The recent release of Angry Birds Star Wars finally answered the age-old question: what if George Lucas had dropped a boatload of LSD and decided that the Death Star should be destroyed not by a laser-cannon blast from an X-wing fighter, but rather via avian slingshot?
The answer: the most infuriatingly addictive movie spin-off since C3PO’s breakfast cereal.
The masterminds behind the Angry Birds phenomenon, Rovio Entertainment (who can be blamed for a global plummet in productivity) would be smart to milk the franchise for all it’s worth with a slew of pop-culture tie-ins.
We humbly submit a few suggestions:
Angry Birds vs. The Walking Dead
This one’s a no-braaaiiiiinnnnner. The plot: hordes of zombies — er, make that “walkers” or “biters” — lurch and shuffle toward the slingshot, thirsty for birdy blood. The red bird (cleverly named Red) slows down the undead attackers with persistent body shots, the bluebird triplets create a diversion that confuses the living dead, and Chuck the yellow bird clobbers the walkers’ noggins at hyper-speed for a satisfyingly gory splatter. For a three-star score: behead a walker using a one-legged flamingo named Hershel or an undersized chickadee called Carl, who is usually nowhere to be found.
Angry Birds: Grand Theft Auto
The plot: you control a gang of street-smart pigeons in a familiar-looking American metropolis, struggling to attain the American dream by taking down the city’s porcine mafia boss. First fling your winged army at chop-shops and grow-ops, thus gaining street cred and winning the affections of a sexy ladybird who may or may not be an undercover cop. Hurl yourself at prostitutes for sadistic giggles. For a three-star score: achieve the maximum “wanted” rating, at which point the army arrives and sprays the city with avian flu virus.
Hitchcock: The (Angry) Birds
The plot: the game starts a little slow, but the black-and-white exposition scenes lend your iPad a classy noir feel that might impress onlookers at Starbucks. Eventually, you load an entire flock of seagulls (the birds, not the band) into your slingshot and unleash them on San Francisco. Next come the crows and, rather less frighteningly, the sparrows. Scoring is based on the number of anguished screams elicited from the humans under attack. For a three-star score: terrify lead damsel Melanie into a catatonic state.
The Dark Bird Rises
The plot: with a vilified Batman apparently AWOL and Bruce Wayne is hiding, Gotham is being overrun by pot-bellied porkers determined to create anarchy by outlawing bacon. After a brief but inspirational cutscene featuring Michael Caine, Batman straps on his utility belt, which is loaded with a handheld slingshot and a dizzying variety of parrots. Batman’s innovative arsenal includes a macaw-beak grappling hook, an armored drivable ostrich and — in a new twist for the game franchise — a whole lot of rabid bats. For a three-star score: tease a sequel.
Angry Birds Kill bin Laden
The plot: a covert team of blackbirds soars in v-formation into Pakistani airspace, based on intelligence reports suggesting the Al Qaeda leader is hiding in the area. Using a top-secret CR-93 Stealth Slingshot (the existence of which is denied by the American military), hurl the birds at a ramshackle neighborhood where the 9/11 mastermind is believed to be hunkered down. By toppling bin Laden’s hideout and pummeling him repeatedly with beaks and bird-droppings, you enact the revenge fantasy of millions of Americans. For a three-star score: play for a full decade, pummeling countless other locations in the wrong countries, before finding your target.