Angry Birds Transformers is the latest and tenth installment in the Angry Bird series of games. Made in collaboration with Hasbro, Angry Birds Transformers is based on the Transformers series, the original animated one, not the terrible movies made by Michael Bay.
After a soft launch the game is now available worldwide on iOS right now and will be available on Android at the end of the month. Anyway, let’s get on with the review.
Angry Birds Transformers is a side-scrolling shooting game. The game is 3D but is only presented from one angle. You take control of one of the Autobirds (-_-) who is running while shooting the Deceptihogs (ಠ_ಠ). The character runs automatically and you just have to tap on the screen to point where you want to shoot.
It’s possible to shoot directly at the pigs but that takes a lot of hits before they die. The game instead encourages you to hit the structures they are placed on and then collapse the structure, which kills all the pigs on it. It’s easier to break the glass platforms than the wood, and don’t even bother shooting at the stone. There will also be TNT crates that you can shoot to instantly blow up the entire structure.
The pigs are also shooting back at you and you basically have to survive the level. The number of pigs you shoot isn’t important to finish the level but it is important to unlock future levels, so the more pigs you kill in a level, the better.
Other than surviving the attacks of the pigs, you also have tall statues falling on your. This is when you transform the characters into vehicles, which lets you escape the falling statues. The transformation can only last a few seconds and you have to let it recharge a bit before using it again. Also, you can’t shoot while you are a vehicle, and change back automatically when you shoot.
You start playing with Optimus Prime, but you unlock other Autobirds as you play. The more pigs you get, the more levels you unlock. You also get in-game currency for completing levels. This can be used to upgrade the Autobirds and make them faster and stronger. The upgrades, however, aren’t applied immediately, which is one of the annoyance of the game. You either have to wait for some time or use the limited crystals at your disposal to speed up the process.
After you finish a level, it becomes unavailable for some time. If you have to play it again to get more pigs to unlock the next level, you either have to wait for the older levels to become available again or as before, shell out the crystals.
The crystals, as you can imagine, are limited but obviously the game lets you purchase more by spending real money on it. This ‘wait or pay real money to progress’ tactic is used by countless freemium games these days and it never stops being annoying.
As for the actual game, it’s not bad. I actually had some fun plain the game, until I ran out of all the levels and had to wait for the older levels to unlock again because I didn’t collect enough pigs to unlock the next level. This is the kind of stuff that makes people never come back once they quit the game.
Graphics and Sound
Rovio deserves some praise here for first of all choosing to go with the original animated series of Transformers instead of the much more lucrative movie franchise, and secondly, making sure the look of the game is as close to the animated series as possible. Indeed, when you first launch the game, you are greeted by a slightly blurry, animated sequence that looks exactly like the old Transformer series (or old cartoons in general), complete with that analogue TV/VHS distortion at the bottom. The 3D visuals aren’t that great but acceptable for most parts.
The audio is great too. I loved the music in the games, which is again based on the Transformer series, with a bit of Angry Birds theme mixed in occasionally. It sounds good and that’s all that matters.
I wasn’t quite sure about this collaboration before I started playing the game but Angry Birds Transformers turned out to be better than expected. The gameplay is fairly fun and I definitely appreciate the throwback to the original animated series through the visuals and sound. But this freemium model is really started to get on my nerves now and the constant waiting for things or being forced to pay to continue is deeply frustrating and makes me lose faith in the developer, gaming, and humanity, in general. I wish developers stop this horrible practice and just ask for the money upfront instead of irritating you into paying them. And just for that I wouldn’t recommend anyone to download this game, even though the game itself is decent.
Pros: Fun gameplay, animated sequences that look like the original series, good music
Cons: Same old annoying ‘wait or pay’ nonsense
Download: App Store