Play Angry Birds for real

UPDATE: We’ve got Angry Birds game action on video, as well as an in depth FAQ about the board game. Exciting!

Love Angry Birds? Then you’ll love this. Angry Birds Knock on Wood is a real-life two-four player Angry Birds-inspired game from Mattel where players get to launch plastic birds at pigs for real. It’s much smarter than it looks and won’t hit the shops till May 2011! Read on to discover why we want it now.

Based on the insanely popular mobile game Angry Birds, this latest take on the addictive title is a charming tabletop game where two players compete for points. How long until we see the fruits of this physical Angry Birds incarnation filling digital cameras and YouTube? Not long at all.

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What’s included?
While there’s only two production units of the Angry Birds Knock On Wood game in the world right now, we got a peek at what’s inside the box. You get a set of 14 Jenga-ish bricks, a couple of the hilarous green pigs, as well as the red bird, yellow bird and black birds to lob at them – sorry, none of the tiny blue birds, the egg laying monster or the boomeran toucans. As for the catapult, it’s not actually an elastic band on a slingshot: the whole catapult is made of plastic, and pulls back at the base to send the irate bird flying. It’s a much sturdier solution, especially if you’re going to let the kids have a chance to play with it.

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The rules
So how do you play the Angry Birds game? After all, with each bird turned into a plastic missile, they can’t show off their individual properties. The black bomb bird doesn’t blow up, and the zippy yellow one won’t defy gravity quicker than any of the others. Each stands as good a chance of bringing down the porcine fortress as the next.

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Check the video above and you’ll see. Players build obstacles, complete with replica birds and pigs from the game before catapulting them into a blocky mess. Here’s the clever bit. It’s also a card-based strategy game. Player One pulls one of 56 mission cards. Player Two then builds the structure shown on the card for Player One to attempt to knock down to score as many points as possible. The first to 1,000 points wins.

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Is it fun to play?
You bet. Building the structures isn’t nearly as easy as you’d think, and while we do wish there were more bricks for even more ambitious structures, we guess you improvise quite easily. Regardless, Angry Birds Knock On Wood translates brilliantly to the real world, and you’ll be quite surprised by just how far you can fling the birds.

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When is it out?
Angry Birds Knock on Wood will cost $14.99 (about £9.70) and will go on sale in May 2011 worldwide. UK stockists other than Amazon aren’t confirmed, but given the popularity of the game, we’re willing to bet toy shop chains will be eager to flog it.

What about the future?
Mattel, which has licensed the Anrgy Birds IP from developer Rovio, has even more ambitious plans for the franchise, including a card game, which will be unveiled at the New York Toy Fair. A rep from the company didn’t even rule out games based on the Angry Birds Seasons sequel game, or individual birds being sold separately.

What about a review?
We’ll have a Angry Birds Knock On Wood review for you just as soon as we get hold of the finished thing. We can’t wait!

Out May 2011 | $14.99 (£9.70) | Mattel

Gadgets coverage from CES 2011 powered by Dixons

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