Angry Birds Transformers on Android Review
Anyone that grew up in the 80’s probably has a fond memory of the toys that we played with back then. Action figures such as He-Man and Transformers were the stuff dreams are, now, made of. In recent years we have seen a resurgence of Transformers fanfare with the Michael Bay movies but to true “kid at heart” fans those movies don’t represent the true Transformers. The true Transformers are the classic red and blue Optimus Prime, Megatron that transformed into a handgun and Soundwave who was an evil boom box (with transforming cassette tapes- who can name them all?). Rovio has stepped in with their take on the Transformers and thrown their hat into the ring of many licensed games that have been appearing over the last several years. It looks like Rovio has gotten the closest to that dream Transformers game.
Okay, seeing Rovio is involved in this Transformers game may have made you cringe a bit. No worries, this is not a re-skin of Angry Birds by any means. Sure, the physics based game play that Rovio is known for is along for the ride, and so are many of the Angry Birds characters but the slingshots have been left at home. For classic Transformers fans, this is much like what happened with the Headmasters storyline- some characters change completely (Galvatron and Soundwave are now cars) but for the most part, they are recognizable versions of their original selves. The biggest difference is the heads which are classic Angry Birds. Just like the Headmasters were “similar” to their original forms, they were slightly different.
The Transformers brand has not been subject to very many games and even fewer cross-overs with other media. The comic books only saw one major cross-over and that was with fellow popular cartoon/comic G.I. Joe. The few games that we have seen involving the Transformers have been really hit or miss, mostly miss. Angry Birds Transformers is a hit.
The cool part about Angry Birds Transformers is that Rovio have gone in a whole new direction with this license mashup. Not completely new in gaming, but definitely new for Rovio. If you read issue #2 of Gaming on Batteries Magazine then you know about a game called Major Mayhem. Angry Birds Transformers is quite similar to that Cartoon Network shooter except you don’t stop and hide behind cover- you constantly run through the level. This focus on the action helps separate Angry Birds Transformers from the myriad of “endless running” games available- that and the fact that there are verifiable endings to the levels.
There is an over world map that helps you strategically take on certain areas with the pre-chosen Autobot or Decepticon. This is sadly chosen for you. I would rather see an option to use your own choice of Transformer for each level since some levels are simply hard as nails with the required robot. Upgrades are available but as with most mobile games of today, they take time and in game currency. Till you get to level six on the upgrade tree you won’t have a problem affording the upgrades with the in game currency. At level six though, the costs are extremely high in money and in time required to complete the upgrade. Of course, there are options to purchase the crystals used to speed things up, and you do get more than a few just by playing the game but they disappear so fast.
Currently there is a complete lack of cloud saves available. That means no playing on multiple devices without having to start completely over. That sucks for people like me whom have multiple ways of gaming on the Android platform, some better suited to certain games than others. Bad call there Rovio, but one that can be fixed with a simple update- how about it?
For fans of the 80’s Transformers this is a nostalgia trip worth taking, just be prepared for some “Michael Bay-esque” creative freedoms with some of the Transformers. Fans of the Angry Birds series are less served in this game and may find nearly a complete lack of anything redeeming to your choice in gaming.