Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds Dream Blast is the latest addition to the match puzzle fad that has taken over mobile gaming in recent years and a sequel to the 2016 game Angry Birds Blast. While it's a much better game than its predecessor and attempts to break new ground in the tired genre, Angry Birds Dream Blast still falls victim to quite a few of the pitfalls that have plagued many a mobile game over the years. In spite of its issues, there is a lot fun to be had here though, especially for fans of match games and puzzlers in general.
Rather than just matching colors for matching's sake, Angry Birds Dream Blast features a goal-oriented approach to the system. These goals can range from popping certain colors to unlock the next area of a level to clearing out darkness spots that appear on the map. Popping a certain amount of colors will see different types of the so-called angry birds appearing. These birds can merge with other ones to create whole new species of bird (all of these species are based on the ones that have appeared in Rovio's original Angry Birds titles). In keeping with the spirit of match puzzle games, birds can be tapped and exploded in strategical ways to help players achieve goals.
While achieving matches is the core objective of Angry Birds Dream Blast, it's important to note that players will not have unlimited tries to do so in a single level. The game utilizes a set number of turns per match, with the numbers depending on the difficulty of the level. This is where Rovio first shows its slightly greedy hand to everyone playing. While early levels will be quite simple, it's all a ploy to lure players in and get them addicted to the match puzzle game. Almost without warning, Angry Birds Dream Blast increases its difficulty tenfold and failure becomes a guarantee if luck of color placement is not on your side.
This wouldn't be such a bad thing if tries were unlimited. Like most mobile titles nowadays, Angry Birds Dream Blast relies on a health system (basically a nice way of saying energy). Granted, successfully completing a mission does not burn a health point, but failing a mission will. With a near half hour recharge time, constant failure will see players running out of health alarmingly fast (players are limited to five of them) with no option but to either exit the game entirely or purchase more health with in-game gold (that conveniently enough, can be purchased with real-life money). We can argue that these free mobile games must make money too and in-app purchases are the best way to do it, but the way it's implemented here feels downright disingenuous at times.
That's not to say that there isn't a good game to be found within Angry Birds Dream Blast because there certainly is. The challenges and goals are very diverse and it never quite feels like you're doing the same thing twice. To add to this effect, levels are well-designed and equally as varied as the challenges included. Rovio certainly wants to make sure you're always coming back for more. For the studio that brought players the endlessly addictive and highly accessible Angry Birds games, however, this seems like a step down for the company. Still, it's a step above other match puzzle games and should prove to be a big hit for players that can look past the typical flaws and greed that a mobile title like this seems to attract.
Angry Birds Dream Blast is available now on iOS and Android. Screen Rant used the iOS version for the purposes of this review.