A few weeks back, the folks at Hasbro asked if we’d like to check out some new offerings from their ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS line here in the state-of-the-art Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ. Being quite the STAR WARS fan, there was no way to refuse the request of The Empire. A few days later, an Imperial Courier arrived at HQ in a large, brown speeder. His package? A box loaded with fresh toys and games to check out.
Truth be told, I didn’t get into the ANGRY BIRDS craze until earlier this year, and it was STAR WARS that pulled me into it. After getting a Windows Phone back in January, one of the first apps I downloaded wasn’t an app at all, but a game: ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS. I wasn’t even familiar with the basic gameplay and mechanics until then, and now – having played it extensively (though still awaiting the Cloud City upgrade!) – I’m pretty well-versed. In fact, I ended up snagging the ANGRY BIRDS: SEASONS game as well. It’s a fun way to pass the time while visiting The Emperor’s Throne Room.
Knowing the games, I wasn’t sure how they’d translate into physical toys. Now I have the answers…
College kids and bar patrons might know this game by another name… Beer Pong. Alright, maybe it’s not quite Beer Pong, but the mechanics are the same. A player takes one of three included balls (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker) and has to bounce it once off of the table before hitting a target in or near the Millennium Falcon. A booklet of point values is included for 2-player action (first to 30K points wins) with various values assigned to things like knocking over an enemy, landing in the middle, or landing in the cockpit.
Speaking of the cockpit, there’s a design flaw here – the front piece seldom wants to stay locked onto the body of the Falcon (pictured left). It can get annoying to have to keep putting it back in place. Additionally, the game has to be fully disassembled to fit back in it’s box properly.
Overall, more fun for me than for the little one (though she does enjoy it). I’ll admit, the simplicity of it makes it one of those “addictive” games. I’ve found myself playing it Solo (like Han) well after the family is in bed.
THE ROCK FATHER RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
Now this captures the spirit of ANGRY BIRDS and feature’s something that kids love… DESTRUCTION! A fairly big set with a $40 MSRP, AT-AT is sort of the Cadillac of ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS sets. In the spirit of things, I got “big” AT-AT down from his perch in my office to join his Bad Pig Imperial Walker cousin for some playtime in the kitchen. With 12 “figures” included, my little one has been having a blast blowing AT-AT to smithereens. A true-to-life duplication of a level in the actual video game, AT-AT is built of blocks that need to be knocked out of place by the rebels. With a spring-loaded “lightsaber” launcher, the battle is on. Really, it’s not much of a “battle” because the kids just set it up to knock it down – just like most blocks. The Angry Birds become super-fast flying projectiles, so some caution should be used.
Setting up AT-AT can be a bit of a challenge as it takes a steady hand and requires balance (sorta like JENGA). Though I don’t actually let my daughter play Angry Birds on my phone (not into giving the kids too much tech), she still gets it. I’ve spoken to a few friends that have this game and the thoughts have been pretty mixed. In our house, it’s a winner.
THE ROCK FATHER RATING: 4/5 Stars
Something that was included as a bonus, the FOAM FLYERS are a very NERF-esque foam “ball” in the shape of a character’s head. While we only received one (a Bad Pig Stormtrooper), there’s four available… and this is THE BIG WINNER here. As happens very often, the simplest toy of the bunch is often the most appreciated. This little guy has already traveled in the car… played in the backyard… and visited the park. He reminds me a lot of those “Madballs” that were for sale in the 1980s. I’m not giving this guy an official rating, but he’s very well-loved. I’ve had some fun with him as well…
Are your kids into ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS?
FTC Disclosure: A selection of ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS toys and games were provided to The Rock Father for the purpose of review consideration by Hasbro. All opinions are that of James Zahn with input from his children. The Force is Strong With Them.