Angry Birds Star Wars adds scifi flavor to bird flinging, available today, we go handson

Finland's biggest game studio is heading back into the coop, pulling out its Angry Birds franchise for yet another go on a whole mess of platforms -- this time, even Windows 8 and its mobile counterpart get some attention. Moreover, Rovio's teamed with the folks at LucasArts (now part of the Disney family) to craft an entirely thematic experience: enter Angry Birds Star Wars. But fret not -- just because Angry Birds Star Wars seems like a shameless tie-in doesn't mean it's a bad game (it is, however, a shameless tie-in, no matter which way you cut it). In fact, it's quite good, melding pieces of Angry Birds Space -- arguably the best and most creative entry in the Angry Birds franchise -- with new gameplay elements. Rather than birds which explode or other such modifiers, post-fling, Angry Birds Star Wars equips each of several themed birds with one weapon apiece. An Obi-Wan Kenobi-themed bird uses The Force to push enemies or blocks, while a Han Solo-themed bird fires three blasts from a space pistol, just to name a few.

That Angry Birds Space component is little more than gravity effects, but it helps to mix up the often redundant level design -- if you've played more than one Angry Birds game, you've seen most of what's on offer here. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, per se, but be forewarned if you're expecting the kind of innovation we saw from Rovio's last Angry Birds spinoff, Bad Piggies. Angry Birds Star Wars launches today on iOS ($0.99 / iPhone, $2.99 / iPad), Android (Free SD version, HD is $2.99), Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac ($4.99), PC, Windows Phone ($0.99), and Windows 8 ($4.99). Go after the break to check out the cinematic and gameplay trailers, along with the PR.

Angry Birds Star Wars (hands-on)

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Angry Birds Star Wars® available now!

New blockbuster property from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm Ltd. debuts with
game, cinematic trailer and merchandise.

November 8, 2012 - Espoo, Finland - Angry Birds Star Wars®, the new blockbuster game from Rovio Entertainment and Lucasfilm, is now available on iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. The entertainment franchise collaboration also debuted in a new cinematic trailer released yesterday, and in merchandise already available in select retailers worldwide.

"It's a banner day for us," said Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio Entertainment. "This is our
best Angry Birds game yet, and we're excited for our fans to finally meet Luke, Leia, and the
rest of the gang! But it's more than just a game launch: we think fans are going to just love the new animated trailer and the Angry Birds Star Wars products, sure to be a big hit this holiday season."

The game follows a plucky group of Rebel birds in their fight against the evil Imperial Pigs. Fans will use the Force, wield a Lightsaber, and blast away Pigtroopers on an intergalactic journey from the deserts of Tatooine to the depths of the Pig Star -- where they'll face off against the terrifying Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Pigs!

"We can't wait for fans around the world to experience the fun of launching the Angry Birds
characters into the Star Wars universe," said Colum Slevin, Vice President, Head of Studio
Operations for Lucasfilm Ltd. "This is the kind of creative partnership that has helped Star
Wars remain vibrant and beloved for over 35 years."

With more than 80 levels in iconic locations like Tatooine and the Pig Star, the game features
hours and hours of engaging gameplay, all new gameplay mechanics, the ability to level up
birds, free updates, plus lots of secrets and hidden goodies. Fans can also train in the "Path of the Jedi" in-app purchase to become a Jedi Master.

Concurrently with the game launch, Rovio and Lucasfilm have also introduced tie-in
merchandise and a new cinematic trailer, which retells the classic Star Wars cantina scene with
Angry Birds Star Wars characters in the starring roles. Angry Birds Star Wars merchandise,
ranging from Hasbro toys to apparel to plush toys, is available now from select retailers.

Rovio and Lucas celebrated with their fans in a Google+ Hangout on Wednesday evening,
counting down to the launch at midnight Pacific Time.

For more information about Angry Birds Star Wars, visit www.angrybirds.com/starwars, watch
the cinematic and gameplay trailers at www.youtube.com/user/RovioMobile, or download the
game now from download.angrybirdsstarwars.com.

About Rovio Entertainment
Rovio is an industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release, and is now the number one paid app of all time. Angry Birds have expanded rapidly in entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand. www.rovio.com

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully-integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual-effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment
properties; Lucasfilm Animation, which is currently producing content for film and television, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, a CG-animated half-hour television series; and Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Additionally, Lucasfilm Singapore, produces digital animated content for film and television, as well as visual effects for feature films and multi-platform games. Lucasfilm's motion-picture productions include three of the 20 biggest box-office hits of all time and have received 19 Oscars and more than 60 Academy Award nominations. Lucasfilm's television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. Lucasfilm Ltd. Is headquartered in San
Francisco, Calif.

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Angry Birds Star Wars adds sci-fi flavor to bird flinging, available today, we go hands-on