Angry Birds TMI FTW: Better Gameplay Through Physics

By Veronique Greenwood | November 10, 2011 11:41 am

angry birds
Why just do this, when you can do…

angry birds
…this, too?

Cranky flightless birds and their green porcine enemies are on every screen these days. But despite the game’s apparent simplicity, it pays to have an expert unpack the fundamental physics of the Angry Birds universe (better gameplay through physics, and all that). That expert is physics prof and graph maker extraordinaire Rhett Allain, whose rationale is summed up thusly in his first Angry Birds post:

But what about the physics? Do the birds have a constant vertical acceleration? Do they have constant horizontal velocity? Let’s find out, shall we? Oh, why would I do this? Why can’t I just play the dumb game and move on. That is not how I roll. I will analyze this, and you can’t stop me.

His latest offering over at Wired delves into what, exactly, is up with those yellow birds, which you can use to smash the piggies’ wooden structures. Turns out they have some iiiinteresting acceleration properties it would behoove you to grok…dig out your high school calculus and check it out.

Images courtesy of Rhett Allain and Wired

  • Grace Davidson

    What’s cool about this game is that it exercises the player’s clerical skills. I love that it involves physics too. You can never have enough of Angry Birds! =)

  • Vik Sohal

    If you want real physics, check our our app, “DMM Touch”. It allows you to change the physical properties of objects from jelly to diamond all using finite element physics. Its not a game, but it is a lot of fun, especially when you map the moon onto one of the sphere objects and play with it :)


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