I'll be the first to admit that I do not get the whole Angry Birds thing. As an old-school NES fan, I even bristled at the comparisons to Mario. But when gaming godfather Shigeru Miyamoto himself throws Rovio's hit a few compliments, it's hard not to take notice. When those compliments include wishing he had thought of it himself, it's harder still.
"Angry Birds is a very simple idea but it's one of those games that I immediately appreciated when I first started playing, before wishing that I had been the one to come up with the idea first," Miyamoto told Hookshot Inc. "I mean, obviously I want to be the one creating the most convincing, surprising game ideas."
So what tickles Miyamoto's fancy? He says "the way in which it combines traditional and new game elements in exciting ways" stands out to him. "In particular the control scheme is excellent. When you analyze it, the controls are actually quite fuzzy in terms of the way that it works. It takes a little while to get used to the controls, I think, but once you've mastered them, you have a lot of precision. I think a lot of work went into getting that right."
Then again, as one of the principle figures at Nintendo, he couldn't go without mentioning his own system. "Obviously, if the developer had created the game for Nintendo DS the controls would have been even better, but what can you do?"
Rovio recently launched the first full sequel to Angry Birds, Angry Birds Space. Not surprisingly given the franchise's popularity, it hit the #1 paid app almost immediately. It currently sits at #2, behind fellow wunderkind Draw Something.