Angry Birds Star Wars (iOS - regular |HD or Android - regular |HD) is finally here, and it's got all the slingshot bird destruction you already love, paired with the "Star Wars" characters and weapons you remember from the movies.
While in gameplay it's similar to earlier Angry Birds games, new weapons and Jedi-like abilities add enough new elements to the action to make the new game well worth your money.
Just as in earlier Angry Birds games, you're presented with a series of levels where you need to destroy all the pigs. But these Imperial Pigtroopers have new tricks up their sleeves, including blasters you'll need to avoid.
As you progress through the levels you'll unlock new "Star Wars"-themed birds, like the Obi-Wan Kenobi bird that uses a Force push to knock down objects and take out Pigtroopers. Your birds level up as you play, too, so the Luke bird you get in the beginning (with no skills) will later earn a lightsaber that you can use to take out objects in your way. Of course, if you fail to finish a level, you'll get a glimpse of the Pig Darth Vader taunting you to try again.
There are more than 80 levels to explore, including hidden levels you can unlock by getting a specific number of stars. An early bonus level I played let me use C-3PO and R2-D2 birds to take out Pigtroopers in space using the droids' own special abilities. But if you're able to collect 30 stars, you'll also unlock the mighty Falcon, which you can use on particularly hard levels to blow away all the pigs at once. You only get a small number of Falcons to use, so you'll need to pick your battles wisely.
In keeping with the "Star Wars" theme, you'll not only play with birds made to look like Luke, Obi Wan, and Chewbacca, you'll also explore themed worlds starting with Luke's home planet of Tatooine and then the Imperial Pig Star. There is a placeholder for snow-covered Hoth-themed levels as well, but those are still to come in free updates down the road. If you need more levels right away, you can spend an additional $1.99 to open up an extra Path of the Jedi level set where you'll be under the tutelage of a birdlike Jedi Master Yoda. This extra level set takes you away from desert-covered Tatooine and has you playing on swampy Dagobah instead.
Unfortunately, Angry Birds Star Wars is not an iOS universal app and has separate versions for iPhone and iPad. But if you're an Angry Birds fan, I think you'll like the way Rovio has integrated the "Star Wars" lore, and the new weapons and Force powers make for unique challenges worthy of your money.