Love it or hate it, Angry Birds has changed everything. Before it, there were only iOS success stories. Then it broke onto the scene like a boomerang bird and absolutely changed what iOS gaming looked like and set a new bar for what could be qualified as “success” at all. The cartoony bird game has had a stranglehold on Apple’s top ten paid list for so long now, it’s hard to imagine there are still people who haven’t played it.
But by now, it’s nothing new. And while a legion of me-too games have tried to replicate its success, none have even made a dent compared to Angry Birds’ wrecking ball. But if you like Angry Birds, you should definitely play these games—they all have a similar feel, or graphical aesthetic. None are total ripoffs—except Trucks and Skulls—but it has monster trucks, so it gets a free pass in our book.
In “No, Human” you control little orange asteroids that must be flung through a variety of obstacles. To what avail? Destroying astronauts and their space vessels, of course. The way that you flick asteroids feels remarkably similar to Angry Birds, without ever feeling like it was made that way on purpose. Besides the entirely different graphical style, No, Human puts asteroids all over levels, meaning you’re not just flinging birds from the same slingshot, from the same side of the map every single time. Even if this was the only difference (which it certainly isn’t), it would make No, Humans feel entirely different.
Fragger has been around for nearly as long as Angry Birds, and it too has seen its fair share of success and spinoffs. Fragger is probably best described as a launching game. Like the piles of archery games in the App Store, you set a trajectory—in this case for a grenade throw—and then launch. Fragger is part puzzler, part dumb luck (and constant repetition).
Its cartoony style masks the dark truth of what the game is actually about, which appears to be killing terrorists. Despite the fact that terrorists are constantly blown up into little pixelated blobs, the game’s not exactly violent. Regardless, the three-star rankings and snappy control scheme’s what’ll have you coming back.
Pig Shot is what would happen if Angry Birds and Doodle Jump had a Victorian love affair. Picture this: you roll a pig from slingshot to slingshot, avoiding obstacles like sheep and boulders that stand in your way. Pick up enough cabbage and you’ll have a flatulence cannon to propel you through the levels.
The goofy, almost gross premise is paired with an art-style that is nearly identical to Birds. In fact, the protagonist pig that you shoot from a slingshot at the beginning of eel (yes, seriously) barely has any limbs and is basically a rolling head–exactly like the in Angry Birds. This might be to match the Angry Birds look, but it might also have to do whit the fact that an anatomically correct pig probably wouldn’t roll very well.
As noted above, Trucks and Skulls is basically Angry Birds with Monster Trucks. But instead of bashing it for being a clone, we can’t help but love it for adding a little extra something to the formula. See, unlike Angry Birds, Trucks and Skulls lets you collect gold that you can spend on truck customizations and cheats.
Imagine if you could buy your way out of that really hard Angry Birds level, and you can kind of imagine how that one minor ability changes Trucks and Skulls entirely.
You can collect these coins for just about everything, from being a frequent player to destroying everything in the level. There’s a little picture icon for taking screenshots on the fly and an easy to access retry level button, which makes the game every bit as easy to get into as Birds. There’s no question–if you’re a fan of Angry Birds, you’ll love Trucks and Skulls.
With all the Angry Birds clones in the App Store, you might not know that Angry Birds is actually a clone of another game itself–Crush the Castle, which was a Flash game long before Angry Birds were even frustrated eggs in their creators minds. But just because it came first, doesn’t make it good. Fortunately for Angry Birds fans (and slighted Armor Games creators), Crush the Castle is good, and is worth playing even if you’re already addicted to those Aggravating feathered folks.