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Mattel’s Angry Birds Knock on Wood Board Game Review

Earlier this year we got a sneak peek at the Angry Birds Knock on Wood board game from Mattel at CES. Well the game will be coming to market soon and now we have finally gotten a chance to spend some time with it. The new board game brings the phenomenally successful app out of your smartphones and on to your dinning room table.

The board game offers practically the same premise as the app – the goal is to knock the pigs off the girders and collect points. As much as the concept might be similar, the actual setup of the game is quite different and compliments having 2 to 4 players at a time. The board game comes with 6 large girders, 4 small girders, 2 squares, 2 triangles, a bird launcher, an egg, a star, three angry birds ( Yellow, Red, and Black), 4 pigs, point cards, and mission cards.

The details of the birds are spot on. They are made of a soft rubber like material, which means no one will get hurt as when they fly through the air.  The girders and bird launcher are also true to the app’s design style. But when it came to the pigs, the porkers are made out of a hard plastic shell with sticker faces… which for the purposes of physics and the game, is probably purposeful.

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To get started, the youngest player goes first. Since I was playing this game with adults, the youngest player ended up being 27 years old.  There are no golden eggs to roll, the game proceeds by picking mission cards. Each mission card represents a different level, the harder the level, the higher the points. The 4th level in the mission card deck is freestyle, which means you can build any crazy set-up you want too, as long as you follow the requirements on the mission card. i.e…use this many number of girders, pigs, birds etc…

Once your younger player steps forward, they pick a card from the mission deck and then they give that card to the next player to build the structure. Then, once the structure has been built, the player who handed over the card is ready “to get them pigs”. You can only use the birds chosen on the mission card. If the card states you can use two yellow birds and a red bird – then that is all you can use. No more. Whomever collects 1000 points first wins the game. As you knock down pieces, if you happen to knock over the egg and star you can collect special bonus points from the point cards. Just like in the app, you’ll have to adjust your bird launcher accordingly, if you want to get a successful shot from a foot away. And as a reminder – these plastic birdies have no special abilities if you tap on your table twice.

Angry Birds Knock on Wood game game is fun once when you get started. The nuance of having everyone play together one of the most popular mobile apps in the world is certainly entertaining. Building the girders to match the mission cards reminded me of Jenga… steady hands are required. However after a few rounds, the game’s novelty wears off. While it certainly will entertain families or even groups of friends who are obsessed with the game for a short time, this version of the game still has nothing on the app version. However, for at least for a brief few hours you can tear your family members away from their mobile device. And when all is said in done, the pieces from the game, will look terrific on your desk.  Angry Birds Knock on Wood Game will retail for $19.99 and is currently available for pre-order.

The Good: Angry Bird fanatics will love the detail that went into creating the pieces and concept of this unique board game. Mattel has successfully brought a mobile app into family game night.

The Bad: After a few rounds some might become bored and retreat back to the mobile version.

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