a game like that indulging in stuff like Angry Birds Blast which essentially is Candy Crush on bubble popper steroids, we feel betrayed. Angry Birds was a lot of things, but it certainly was not a copycat!
The point here is: we have seen the trendsetters in casual gaming. Be it the endless running games Temple Run or Subway Surfer or the games like Cut The Rope or Plants Vs. Zombies, these games have evolved over time but they have kept the essence of their core concept intact in the newer versions. Which is why we want to ask the makers of Angry Birds: when these games are not fiddling with their basic concepts, why are you?
If we search for Temple Run or Subway Surfer on the App Store or the Play Store, we know we might bump into a version with a better interface, better graphics, new challenging levels pinned on the new canvas here and there, but we know at the end of the day there will be a guy running away from some demon in a spooky land. Now, if we search for Angry Birds on the Play Store we might end getting stuck with a poorly implemented racing game or role playing game instead of the good old slingshot version of the game.
If the developers want to get a new version of the game out which goes with a particular movie or a TV series, we do not have a problem with it. But surely the company can provide users with something new on the table if they are coming out with a “new” version of the game, without fiddling with its very core, which is what most users can relate to. You can not just pick up something from somewhere, merge it with an old and famous name and hope for it to work. This not only creates confusion but also takes the name and glory of the original version a notch down from where it was. And in this chaos, somehow the game which started it all has lost its identity. With too many versions of the same game floating in the App Store, doing so many different things, it just becomes a little confusing to understand what is going on.
So, to return to Eminem, if the rapper was a fan of Angry Birds we sure know what he would have been looking for instead of Slim Shady:
May I have your attention please?
May I have the slingshot back please?
Will the real Angry Birds please stand up?
I repeat will the Angry Birds please stand up?
We’re going to have a problem here…