“Put it in Space!” is a logical conclusion for any follow-up act that’s out of ideas. It appeals to our human sense of wonder and exploration and that appeal rounds out the rough edges of incoherent plot, narrative, logic, etc.
But, Angry Birds went to space, and Rovio’s newest version of the bird-tossing mega-hit is a delight. So delighting, in fact, that it has been downloaded over 10 million times in three days.
What makes Angry Birds Space succeed is an understanding of gravity—gravity around planetary bodies. In the first iterations of the game, the only game mechanics people had to master was the specific advantages of different birds. Now that the pigs and birds have gone cosmic, creating paths through intersecting gravity wells becomes the principle mechanic. To master the game, you master Newton’s theory of classical gravity.
The original Angry Birds captured an audience of non-gamers—my mother plays it!—on essentially every platform available (iOS, Android, Mac, PC). As the game mechanics evolve so will the players. Angry Birds Space has the chance to turn those casual non-gamers into real gamers.