APP OF THE DAY - Angry Birds Rio (iPad / iPhone / iPod touch / Android)

There's only one app that's on everybody's lips today. It's heralded the launch of Amazon's Android Appstore, it's had countless trailers thanks to its tie-in with a new animated movie to hit cinemas soon, and it just so happens to be a completely new outing for those ill tempered avian agitators.

Yep, Angry Birds Rio has hit, and it promises brand new levels, with enhanced gameplay and graphics.

But, we wonder, is it time to move on?

Angry Birds Rio

Format
iPad (Angry Birds Rio HD), iPhone, iPod touch, Android
Price
£1.79 (iPad), 59p (iPhone, iPod touch), Free today - 59p normally (Android - US only)
Where
iTunes (iPad), iTunes (iPhone, iPod touch), Amazon Appstore (US only)

Angry Birds fans have certainly been spoiled as of late. No sooner has the last ginger wig been taken off after St Patrick's Day, and Rovio has followed up its Oirish-themed Seasons update with the officially licensed tie-in with this Easter's big animated movie, Rio.

The game is a brand new slice of AB action, and features characters, plots and themes from the forthcoming flick throughout. However, at its core is that same fling multi-talented birds at stationary objects gameplay that we're all well used to by now.

There's some cunning additions this time, though. For starters, Angry Birds Rio (of which we've tested the iPad-friendly HD version) has some lovely parallax foreground and background effects. It adds nothing to the 2D play, but looks pretty as you scroll through each level.

Plus, new obstacles are put in the way to hinder progress. For example, during the initial warehouse levels there are occasional lights hanging from the ceiling, that prevent birds flying in certain paths. It makes you think more than with the original game, at times.

But the biggest and most obvious change with this specific flavour of Angry Birds-ness is the complete absence of pigs. They've been replaced with characters and enemies from the movie. That's not to say that the point of the game has changed, it hasn't, it's just that on some levels you find that you're actually saving the creatures you're aiming at rather than killing them.

The new characters also help add variety to audio too, with more than the "heh heh heh" laughter that could drive you insane after a while. And the subjects of either your aid or ire change per level set, so that adds a new element too.

Achievements appear throughout, for cunning stunts, with the whole thing linking in with Game Center nicely, and awards can be collected and boasted about on Twitter and Facebook.

Rovio is also promising episodic updates throughout 2011, in order to fill the initially sparse level select screen with new content (60 levels are playable at present), so there's plenty of reason to revisit at later dates.

Indeed, it has everything a good Angry Birds game should have.

However, as good as it is for now, we can't help wondering if this is the last hurrah for the Finnish critters - at least in this form. Graphical flourishes and slight gameplay alterations aside, you can't help feeling like we're coming to the end of last year's big thing, and we might be better off looking forward.

Certainly, Rovio shouldn't be putting all its eggs in one basket...

What do you think? Has Angry Birds outstayed its welcome? Let us know in the comments below...