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App of the Week: Angry Birds Space HD for BlackBerry PlayBook

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Developer: Rovio Entertainment

For: BlackBerry PlayBook

Price: £3.00

It was around two weeks ago when the latest Angry Birds title appeared within the App World on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, only to completely disappear again with no explanation.

It turns out somebody pulled the trigger prematurely, but all is now well and bird-flinging addicts can now download the latest intergalactic app to the 7-inch tablet from Research in Motion. You’ll find Angry Birds Space HD sitting pretty on the front page of the App World, available to download for £3.00, which isn’t too bad for a fully-fledged tablet game of this calibre.

We’ve blasted through numerous levels already on the iPhone and Android versions, but how well does the game play on a tablet, and a BlackBerry one at that? The answer is incredibly well – Space looks incredible on the PlayBook!

Angry Birds Space takes the hugely popular app in a completely different direction, putting levels into space with an added difficulty of zero-gravity for you to contend with. There are currently three worlds, each containing around 30 levels in each. More levels are teased within the app, although we’ll need to wait for the first major update to bring those in.

Within each level the pigs are hidden within a bubble, with your selection of Angry Birds sitting on a rock just outside. Before you had to simply line up the bird and aim at the pigs or structures, but now you have to take into account the gravitational pull within the bubble. The idea is to fire your bird into the bubble so that it follows a smooth spiral around the Pigs’ rock, taking them out without crashing into the rock first. As you progress you’ll find your birds will start off inside the bubble too, but you’ll still need to coolly calculate your trajectory before firing!

Graphically the app looks brilliant on the PlayBook and works well with the 7-inch form factor. The brilliant colours are brought out well and the gameplay is bright and engaging. Thanks to the tablet’s portable size it’s easy to hold it with one hand and use the other to line up your bird and fling it at those dastardly pigs.

Gameplay is smooth and nippy – we’ve blasted our way through almost 20 levels today without experiencing any stop-start problems or processing lag, and that’s with a 350MB system update downloading in the background along with 3 app updates.

We’re big fans of Angry Birds Space here at Gadget Helpline and after testing it out on all three platforms – iOS, Android and BlackBerry – we have to say that the PlayBook version is our favourite so far. If you’re unsure whether to spend the £3 to get it, we have two words for you: DO IT! You won’t regret it; this game is every bit as addictive as all the other Angry Birds games and more.

Invade that Space

Before we leave you to get stuck in, here’s a little tip that will score you an awesome hidden Space Invaders level. On level 9 in world 1 (1-9) you’ll see a golden nugget hiding on the planet in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen – you might need to zoom out to see it – simply hit this with a bird and a wormhole will open up, taking you into the secret Space Invaders level. Enjoy!

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.