By: Chris Buffa March 21, 2011 0 Comments

Now we know why birds fly south. To kick some monkey butt.

When it comes to movie-based games, the good ones are rare, so we're proud to announce that Angry Birds Rio is an exception to the rule. Although it features scenery and characters from the upcoming animated film, Rio, developer Rovio retained the series' irresistible play, making the App feel more like an extension of the franchise instead of a cheap cash-in.

That said, the basic goals remain the same. Each of the game's 60 levels feature a structure comprised of different materials (wood, glass, stone), and your goal is to destroy it with a variety of birds, pulling back on a slingshot and letting it rip, causing tons of property damage and racking up points.

Normally, you would need to kill annoying pigs, either by shooting a bird in their direction or causing a chain reaction that results in different objects collapsing and thereby crushing the bothersome swine. This is one of the stark differences between Angry Birds Rio and previously released titles, where instead of slaughtering those creatures, you smash through cages and free kidnapped birds. Break all of these cages, and you move to the next level. Unlock the second chapter, and the birds get replaced with evil monkeys.

Meanwhile, stages feature hidden fruit, as well as cameos by the movie's fine-feathered stars, Blu and Jewel. On top of that, a small number of still frames push the story along, but never dominate the experience. You certainly don't need to understand the narrative to enjoy the game.

You'll also notice improved graphics. Angry Birds Rio is without question the best looking entry in the series, despite only having two locations; warehouse and jungle. You'll instantly notice the attractive backgrounds, but also little touches, like the way monkeys scamper about before falling off a beam.

If you're in search of a challenge, however, go with Angry Birds Seasons. Although it takes some skill to achieve all three stars per level, we easily breezed through the first chapter with little effort; as opposed to Seasons, which feels significantly more difficult.

That, of course, shouldn't stop you from downloading this excellent App. Angry Birds Rio is a textbook example of how to seamlessly blend a game with a movie, and with additional levels on the way, it's a must play for longtime fans as well as newcomers.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

Download Angry Birds Rio

Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.

Download Angry Birds Rio HD

What's Hot: Seamless integration with the movie and video game, 60 levels with more on the way, best looking game in the series.

What's Not: Too many easy levels, HD version costs $2.00 extra.


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