Angry Birds Space

Angry Birds fans should be tickled pink today with updates coming across for three Angry Birds Windows Phone 8 Xbox titles.

Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Star Wars and the original Angry Birds games all received updates that delivers new levels and a few performance tweaks.

Angry Birds was bumped to version 3.3 and adds an extra 15 levels of play. You also get a new manual targeting to fling Red through the sky with a little more accuracy.  Just tap the screen when Red's in flight to zero in the point of impact.

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Sometimes when the Xbox Windows Phone title updates rain, they pour. Today is one of those days, as three games from three different publishers just received the update treatment: Ubisoft’s Monster Burner, Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride, and Rovio’s Angry Birds Space (Windows Phone 8 version).

Title updates are almost always good news. But in the case of the Monster Burner update, some will consider it a mixed bag. Depending on how far along you are in the game, you might want to avoid it! Find out why after the break.

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One of the key differentiators for Windows Phone the past few years has been on the go access to the Xbox service and Xbox enabled games. We’ve had some popular ports like iStunt 2 (Dan's favorite) and Plants vs. Zombies. Windows Phone has also had its fair share of original and exclusive titles, fun games like Chicken Can’t Fly and Mush. Over on the Xbox website, we can see the first set of upcoming titles to be Xbox Live enabled.

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Just as we have seen with Angry Birds Star Wars, Angry Birds Space has joined the Windows Phone 7 gaming lineup at the Windows Phone Store.  The Windows Phone 7 version of Angry Birds Space is not an Xbox title, as is the case with the Windows Phone 8 version of the game.

Angry Birds Space features over one hundred thirty levels of play pitting your angry birds lineup against space pigs. The Windows Phone 8 version offers over one hundred fifty levels.  Beyond that, game play on the two versions is just about the same.

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It was just 4 days ago that Rovio updated Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars for Windows Phone 8. Both games jumped to version 1.1 and at the time, we did not notice any changes in the games nor new features.

And on this Thanksgiving day, version 1.2 has rolled out for both games--hey, at least they're keeping them consistent! Once again to our untrained eye (we're not hardcore 'bird players around here) we don't see anything new--no new levels and they're still Windows Phone 8 only. But we suppose there are some important "fixes" that are necessary for the updates.

But there's also a potential problem...

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Looks like Rovio’s commitment to Windows Phone is a fact as both their new Star Wars and Space games for Windows Phone featuring perturbed fowl just got bumped to version 1.1

Unfortunately that’s about all we can tell you at this point as there were no change logs nor are there any new levels, including that yet-to-be-released Hoth round. And yes, both games are still locked to Windows Phone 8 as far as we can tell.

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With the news that Windows Phone 8 devices will officially launch this Friday, November 9th, it probably wouldn’t hurt for Microsoft to have a WP8 game available for users to purchase. It just so happens that this week’s Xbox Live release will require Windows Phone 8. Not only that, but it’s a pretty popular title: Angry Birds Space from Rovio Entertainment.

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Angry Birds Space app for Windows 8 now available

Lost in the fuss over the launch of Windows 8 news we overlooked this the other day. Angry Birds in space is now available in the Microsoft Store.

Can you be an “app store” without at least on version of Angry Birds being present? If that’s the yard stick then many will breathe a sigh of relief to see the game pop into the store right from launch day!

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Although we’re still stuck with plain ol’ Angry Birds on Windows Phone, Rovio may finally be embracing Microsoft. Rovio now has a few titles coming to the Windows Phone platform including Angry Birds Space.

The latest franchise though is ‘Amazing Alex’ which is just about to launch on iOS and Android. The game is another physics-based puzzler where users must place objects on the screen in a certain way to cause a chain reaction. The game isn’t an original Rovio title as another firm, Mystery Coconut, released it in 2011. Rovio later picked it up and tweaked it a bit (evidently it wasn’t much of a hit, initially).

In a tweet to the Nokia Blog’s Mark Guim, Rovio confirmed that “PC, Mac & Windows Phone versions are to come later, post launch”.

That’s good news and bad news, of course. The good news is Rovio is at least thinking of Windows Phone users which may be due to the Nokia intervention that has evidently occurred. The thought being that Nokia is assisting Rovio with the process of bringing games over to Windows Phone, either financially or with developer support. The bad news is iOS and Android still get it first.

No word on what “come later” means in actual human time but at least it’s in the works. 

Source: Twitter, BBC; Thanks, Sabita M., for the tip

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As to squelch the disappointment (mostly of the tech media who care about such things), Rovio, makers of the popular Angry Birds series announced that they had no plans for the latest installment, Angry Birds Space, for Windows Phone. Later that day, the CEO of Rovio backtracked and said no, they were working on it.

Now even Nokia is getting in on the news by confirming that yes, the latest craze for outer orbit bird craziness is coming to Windows Phone. On their Facebook page this morning, Nokia simply note: "Finnish gaming company Rovio is working on getting its new Angry Birds Space game to Windows Phone platform too". 

So you can rejoice or shrug in indifference at this point, we'll wait.

Our feeling on this is that Rovio probably did not have plans to bring this to our beloved OS, but due to the public pressure (read: tech media flipping out), the company quickly changed gears once Microsoft probably stepped in (and maybe even Nokia). The fact that there's no release date in site tells us that this has probably barely begun to be developed, so while we can look forward to the title, we're not expecting it anytime soon.

Source: Nokia Facebook; via Plaffo

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There has been a lot of talk today about Angry Birds Space and whether or not it will find it's way to the Windows Phone platform (see our earlier post). First we had reports from Bloomberg that Rovio were not bringing the new fowl-flinging iteration of the game to Microsoft's platform, information received from Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio's chief marketing officer. Analyst Richard Windsor speculated this meant that Rovio may not have confidence in Windows Phone looking into the future, more on that shortly.

However, the story has since been contradicted by Rovio's CEO, Mikael Hed as quoted on Reuters:

"We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7"

Whilst Mr. Hed's statement is somewhat lacking in detail one would be inclined to believe that the CEO's position on the company's intentions would be the more reliable source. No release date or expected time of arrival has been communicated.

Here at WPCentral we've been discussing this story in some detail, particularly around suggestions from the Bloomberg article that the lack of Angry Birds on Windows Phone would make it difficult for Nokia to "attract gaming-oriented users and persuade developers that [Windows Phone] is growing".

It's an interesting point, can one app make or break Windows Phone alone? The answer of course is no, but it is a very important game which will be seen as important to the average phone owner. Whether you're a fan of Angry Birds or not, the game is huge, successful and a marked influence in the rise of Smartphone popularity. Just look at what Rovio can afford to do for publicity:

Angry Birds Space is the first major innovation the game has seen since the original version found it's way on to mobile screens everywhere. The game is superb, new gravity mechanics genuinely do create a completely different experience to the game, this time it's not just some new textures or types of bird, it's an almost entirely new way to play.

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Sad news from the outskirts of space: Windows Phone won't be getting Angry Birds Space on March 22 when Android and iOS do.  An email from Rovio, developer of the mega-popular phenomenon, told DailyMobile that while they are "working day and night to get the game to all relevant devices," they do not have the resources to get deliver to all platforms at once.  Having been wait-listed for the first installment of Angry Birds, only to be missing 105 levels when it finally did arrive,  this comes as another heavy blow from Rovio.  Being that Android and iOS dominate mobile market, it makes sense that Windows Phone takes a back seat, but it doesn't sting any less.

Rovio declined to share any information about specific features of the newest add-on to the Angry Birds franchise.  However, the game was previewed at SXSW on Samsung's Galaxy Note, which benefits from Samsung's partnership with Rovio by getting exclusive in-game content.  For now, you can get a small taste from the teaser below.

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