The Angry Birds have generated over a billion downloads across all of their different sling-shotting escapades across Angry Birds, Seasons, Rio, Space, Star Wars I, and Star Wars II, plus a pig centric spin-off, and go-kart racer. Now, they’re spreading their wings with an all new game style in Angry Birds Epic. It’s a turn based RPG that is made as accessible as possible as Rovio attempts to appeal to their huge user base. The game still comes down to the battle between the birds, and egg stealing green pigs, but now with a much clearer battle structure with an increase in strategy. You begin with red bird setting out on a literal “epic” adventure just in the sheer scope of the game with an expansive map to battle across. As you battle, you will unlock the wizard yellow, black bomb bird, white healing bird, and triple blue birds.
Each bird has their own specific skill set to combat a wide variety of pig enemies that keep providing new challenges to deal with. Angry Birds Epic boils down to depleting the health of the enemy, before they do the same to you. There’s an approachable set-up where you simply drag from one of the birds to the enemy pig to perform an attack, and you can also tap on birds to activate their special boost to aid the other birds. Once you get through the initial waves, you mostly have three birds at your disposal for your turn, and then the pigs get their chance, and you need to constantly balance attacking with activating proper defenses. When you get more than three birds at your disposal, there’s the added strategy of picking the right birds for the pig challenge at hand. There’s also the chili pepper, which charges as you play, and using it at the right time with the right character can be the key to success, or failure.
The map continues to evolve as you go with all new regions, and properly themed enemy pigs. There’s the familiar three star scoring system, which actually ties into a bonus wheel at the end of each level allowing you to collect various items. The items can then be used to craft new weapons, and make new potions to help you in future battles. The crafting elements tie in nicely to the usual RPG set-up, but their inclusion is balanced a bit oddly. There’s a convoluted menu to access the crafting portion, and from there you usually have limited options based on the development of the game. Angry Birds Epic is free to play, and it mainly comes into play in the crafting portion whether you’re re-spinning the wheel, re-rolling the dice for a new bonus, or buying special items. It’s annoying more than anything else, and the best method for crafting is to ignore it until you absolutely need some upgrades for a level you may get stuck on.
Once you cut through all of the varying features, the core gameplay is what really makes Angry Birds Epic stand out. There’s no doubt it’s the best game the Angry Birds have been in as it provides a constantly evolving challenge that will keep you continuously engaged. It starts a bit slow, but once you unlock your third bird there’s a nice deal of strategy involved that is made accessible, while not being too easy. You need to really manage the different abilities of your birds, while taking into account the unique powers of the varied pig enemies. There’s a subtle animated storyline, but more importantly there’s an ever changing pig enemy that inspires you to keep battling forward. There is some redundancy in the strategy involved, and some of the overly simplistic mechanics can make it feel a bit bland at times, but that’s the exception, not the rule. It’s simply fun to battle the pigs through a wide variety of set-ups with a constantly changing character assortment.
Angry Birds Epic (Free, Universal) is a thoroughly engaging turned based RPG that can have wider appeal than the usual entrants in the genre. The game created an enjoyable experience that will keep you coming back making it a worthwhile pick up that you will no doubt enjoy, no matter any preconceived notions going in.