Quick Update on a Couple of Rovio Mobile Games

Apologies for missing last week's column. Unfortunately my lupus antibodies have started some kind of grudge match/beef with my lungs, which is taking up far too much of my energy and ability to think. Hopefully this will resolve in favor of the lungs in the very near future.

Meanwhile, of course I have been playing lots of mobile games. When I'm too tired to think or read it's time to start matching, smashing things or doing both.

Angry Birds Pop
Rovio and Outplay teamed up not too long ago and made a bubble shooter game called Angry Birds Stella pop. Then they changed the name to Angry Birds Pop and have now released something like 800 levels. Of course I have beaten every single one of them, as of press time, although I haven't three starred all of them quite yet.

I enjoy this game quite a lot, especially because it doesn't nickel and dime me to death like the King games like to do. If I lose a level I'm offered the opportunity to get a free booster if I agree to watch an ad that is between a few seconds and 30 seconds long. This is fine with me, especially because that way I see trailers for lots and lots of different types of games. (It's astonishing how many truly terrible games there are out there.)

They have also added a new feature where each day you can take three daily challenges and win more free boosters. Examples; perhaps you need to pop 500 purple balloons, or play ten games as a particular bird (each bird has its own type of booster, with its own ability), or knock 35 pigs out of their bubbly hideouts.

It's a fun game that can be very challenging, and it is a good one for when you're sitting around waiting at the doctor's office, because you can usually play a level in just a couple of minutes. So when they call you back to take your temperature or your x-rays or whatever, you don't feel like you're abandoning your game halfway through.


Nibblers (called Fruit Nibblers when it is updating but plain old Nibblers on my screen) is another game from Rovio but this one doesn't have a single Angry Bird in it. Featuring a bunch of aquatic life heroes, this game takes place on an island. Creatures, aka Nibblers, come out of the sea only to discover that the land is infested with lizards that are happy to see them, because they're hungry and want to eat the sea life. The Nibblers however are excited because there are delicious, delicious berries all over the island.

There are four basic goals to accomplish in the various levels. Sometimes you need to get rid of a particular type of lizard. (While some really are lizards, there are others that probably fit more into a broader reptile class. Also there's a couple that look like tiny weird abominable snowman, or maybe lizards in snowsuits, so I don't know. Classify them however you like.) Other times you need to rescue helpless fish that have stranded themselves and need to get back into the water. Sometimes you need to collect a certain number of berries of various colors. Other times you need to clear spaces filled with mud and with a few lizards usually mixed in.
It's a matching game where you need to match at least three berries of the same color in order to remove them and other obstacles. When you match four colors you get a little guy called Coral, which you can use to shoot across the entire playing field, knocking out anything in its path. Match berries in an L shape and you get Nibblers that shoot in four directions at once. Five in a row and a groovy and mellow octopus shows up. He removes three rows at once, which is quite nice.

As with Angry Birds Pop, when you lose a life you have the option of starting the next level with some type of power up if you watch a short advertisement. This might be a Coral, or some obstacles may be weakened, or you might get a fruit that gets rid of every berry of a certain color on the screen.

Nibblers is also a lot of fun but it's also extremely adorable. I especially like the little cries that Coral gives as he/she is launched or waits for you to activate them. I honestly don't know how many levels there are available right now because I find the game somewhat difficult sometimes and I'm much further behind than I am with Angry Birds Pop. But there are more than 435, because that's what level I am on.

The newest addition to Nibblers is what they call the Grand Tunament. There are three levels to each tournament and you can win boosters as well as gold. And of course the pride you feel when you trounce the other players. Is that worth more than gold?

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is a two part gif showing a cat coming home. That sounds dull but it's really pretty amazing. http://imgur.com/gallery/TcMR45K http://imgur.com/gallery/8tSQ7D3