Hands-On: Angry Birds VR Is Exactly What You Expect And That’s Okay

by David Jagneaux • February 7th, 2019

Angry Birds is probably not something you’d ever have thought would be making its way to VR headsets. The global phenomenon mobile game is no doubt one of the most popular video games of all-time, but its simple mechanic of launching cute birds at adorable pigs and destroying their houses doesn’t exactly have people clamoring for a VR version.

Regardless, the folks at Rovio (creators of Angry Birds) teamed up with Resolution Games, the same company behind Bait!, Wonderglade, Narrows, and (naturally) Angry Birds: FPS on Magic Leap, to bring us Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs.

Here, have a launch trailer:

Earlier this week I got the chance to go hands-on with the game and came away feeling exactly how you’d think: it’s Angry Birds in VR!

To Rovio and Resolution’s credit though, it is actually a very solid adaptation. Pulling back the slingshot with your actual entire hand instead of just dragging a finger across a touch screen feels great. I felt like my accuracy was a lot better in VR than it ever was on a mobile device. All of the birds are extremely emotive and full of personality, which was great to see, as they wink and wave at you.

Perhaps most importantly though is that by being in VR, which means full 3D environments with spatial depth and 360-degree layouts, the complexity of the structures compared to mobile is through the roof (pun intended.) Now you’re no longer restricted to firing birds from a single point and can teleport to different locations around the level. You’re required to lean around, duck down, and peer over objects to find explosive boxes, hidden pigs, and other secrets.

Angry Birds has always been about replaying levels to master them with a perfect three star score and Angry Birds VR is no different. During my demo I breezed through most of the levels in one or two tries, but rarely got three stars. It’d require some serious planning to nail every pig in just one shot.

There are about 50 levels total in the game right now, but more are coming. At the end of each zone there’s a boss pig with a life bar that requires even more creativity than usual to take down. These were some of my favorite levels because they really required me to think outside the box.

Angry Birds VR may not have been the type of game that I dreamed of playing in a headset one day, but there is certainly an audience for a recognizable brand like this. Especially if it comes bundled with the Oculus Quest (it really should, by the way, if someone important is reading this.)

Angry Birds VR_ Isle of Pigs, Red Waving vr

Fruit Ninja VR made me a believer in porting mobile games to VR headsets and now Angry Birds VR is here to further solidify that, if done right, VR can make just about anything better.

Angry Birds VR is out now on Rift and Vive for $14.99. Over the coming months more levels will be released, for free, and it will be ported to other devices such as Windows VR headsets and eventually the Oculus Quest once that’s released.

Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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