Angry Birds Star Wars – Death Star Jenga Review

by on April 15, 2013

When it comes to games, whether that’s of the board game or video game variety, you’re bound to get a couple of strange crossovers. Some of them are stranger than others though and if the Angry Birds franchise was going to crossover with any kind of board game it would have to be Jenga; the game that already tasked the player with knocking things down. It wouldn’t take much to add a couple of birds onto the structure and tie it into Angry Birds.

One of the recent versions of Angry Birds to make it big was the tie-in with the Star Wars franchise. Angry Birds Star Wars has sold an insane amount of apps on iOS and Mac so it’s no surprise that the series has also made its way to the physical realm, in this case with Angry Birds Star Wars – Death Star Jenga. Now, you may think that this is just a simple cash in using the name of Angry Birds and Star Wars to sell more units, but this specific version of Angry Birds Jenga is actually rather appealing, especially to younger players, but take it from me, older gamers will have a whale of a time smashing through the Angry Birds Star Wars version of the Death Star.

When you first unpack Angry Birds Star Wars – Death Star Jenga, you’ll have to build the actual Death Star, which is something that’s surprisingly fun in itself. Inside the box is a card that acts as sort of a plan for the building, and players will lay the outline on top of this card and then place the rest of the blocks according to the plan until the Death Star has totally been built. At this point it’s structurally sound and the card can be removed without the whole thing falling down to the ground. Placing the Stormtrooper pigs and the Darth Vader pig are the last things that players need to do and then the game is set up and ready to be played.

Angry Birds Star Wars – Death Star Jenga can be played alone but, as with most board games, it’s much more enjoyable with a group of friends. Solo play revolves around attempting to take down the entire Death Star, by launching the titular Angry Birds into it using the slingshot, in as few moves as possible. There’s no way of winning with solo play, as you’re not playing against anyone so there’s really no point, but there’s still a degree of satisfaction involved in smashing a building to tiny pieces using small pieces of rubber and plastic shaped as Star Wars heroes. Competitive play with a couple of friends is where the game really comes into its own though, and actually feels like an Angry Birds game. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and then fire the bird that’s shown, the number of times that are shown. For example, you may roll the dice and it lands on the picture of Chewbacca with a number two on it. This means that the player must fire the Chewbacca bird into the Death Star twice before their turn comes to an end. Points are awarded for taking out the Stormtrooper pigs, the Darth Vader pig, and for taking down the Death Star in its entirety. Additional points are also awarded if you manage to take the Death Star down with birds still left on your turn. All in all, when you’re playing with a group of friends, the rules do a good job of making the players feel like they’re playing a physical version of the popular video game.

VERDICT: There’s not much involved in playing Angry Birds Star Wars – Death Star Jenga, it’s a very simplistic game that’s aimed squarely at children and big kids, but that doesn’t take anything away from how fun it is to play. Chasing the previously fired birds, and taking the time to build the Death Star in the first place are just about the only downsides, but even then, building the Death Star is quite fun, it just takes more time to do than most players would like. The scoring system is well thought out and adds an element of fun to the game. Furthermore, the addition of a code within the box for the video game version of Angry Birds Star Wars is a nice touch, allowing players that may be using the physical version of the game as an introduction to the franchise the chance to play the game that started it all in the first place.

There are issues with the game, of course, but at the end of the day it’s still fun to play. It’s not going to be a game that you pull off of the shelve to play for hours on end, but if you’ve got half an hour to kill, and are prepared to spend at least ten minutes of that building the Death Star in the first place, then you could do a lot worse.