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Freemium Field Test: Angry Birds 2 is a somewhat muddled return to form

Andrew Hayward | Aug. 12, 2015
Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it's difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we'll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it's really worth your time (and money).

The verdict 

After a series of lazy spinoffs, Angry Birds 2 is a return to form--with caveats. And surprisingly, they're not all about the freemium design. It's the randomization that dulls the fun a bit. Rather than encounter really great, well-constructed levels that stymie and stump you, the game offers a barrage of OK levels. There was never that moment where I played a level dozens of times in a row because I was totally enthralled by the challenge. Not that I could anyway, given the lives system.

It's a play for quantity over quality, and in that respect, it's successful: There's a ton to play here (including the endless Arena mode), and it's all solid. But it's not amazing. And as the game handed out skill-killing power-ups and forced me to play interactive ads, I couldn't help but think back to when you'd pay a couple bucks for a purer, more focused version of the game. Those days are in the past, however, and in the free-to-play era, this is probably as good as we're going to get from Angry Birds.

 

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