Angry Birds Champions takes flight on WorldWinner: A brand new way to play for a flock of passionate fans.
Let the bird-flinging begin! I couldn’t be more excited that Angry Birds Champions has launched on WorldWinner.com and in our iOS app. Several years ago, when we first started planning a mobile version of WorldWinner, we knew we wanted to do much more than just take our WorldWinner desktop games and adapt them for mobile. We wanted to create a competitive experience that would enable players to compete in popular games that were perfectly designed for mobile devices. So when we set out to put the very best mobile games into the WorldWinner app, Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds was right at the top of that list.
Angry Birds is the #1 mobile game series of all time, and with good reason. It’s got compelling physics-based gameplay, charming characters with memorable quirks, and countless imaginative levels. (Jurassic Pork, anyone?) The fundamentals are intuitive and easy to learn, but the strategy and skill elements have satisfying depth. And let’s not forget the sound effects in Angry Birds! They are on a level all their own, unlike any previous game — a sublime cacophony of twittering, oinks, and the glorious crash-bang-boom of fortresses falling down. When it comes right down to it, breaking things is just pure fun, and Angry Birds captures that joy perfectly.
As devoted fans of the game, our team was wildly excited about having the opportunity to create the official cash tournament version of Angry Birds. We set out immediately to identify the core skills of a good Angry Birds player so that we could create a short tournament format in which those skills would shine. After a lot of fun discussions and some time spent throwing plush birds at each other, we identified four primary skills that contribute directly to a player’s success in the game:
- Aiming accurately and triggering birds’ powers at the right time
- Knowing the birds’ strengths and using the right bird for a particular target
- Correctly calculating the physics interactions
- Learning from your mistakes and applying new knowledge to each successive shot
In order to really put the focus on these different skills, we decided to give players two different tournament formats in which to play the game. One format, which we call “Best of 3,” lets you play the same level three times, and only your highest score is counted. This really captures the feel of “learning by doing” in Angry Birds, where you can experiment with a few shots to see how the physics play out and then apply your knowledge to get the highest score that you can.
The second format, called “progression mode,” is for more ambitious players who enjoy the thrill of planning and executing the perfect attack. In this mode, you play three different levels in a row, and your score is the sum of all three levels. There are no take-backs or do-overs in this mode; you’ve got to plan it out from the beginning and nail the execution. It’s all about showing your skill and strategy right out of the gate.
Speaking of strategy, we decided to enhance the strategic element of the game as well, by introducing a new “Swap” feature. In each tournament, players get a limited number of “Swap” power-ups (the same amount for each player). These can be used to exchange the bird in the slingshot for the next bird on deck. This allows skilled players to really optimize their use of the birds’ powers by customizing the order in which birds are launched.
Another important element of Angry Birds is the excellent level design, and we knew that we had to capture that same magic in Angry Birds Champions. However, we didn’t want our competitions to be all about memorizing different levels, so it was up to us to take that compelling content and find ways to mix it up from one tournament to the next.
We accomplished this by using a mix of hand-crafted content. Basically, each level is assembled from a set of prefabricated fortress pieces. Our forts have all the cunning and hilarious setups that Angry Birds is known for, but the exact placement and arrangement is different each time (while still being exactly the same for each of the players in a given tournament). We’re very happy with how this system came out. It provides the polished feel of handcrafted content while still presenting players with a new and interesting challenge each time they compete.
It was a blast working with Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds, and learning more about the magic behind this game as well as players’ favorite features. Based in Finland, the Rovio team has been incredibly generous with their time, feedback, and ideas.
When it all came together, we knew we had something unique and fun for WorldWinner players to enjoy. The game feels really strategic while still capturing the wild and reckless fun that Angry Birds is known for. And unlike many of our other skill games, it isn’t about speed at all. There’s no bonus for finishing early; instead, players are rewarded for careful planning, meticulous aim, and the clever use of both the birds as well as the objects on the board.
We can’t wait for fans to experience Angry Birds Champions. With this new game on the heels of our Trivial Pursuit launch, 2018 is officially in full swing. There’s more to come, so keep an eye out. For now, play Angry Birds Champions and let us know what you think!
Senior Director of Product, Games