Angry Birds. If you have an iDevice there is no question you at the very least are aware of the game, and most likely have been hooked by it’s massively addictive talons. If you haven’t played Angry Birds or it’s holiday-themed spinoff, Angry Birds: Seasons, here is a quick primer.

You fling birds (which tend to be of the angry variety) via slingshot towards strange buildings and contraptions housing the villainous green pigs in an effort to eradicate the pigs for stealing your eggs.

Angry Birds: Rio is the latest incarnation of the ridiculously popular series, and takes the action initially to warehouses in Brazil where you are saving caged birds instead of smashing pigs. The reason for this change and the “Rio” name is the whole game is a tie-in to the upcoming (not so angry) bird-focused animated Fox movie named…wait for it…Rio! The change in setting is somewhat refreshing at first, but gets a bit repetitive after a while. The first half of the game takes place in these warehouses, then opens up to the jungles where you fight angry monkeys, followed by a boss battle that is a nice change of pace for the Angry Birds series.

There are really no major changes to the tried-and-true “fling birds at stuff” gameplay, you have the same selection of angry birds as you do in Seasons and the original Angry Birds until the very end of the game, where for a very brief time you get to use the new bird based on the main character from Rio, “Blu”. The biggest differences in the level design are hanging lights that can really make you re-think your strategy for the stage, and rubber objects your birds will bounce off of when hit. Once you get used to these, however, it is back to business as usual.

It is very difficult to review a game such as this since it is simply a glorified level pack that happens to tie into a movie. Normally that would be cause for concern, but the developers have said “This isn’t Rio: Angry Birds, this is Angry Birds: Rio” and it shows. The stellar Angry Birds gameplay comes first, and the tie-in comes second. This is fantastic for those concerned about the reputation of the franchise, but may leave players who have grown weary of the Angry Birds core gameplay. Then again, why would those that are bored of Angry Birds buy a game called ANGRY BIRDS: RIO?

The price point is just as perfect as it can be, falling right in line with it’s brethren, $0.99 for 60 levels of bird-flinging action is more than fair, with downloadable level packs announced for the future, which will undoubtedly increase the replay value of the title.

In Conclusion

In the end it simply comes down to one question: how into Angry Birds are you? Do you want more angry birds levels? Buy the game. $0.99 is the lowest a game can get without being free, and there is little on the app store that has the content that //” target=itunes_store>Angry Birds: Rio does. There is no question about value, and it is a great jumping on point for anyone who just got their iDevice or hasn’t taken the Angry Birds plunge yet. You don’t need to know anything about the previous Angry Birds games to play this one, and it does have a solid difficulty curve to introduce new players to the mechanics.

This is a tie-in done right, which is rare these days and hopefully we will see more companies do movie and TV tie-ins in a similar manner.

Until then, we will have a ridiculous amount of levels to fling our birds around, and that makes me pretty happy.