Monday, February 7, 2011

Angry Birds

A couple months ago we were at a football-watching party with some friends. I’d just gotten my new iPhone 4 and was happily showing it off when one of my friends asked me if I’d downloaded the “Angry Birds” app.

Have you heard of this game? I hadn’t.

She said it was so much fun and I just had to download it. So I did. And there the game sat on my iPhone 4 for over three months while I was busy with things like holidays and family and friends and kittens. Oh, and bowling and euchre and snow and ice. Lots of snow and ice.

About a week ago, I wasn’t feeling so hot, so I was lounging on the couch in my PJs. Sadly, I had finished my last library book and had absolutely nothing to read, so I started scrolling through my iPhone to see what might capture my interest. I stumbled across the Angry Birds App, so I opened it to see what it was all about.

And now? I’m hooked on the damn thing. (Thanks, Kara.) And it’s so silly!

See, there are a bunch of birds. Well, bird heads, actually. None of the birds have bodies, which is a little strange. But it’s a game, so you just go with it.

What you do is shoot the bird heads from a slingshot at a bunch of green pigs that are hiding in various structures made out of wood or ice or stone. Or, actually, you shoot the bird heads at the pig heads. (Maybe it was cost-prohibitive to build little bodies onto the heads? Who knows?)

Anyway, I’m not really sure if birds and pigs are natural enemies in real life, but all I know is that in this game the pigs sure did something bad to piss off those little birds!

In the free game (I’m way too cheap to actually pay for any apps that I download onto my phone!), there are 12 levels. And each level is more difficult than the last.

I’m currently working on the 12th level and cannot – for the life of me – annihilate all those stinkin’ pigs. Some of them cheat, though, and are wearing helmets, so they’re twice as hard to kill.

I get all happy when I bust up the structure with my first shot and the pig heads are left balancing precariously on what’s left of their fort. Each pig death brings 5,000 points to your total. And if you manage to kill all the pigs and you still have birds left, you get 1,000 extra points.

Sigh. When did I become so bloodthirsty and violent?

I think it started after the first level when I missed that last little green pig. See, when you run out of birds and there is still a pig left, he very smugly grins at you as if to say {in a really mocking pig-like tone of voice}, “Ha ha, loser. You missed me!”

As soon as that happened the first time, I immediately turned into a snarling, Rambo-like pig-killing machine and I wanted to wipe that silly grin off that silly pig face in the worst way!

Yeah. Sure. Whoever said that revenge is a dish best served cold had it right. I’d immediately try again and I’d invariably fumble that first bird shot so that the little bird head would plop out of the sling shot, bounce once and then roll a little bit never even coming close to the target.

Some killing machine I am, huh? Not so much.

Nevertheless, I did make it through the first 5 or 6 levels pretty quickly. Some of the later levels were pretty tricky and I had a hard time getting all the pigs. And sometimes one bird will split into three little birds – but never have I been able to use that phenomenon to my advantage. Nor do I know what I’ve done to magically multiply the birds. Usually it happens when I fumble, so all three birds bounce onto the grass well short of the target. And, yes, then I feel three times as foolish.

Maybe I should read the instructions? Yeah, sure. Like there were any instructions with this game.

I’m guessing that the developers figured that anyone younger than 80 knows how to play since gaming has been around for a few decades now.

Except for me. Other than playing foosball in college, I was never a “gamer.” (But you should know that I was GOOD at foosball!) Arcades with all their flashing lights and pinging noises and packs of kids hopped up on excessive amounts of sugar from Twizzlers and neon-colored Slurpies, made me a little nervous.

Thus, pinball, Pac-Man, and anything involving a joy-stick are beyond my capabilities. Or, maybe they’re just beyond my interest. I was never into Atari or X-Box or Wii or any of those gaming systems that require any sort of manual dexterity and the ability to shoot at targets, blow up little spaceships or gobble up little dots while evading some not-so-scary-looking ghosts with big eyes.

So it’s amazing to me that I’ve spent a lot of spare time shooting bird heads from sling shots at pig heads. And I like it.

Maybe there’s hope for me yet in the world of gaming.

Or maybe I should just get myself back over to the library to pick up some more books. And then maybe the little birds can make peace with the little pigs without my Rambo-like interference. Ah, see? I guess I AM a peace lover at heart!

Yeah, yeah, sure, peace. Whatever. First I need to get through Level 12…

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Miss Jane.
    I will, however, be notifying the ASPCA about your indiscriminate abuse of innocent pigs.