Minecraft Angry Birds Crossover Misses Out On The Iconic Slingshots

Although its developer, Markus "Notch" Persson, created it to be an open-world sandbox game, he probably didn't envision that "Minecraft" would explode to where it is today. The title became so big that Microsoft acquired it to put it to use in fields that aren't directly related to playing computer games in the traditional sense. It is that openness and programmability that has made "Minecraft" more than just a one-hit-wonder and continues to attract not only creative minds but also brands. For example, it's not uncommon for brands and unrelated games to launch tie-ins with "Minecraft," often to bring awareness of their products to a different audience. The latest example of a popular "Minecraft" IP tie-in involves the mobile world's most violent avians.

Only a few mobile games reached iconic status in the early days of the market, including "Snake" on old Nokia phones and, to some extent, it was "Angry Birds" for the first generation of touchscreen smartphones. The latter title offered the perfect combination of piecemeal bursts of gameplay, simple touch-centric controls, and addictive mechanics wrapped in insanely whimsical and ridiculous lore.

"Angry Birds," however, has mostly become a footnote in gaming and mobile history. Creator Rovio Entertainment has repeatedly tried to milk the cow for as much as it can, spewing game sequel after sequel and game spinoff after spinoff — there were even a few animated shows and films created around the franchise. Today, the title is mostly just a pop culture reference among younger gamers, so this new "Minecraft" tie-in may be an attempt to revive the "Angry Birds" franchise by introducing it to a new audience.

The Angry Birds get a blocky makeover

The "Angry Birds" arrival in Minecraft brings the popular birds to the blocky world, but without the elements that made the game a huge success. To be honest, perhaps only the most avid "Angry Birds" fan will likely be familiar with the characters, at least aside from the ever-irascible Red. In fact, you actually get to play as Red in the DLC, and you won't just be rescuing eggs. Instead, you'll be tasked with rescuing the birds in a more RPG-like format that better suits "Minecraft" gameplay, after which those birds become characters you can play with, as well.

Yes, there is a huge slingshot in the "Minecraft" variant, but it's more like a nod to the original and not an integral part of the DLC's "normal" mode. To actually experience "Angry Birds" the way it was meant to be played, you'd have to switch to classic mode, which is pretty much a blocky recreation of the original game's levels. Given how extensible "Minecraft" is, this branded expansion definitely feels more like lip service and an appeal to nostalgia rather than something that'll make "Angry Birds" more relevant to young gamers who haven't heard of it yet.

In addition to new pig-infested maps and playable characters from the franchise, the "Angry Birds" DLC also comes with a free Red's Hoodie Character Creator item in the dressing room. The expansion is available for free, but it is compatible only with the Bedrock Edition of "Minecraft" and requires access to the Minecraft Marketplace.