More than Meets the Bird’s Eye
There is a major caveat when it comes to Angry Birds Transformers: if you are looking at this game because you only care about Angry Birds (and its crazy depiction of physics) and care nothing for Transformers, then you will probably not get this game at all. But if you are a fan of the original 80’s cartoon series about alien robots that can transform into Earth-based vehicles and items, then you will definitely love this game. Simply put: this is not an Transformers-themed Angry Birds game, it is an Angry Birds-themed Transformers game.
What is Angry Birds Transformers?
ABTF is action shooter where players choose a character among the various Autobirds and Deceptihogs and play a specific stage. Gameplay is straightforward, with the character automatically running to the right and players having to shoot down enemy pigs or structures. Vehicle transformation is made available early on, allowing players to temporarily turn into a faster non-shooting mode that allows them to dodge environmental hazards. The goal of each stage is to shoot down as many targets as possible (in order to earn coins as well as preventing them from attacking you) while making it to the end of the stage with life remaining.
Starscream would be Proud
It is pretty obvious from the start that the game panders to the fans of the original cartoon. Sure, there are a few nods to the other TF spinoffs. Like the Bayformers films (with the flame decals on Optimus and Bumblebee’s other look as a Camaro), some characters from Beast Wars appear and there are even a few things from the more recent Transformers Animated series. But, the core content of the game revolves around the G1 line all the way up to the Animated Movie. Arcee, Ultra Magnus, Astrotrain, Rodimus (Hot Rod), and other original generation characters are prominently featured in the game. Simply put, unless you are a fan of the original characters, getting into this game may feel like starting a completely new series.
Release Date: 15/10/2014
Available on: iOS, Android
It Looks Pretty Good
Fans of the series will love the fact that the opening sequence is a homage to the animation work of Sunbow and Marvel Productions. While the gameplay itself is presented in 2D, the characters and environments are done with 3D models. It might have looked better with cel shaded graphics, but the visuals already look great as they are. The animation is incredibly well detailed. Each character moves and acts with personality –there is a distinct difference between the way that Optimus Prime and Grimlock moves.
As cool as the graphics are however, they are pretty processor-intensive. So unless you are running on the new Air 2 or a device with similar hardware, expect some frame drops when the actions gets real intense in the game’s later stages.
Birds Disguised as Robots in Disguise
The game still does have a lot of Angry Birds elements, and this is most noticeable in the fact that the evil robot pigs (not to be confused with the Deceptihogs) are still housing themselves in structures with obvious vulnerabilities. And the game encourages players to use their firepower on those instead of manually shooting the pigs in the face. It is faster and more efficient, and it is what makes the game pretty unique.
The humor has also been spread around the game generously. Characters act and behave in silly ways that do not detract from the flow and feel of the game. Mess up in the middle of a run and a missile blast will force you to transform into a helpless washing machine for a short time. These and a lot of other little quirks in the game makes ABTF a very fun and enjoyable title to play.
The Verdict: Even the Telepods are Worth It
Hasbro and Rovio make for an interesting team, and with Angry Birds Transformers, the combination of “addictive-game” with “lucrative franchise” actually makes sense as the game is really fun to play (Angry Birds Star Wars was interesting and nice, but it was not really all that Star Wars-y). It looks great, the music sounds like it would fit right in with the original show, and the gameplay is done in exciting short bursts that it is not hard to keep coming back to it –and all of that is dressed up in the feel and look of the original Transformers series. And yes, getting a Telepod for this game actually makes it more fun to play.
Angry Birds Transformers is developed by Rovio Entertainment Ltd.