angry birds

Angry Birds



foe catapult steal/stole/stolen
aim (2) revenge smash (2)
install eliminate phenomenal
invent console we’re onto something
role slingshot straight off
castle obvious build upon
casual version moderately
couch pastime advantage
filler destroy adventure
hit (2) emerge worldwide
rope fortress tremendous
advent standard accessory
gadget relevant alternative
hype temper all over the world
glue (2) by storm surrounding (2)
cuddle common complicated
update level (2) Valentine’s Day
fan (2) time filler merchandising
cute draft (2) broadcast






Colorful birds are catapulted at green pigs. In the smartphone app, Angry Birds, pigs have stolen the birds’ eggs. And now the feathered foe wants revenge.

The aim is to eliminate the pigs from their fortresses. Last year the game was downloaded a phenomenal fifty million times from the internet.

The smash game was invented here: the game developers at the Finnish company Rovio had already published 53 moderately successful games before they started developing Angry Birds two years ago.

Mikael Hed, CEO Rovio: “My cousin Nicholas who was also working here, had showed this game to his mother, who was having a dinner party . . . then she had to actually delay the dinner party because she was playing the game for so long, and she hadn’t played any games at all.

And the next day Nicholas came back and said, ‘I think we’re onto something’.”

This was an early draft of the game.

The idea of birds playing the main role came from 32-year old games developer, Jaakko Iisalo.

Jaakko Iisalo, Computer Game Designer, Rovio: “At first we didn’t have the slingshot at all, and people didn’t understand what was going on in the game, because there was the bird in there and the castle. But they couldn’t understand what they should do.”
And then when we added the slingshot, and then it was obvious — everyone knows how to use the slingshots.

Jaakko Iisalo has already developed more than two hundred levels to the game. Every day he adds new constructions for his birds to destroy in future versions of the game.

There are forty employees working on developing the game and the characters, three times as many as a year ago.

Rovio is making big money from the downloads, even though each game costs 79 cents.

Jaakko Iisalo, Computer Game Designer, Rovio: “Mobile games should start really fast, and you should be able to play it in three minutes. And then stop. And then continue later on.

So it’s different from console games where you are actually sitting on the couch, and play for three hours.

But I’ve actually heard that people play these on the couch — a lot!”

And it’s become a pretty common pastime on the street too. They’re called “casual games”, something people use as time fillers.

Person One: “It’s different; something new.”
Person Two: “It’s great for smartphones. It’s rated well, and I rate it highly too.”
Person Three: “It’s quite good if you are waiting for the train . . . it helps past the time.”

One of the first worldwide smartphone game hits was Doodle Jump in 2009. A completely new market for games has emerged in just two years.

One of the latest successes is Cut the Rope. The game came on the market four months ago, and since then has been installed twenty million times.

Ralf Sander, Online Magazine: “The smartphone market has grown tremendously. Since the advent of the first Apple iPhone four years ago, it’s become a standard accessory.

It started out as a product for people who wanted cool gadgets, and now with the alternative technology, Android, the other operating system in the smartphone market with a relevant market share, it’s become a mass phenomenon.”

Worldwide hype surrounding games is nothing new. Ten years ago, Moorhuhn or Crazy Chicken, took the digital world by storm, and had millions glued to their TV screens.

Now there are smartphone versions too.

And still today, it’s the adventure of simply drawing the characters players all over the world love.

Ralf Sander, Online Magazine: “It’s very easy to use, very easy to learn. The advantage is, the tasks are really complicated and difficult. So even if you get it straight off, it’s not a simple game.

And they keep getting tougher. And you really have to think hard about how to complete each level.”

The designers and game developers at Rovio are currently working on new versions of their game, like this updated Pink, due to come on the market on February fourteenth, Valentine’s Day.

Mikael Hed, CEO, Rovio: “We want to build upon the characters and the universe that we have built…and take it to further games. Take it to merchandising. And also to some form of broadcast media, like TV and even movies.”

And if that’s not enough, fans can already order online their very own and very cute Angry Birds and Pigs to cuddle at home. It’s the ones on the smartphone that have the temper.

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1. The Angry Birds game is a conflict between birds and pigs. True or false?

2. Was Angry Birds developed in Silicon Valley, United States? What made the developers realize it had potential?

3. What was the major breakthrough or feature that made Angry Birds so successful?

4. Rovio makes huge profits because their games are high quality and expensive. Is this correct or incorrect?

5. What are the main differences between console and smartphone games?

6. Do smartphone games have a long history? When did start? What was the first hit or successful game? Has the smartphone games industry grown gradually or rapidly?

7. The design of Angry Bird and other games are 100% finished and completed. Is this right or wrong?

8. Is Rovio only thinking about making games for smartphones?


A. My friends and I like to play mobile games. Yes or no? If yes, what are their favorites?

B. Does it seem like everyone is hooked on smartphone games?

C. Do you know anyone who is a games developer, marketer or expert?

D. Is this a big industry?

E. What will happen in the future?

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