Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Rovio’s partnership with NASA has been known for a number of weeks now, with its mega-popular bird-throwing game Angry Birds taking to Outer Space with a new title launching for iPhone, iPad, Android, PC and Mac on March 22.
More details of the Angry Birds Space game have now emerged, and visitors to the SXSW festival in Texas will be first up to give the 60 levels and six new characters a trial-run.
Rovio has been working with NASA on the launch, with flight engineer Don Pettit introducing the game from the International Space Station, which you can view here:
National Geographic Books is also a launch partner, and is publishing a companion Angry Birds Space book, with author Amy Briggs guiding readers on Earth through the solar system and beyond, “into mysterious corners of the universe filled with black holes, exploding stars, and alien worlds.”
Gamers will get to enjoy new astronomy-themed mechanics such as zero gravity, slow-motion puzzles, and “lightspeed” destruction, so your bird-throwing skills may need a little fine-tuning to take these extraterrestrial conditions into account.
“This collaboration began with a simple Twitter exchange about birds and pigs in space, and it has grown into a tremendous outreach and education opportunity,” says NASA’s associate administrator for communications David Weaver in the Guardian. “Games are fun and entertaining, but they also can be inspirational and informative. This ongoing collaboration with Rovio and Angry Birds is an exciting way to get people engaged with NASA’s missions of exploration and discovery, and get students energized about future careers in science and technology.”
The game will be getting its first airplay on March 9 at SXSW, and it will be demoed on Samsung’s Galaxy Note device, in line with a marketing tie-up with the manufacturer.
Angry Birds was first launched in 2009, and since then it has seen somewhere in the region of 700m downloads across all platforms. It’s also pushing sales in the physical world, with a plethora of merchandize such as toys and lunchboxes, whilst real-world activity parks are being rolled out throughout 2012 too.
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