After countless releases and iterations of the known saga of cute-but-pissed-off birds against the sneaky pigs, the developers at Rovio are trying their hand at a different kind of genre, although they still make use of their world-renown characters.
For starters, Angry Birds Epic is a new kind of game that might come as a surprise to fans of the popular slingshot madness games released before it. Contrary to those games, Angry Birds Epic is a RPG (which stands for Role Playing Game), and this means it is paced slower and that it requires far more strategy than any of the company’s previous offerings.
As in previous games, Angry Birds Epic starts with the same premise: The pigs have stolen the birds’ eggs and the birds (very angry birds by now, of course) go out on a quest to try to recover them.
Once you take control in the game, you start as the classic red bird and you have to make your way through a map following the pigs until you reach different locations. The path is pretty linear and encounters happen every time you reach a destination. Personally, I didn’t like this aspect of the game, since it completely removes the exploration element, which is one of the main aspects RPG fans look for when playing.
One of the things the game does right though, is making combat easy and accessible. You have to fight a pig (or group of pigs) at every location in turn-based combat, and Angry Birds Epic makes very good use of taps and gestures to make combat a frictionless experience for novice users. Simply drag your finger from an ‘origin’ character to the ‘target’ character. If the target is a friend, you will heal them or give them some kind of boost, while if the target is an enemy, you will unleash a series of deadly attacks upon them.
As expected from any RPG, Angry Birds Epic also sports a strategy element that goes beyond merely planning your fights. In the game you collect items as you win battles and you use them to create new weapons, spells or other kinds of items.
All of these elements however, highlight a few major flaws that I think keep Angry Birds Epic from being a great RPG.
Too Many Flaws
To start, in trying to make the game more accessible for users new to the genre, Angry Birds Epic makes things too easy. Step by step tutorials are a good thing, but when you don’t even have to think to defeat your enemies, you risk boring gamers, which is what happens in this case.
In addition to that, another element that will surely tire most users is the complete lack of originality story-wise. RPGs, perhaps more than any other game genre, are known for having rich, deep stories that engage players, but Angry Birds Epic adds just nothing in this respect, which causes a lack of motivation for players to keep playing.
All in all, if you are a fan of RPGs and like deep gameplay and stories, then Angry Birds Epic sadly doesn’t deliver on any of those fronts. If, however, you are new to the genre and just can’t get enough of Rovio’s iconic characters, then by all means try the game, as you are bound to find quite a few novelties in it.