Say the words "physics-based puzzle game" to me, and I'll more than likely run off screaming, as fast as my not-so-little legs will carry me. On the odd occasion, though, something will come along that's just engaging, charming and entertaining enough to grab me. Angry Birds is one such game.
Angry Birds is, on the face of it, ridiculous. It's got a hilariously stupid premise, which is very endearing. Green pigs have stolen the birds' eggs, and that has made them angry. They want revenge. How do they get it? By, in true fairytale fashion, blowing the pigs' houses down. But they don't huff and puff, oh no. They launch themselves from catapults, knocking over any structures in their way before exploding in a final coup-de-grace.
So, feathered friends... how do we take out this building?
This is the kind of imagination that has led to the games industry being so varied. I love that idea, and I love the angry scowls on the birds' faces as they line up, waiting to be flung at great speeds towards wood, brick, glass and pork. Tremendous.
The game has a lot of levels, and a little bit of depth, too. As you progress, other kinds of birds become available for greater destructive potential. There's some trial and error in the gameplay... you're unlikely to get many efforts right first time. It's a bit like Worms in that respect... aim and fire, then adjust for your next go and hope to hit the mark more accurately.
GIDDOWER! That'll do it!
There's high-scoring potential here, too. You get points (seemingly) for accuracy, and for the things you blow up, and there are bonuses for the number of birds you have left at the end of each screen. You're ranked for each effort too... anywhere from one to three stars for successfully completing the screen. Yet another way to draw you back into the game.
I've said it's like Worms... it's also, basically, a 2D version of Boom Blox, that great Wii game. Maybe more of a cross between the two... either way, I'm enjoying it a hell of a lot, which is something of a surprise to me, and a very pleasant one.