Thursday, August 11, 2011

CIO Solutions App of the Month - Angry Birds Seasons vs. Angry Birds Rio

The debate on whether or not Angry Birds constitutes as an 'App' has raged on long enough. Many people in our organization believe that it is a 'game' and therefore does not meet the criteria of an 'App' but the few who believe this extremely addictive game should be considered for our App spotlight have finally won.

Below is a point/counterpoint debate on the merits and shortcomings of the two prevailing versions, Angry Birds 'Seasons' (presented by Mike Shinn) and Angry Birds 'Rio' (presented by Chase Christian).

Angry Birds 'Seasons'

Mike Shinn: Angry Birds Seasons is WAY better than Angry Birds Rio

Angry Birds has been an app that caused many people to buy their iPhone or Android to begin with. It is fun for young and old and teaches fundamental physics in a cute and addictive way. Angry Birds Seasons dresses the birds and green pigs in costumes for each season. Dozens of levels are available but only one per day leading up to the holiday similar to a Christmas Advent calendar. It's all of the fun of Angry Birds with additional costumes, challenges and anticipation for the next day's challenge.

Angry Birds Rio is a shoddy attempt at a movie marketing tie-in. It has the same fun as Angry Birds, but the levels are often too easy and instead of taking revenge on angry green pigs for egg theft, you attempt to free tropical birds from their monkey captors. It is not explained (even in short mobile video) how the Angry Birds are related to their Brazilian counterparts. What's more, the bird heroes and bird captives are drawn differently - it would be very strange to see Garfield show up in an episode of the Flintstones. The game is still entertaining but feels forced like a cheap marketing ploy for the movie, Rio.

Angry Birds 'Rio'

Chase Christian: Angry Birds Rio is not a spin-off of the Angry Birds franchise, it is an evolution.

Angry Birds Rio already has nearly double the levels of Angry Birds Seasons, with even more updates scheduled. The background story is rich in content, with a full-length feature film dedicated to the plot's intricacies. We're playing the role of freedom fighters, countering the evils of poachers and roustabouts. In addition to having a new storyline (instead of the stale "pigs stole the eggs" bit), there's also completely new birds available. While the rest of the Angry Birds series relies on the original birds or custom "premium" birds, Angry Birds Rio wasn't afraid to innovate. With a truly diverse selection of locales, the player can find themselves freeing innocent animals in both warehouses and tropical beaches.

Angry Birds was a masterpiece, and Angry Birds Rio is simply the next step towards perfection. Angry Birds Seasons, on the other hand, is wanton cash-grab. The developers didn't even both with a new storyline or birds. They simply took the same elements that made Angry Birds famous and futility remixed them into a mish-mash of themes that leave players with a bad taste in their mouth. Rather than come up with their own compelling themes like Angry Birds Rio has, Angry Birds Seasons simply steals its concepts from every American holiday. It's lack of originality and blatant reuse of existing material cement its place in the bargain bin at your local Wal*Mart app store.

This debate is posted on our website. Click here to add a comment or join in the conversation.