It’s about time — time for a proper sequel to Angry Birds, that is. Rovio took its original creations through the seasons, into space and to a galaxy far, far away and even mashed them up with the Robots in Disguise, but you kind of figured that eventually, we’d get back to flinging birds at pigs again.
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Angry Birds 2 does that in fine style, bringing vastly improved visuals and marrying them with great new twists on the now classic original gameplay. It’s still all about destroying structures and popping pigs as efficiently as possible, but now you’ve got more choices as to how to best accomplish those tasks. There are even spells to hurl as well as birds, offering all new and usually hilarious ways to bring grief to those darn pigs.
It’s pretty straightforward, but there are just enough subtleties to all of it that we felt a dose of Angry Birds 2 Tips Hints and Strategies was in order. Read on and we guarantee you’ll have more success trying to make your way through the 200-plus levels (yes, you read that right) that Rovio has graced us with right off the bat.
Know Your Birds
Not that it hasn’t always made sense to pick the right bird for the job in any Angry Birds game, but Angry Birds 2 makes it more crucial than ever. That’s because if the bird in question is an ace at breaking through wood, it won’t be nearly as effective at smashing through stone or glass — and vice versa, naturally.
On top of that, most of your avian friends has his or her own action that you activate by tapping on the screen, and knowing exactly when to tap for the maximum effectiveness is important. With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to the birds, what they specialize in smashing and what their special abilities are.
- Red – As the first bird you play with and the unofficial leader, Red doesn’t have a particular advantage at breaking any kind of material. Instead, tapping when he is close to any structure throws out a scream (like Black Canary’s Canary Cry; bird-themed super heroes FTW!) that gives him a little extra oomph at knocking down whatever he’s approaching.
- Chuck – He’s the big yellow bird, in case you’re not familiar with him from previous entries in the series. Chuck doesn’t have a fancy power, but does accelerate toward his target if you tap the screen, and he’s best used to smash through wood.
- The Blues – Just like the game itself tells you, this trio is “nice against ice.” Tapping the screen makes the initial bird split into three identical Blues, meaning you can really annihilate a bunch of ice platforms with a single shot if you time it right.
- Matilda – The big white bird carries explosive eggs. A tap sends the egg straight down, exploding on impact. Like Red, Matilda doesn’t have a particular strength when it comes to destroying stuff, so she’s best used when the blast will cause other things to happen, like setting off TNT or making a boss roll into other hazards that do damage.
- Silver – Though Silver kind of looks like a blue jay, she’s apparently not. Tapping makes her do a loop-the-loop, circling back and zooming straight down at whatever she’s over when you tap. Her specialty is smashing stone, and you can use Silver to take out stone platforms in some pretty tight areas even if she can’t complete her loop by simply waiting until the very last second to activate her power.
You’ll also unlock Bomb, Terence and the Mighty Eagle as you continue to progress through the game, but the five birds above will be your workhorses in most cases. And here’s a bonus tip: before you launch your selected bird, the platforms they can most easily smash (if applicable) will glow briefly, helping you determine exactly where they can do the most damage.
Play Your Cards Correctly
Don’t worry, Angry Birds 2 is not a card battle game (though come to think of it, that might be the only genre that Rovio has yet to explore with them). Instead, your mastery of cards applies only to picking which birds to fling in which order.
Your deck of cards is shown in the bottom-left corner of the screen, and you can choose any of the first three cards simply by tapping on them. They’re shown face up for your convenience, while any cards you still have over the first three are always face down.
An interesting strategic addition is the meter in the upper-right corner of the screen, which fills by destroying things and earning points. Once it’s full, you’ll earn another card, but since you don’t know which card you’ll receive, there’s an element of uncertainty involved.
Still, if you’re close to filling the meter, it might color your decision about whether or not to watch a video to receive one free card or spend the Gems necessary to do a full continue: 60 Gems gets you three more cards.
Spells Aren’t Just for Wizards
One of the coolest additions in Angry Birds 2 is magic. It comes in the form of spells that you unlock while advancing through the game’s first few dozen levels. Spells join your rotation of cards, just like birds, but the best thing about them is that they don’t need to be aimed. Just load them up in the slingshot and let ’em rip.
Need a quick overview of the spells at your disposal? That’s why we’re here:
- Golden Duck – It looks like Bert’s best friend, but when launched from the slingshot, it causes a rain of ducks to fall from the sky above the pigs. The ducks can pop pigs outright or topple structures depending on the layout of the stage in question.
- Blizzard – A magic snowflake, or so it would seem. The Blizzard spell turns all blocks on the screen into ice, which obviously sets up some nice combo possibilities with The Blues.
- Hot Chili – This flaming hot pepper hones in on one particular pig and gives him an explosive case of indigestion. You can’t control which pig is targeted, but firing this spell at the beginning of a level is sure to help you out, and it can be a life-saver for hard to reach pigs when you are running low on cards.
- Pig Inflator – Launching this unusual green gun will inflate most of the pigs on the screen to the largest possible size. Not only does this make them easy targets for direct shots or debris, it will often pop them outright if they are in enclosed spaces, and almost any structure with multiple inflated pigs will topple just from their sheer weight.
There’s also one final spell you can unlock at Level 61, and we’ll be honest, we haven’t made it quite that far yet. Sorry.
One final note on spells: occasionally, you’ll get a spell card as your reward for filling the meter, so don’t be shocked the first time you see that happen.
Of Gems and Hearts
Speaking of Gems, they represent the in-game currency you can use in a variety of ways. We’ve already covered how they can extend a level by buying three new cards after you’ve run out. You can also use them in the Arena, which we’ll get to in just a moment, ir to buy more spells once your supply is depleted.
But the primary use for Gems, or at least the one that’s received the most attention, is to buy more lives once you run out. Lives are represented by the heart symbol in the upper-right corner of the screen, and you begin with five of them. Every time you fail a level, you lose one, and when you’re completely out, you have to wait for them to replenish over time.
However, spending 60 Gems can get you a full refill, and as you might note, that’s the same price as extending a level by just three cards. That means there’s some thought you’ll have to do when considering how best to spend them, because while the full life refill is clearly a better value, there still might be times when it’s worth it just to buy more cards to finish a certain stage.
Gems can be purchased for real money, and as I write this, the cheapest bundle gives you 260 for $2.99. You can also earn them by logging in each day, and watching a video allows you to double your daily Gems, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of that. Another way to earn Gems is by completing Daily Quests, such as popping a certain number of pigs, sending gits to your friends or playing in the Arena. You’ll find the Daily Quests from a menu at the bottom of the map, and it will show an exclamation mark when you have completed some and have Gems to claim.
Flap Inside the Arena
Once you complete level 25, you’ll have the option of entering the Arena, where you can compete against other players for prizes and to move up to progressively more challenging tournaments. You start in the aptly named Vanilla League, and can advance to the Bronze League after winning the proper amount of feathers to upgrade all seven birds. There are eight leagues in all at launch, with the Diamond League sitting at the top.
Unlike normal levels, Arena levels are endless, and you simply try to pass as many different stages as possible before you run out of cards — though you can earn additional cards in the same manner, by filling the meter in the top-right corner of the screen. The object is just to rack up as many points as possible by any means necessary.
The first Arena entry is free, and you get an additional entry every three hours. You can also pay 12 Gems (naturally) to play instantly or watch a video for a free entry.