Yesterday Rovio surprised us by releasing an Xbox Live version of Angry Birds Seasons for Windows Phone 8. No one ever announced that Seasons would be coming to Windows Phone at all, and it’s not exactly the newest game in the Angry Birds franchise. But considering how many people love Angry Birds, not to mention the frustrating lack of Xbox Windows Phone 8 games, the sudden appearance of Seasons is certainly a good thing.
Still, we naturally wondered if Angry Birds Seasons would also come to Windows Phone 7. Angry Birds Space and Star Wars did so, stripped of their Xbox Live features. And now, just one day after the Xbox Live version, Angry Birds Seasons has arrived on Windows Phone 7 too.
Busting pigs all year long
Angry Birds Seasons is the second game in the series and as such plays closest the original game. You won’t have to worry about low gravity or activating Jedi powers in this one. The terrain feature of extra-slippery ice, however, debuted in this game before appearing in the recently released Angry Birds Star Wars Hoth levels.
As Seasons’ name indicates, this sequel focuses on the seasons of the year and holidays most of us know and love: Valentines, St. Patrick’s, Halloween, Christmas, Chinese New Year, and more. Rovio has totally shunned the most important holiday for American consumers, however: Black Friday. All 15 level packs of the iOS version (the last of which just came out in December) are included for a total of 432 levels, by my count.
It’s great to see the Windows Phone game packing the full content of the lead version, especially since the first Angry Birds lacks so many of the other platforms’ levels. However, we can’t be sure this one will receive future updates. Angry Birds ‘the First’ only got one update and Windows Phone 7 Angry Birds Star Wars still lacks the Hoth update that the Xbox Live version recently got.
Dual release strategy
The WP7 screenshot guy was feeling lazy. All the shots are from the same level pack.
The super-fast arrival of Angry Birds Seasons on Windows Phone 7 begs the question: why bother releasing two separate versions of these Angry Birds games?
Yes, we know it’s easier to port from iOS to Windows Phone 8 than to 7. But if Rovio feels it’s important to make sure each game is available to both Windows Phone 7 and 8 users, they might as well just make a single Xbox Live version for Windows Phone 7. It’s not like the Windows Phone 8 versions do anything that couldn’t be done on 7 other than supporting higher screen resolutions. They’re just doubling up on development costs for no discernible benefit.
What do you think, guys and gals? Is the current strategy of releasing two different versions of each Angry Birds game better than single releases for Windows Phone 7?
Thanks to Guilherme S. Manso once again for the tip!