After an 8-city tour across the country – and 2600 participants later – 32 of the best Angry Birds players gathered at the Kamppi Centre in Helsinki for the inaugural Nokia and Rovio Angry Birds tournament. The prize? The chance to battle it out for a trip to Hollywood and the pride in becoming the ultimate pig-basher.
The popularity of this game is unquestionable. Large crowds came to cheer on their favourites and get hands-on with the Nokia N8 to play the game. Competitors ranged from dedicated 6-year-olds, to teenagers, mums, dads and grandparents. It was clear for all to see that this game appeals to the whole family.
We caught up with one of the tournament’s hosts, singer Kristiina Wheeler, to find out a bit more about what had been going on…
Hi Kristiina, what has it been like touring the country looking for the best Angry Birds player?
“It’s been amazing. Everyone has been really enthusiastic and keen to come and take part – even if they haven’t really played the game too much before. It’s something everyone has been able to have a go at. And it’s been really popular too… so many people turning up in every city we’ve been to. Even yesterday (Friday) for the Semi-Finals in Helsinki, we had people taking over the ground floor of the Kamppi centre and queuing out of the door.”
What have been the best bits for you?
“I think the crowds and the people involved – everyone has been really positive about the tournament and the game… The Finns definitely love to support the Finns, and the fact that this game was born in Finland means everyone has come out to celebrate Angry Birds.”
Do you think the popularity of this tournament means there’ll be more of them around the world?
“Definitely. Watch this space.”
Do you have a favourite Angry Birds character?
“I do actually! I really love the black bird that explodes like a big bomb and takes out half the level. Very satisfying.”
After 8 cities and 2 days in Helsinki, has listening to the sound effects from the game become annoying?
“Ha ha. No! Luckily we’ve had the sounds down really low or off for most of the tour. Instead, we’ve had a soundtrack of music playing to keep the crowds entertained. But that’s had the same music on the whole time. I’ll be quite pleased if I don’t have to listen to Duck Sauce’s Barbra Streisand for a while…”
Angry Birds can be played on lots of platforms, but how have people found playing it on the N8?
“Everyone has been really positive and talked about the great screen and gameplay. There’s been a really good opportunity for people to play the game around the stage too, even if they’re not in the tournament, and that has given people a chance to get hands-on with the phone and appreciate just how tactile it is. I think they’ve had fun!”
Finally, do you have any predictions for who might win?
“I have no idea! The competition is really strong. There are even a couple of 6-year-olds who have beaten everyone they’ve played so far. I just hope the winner wants to take me to Hollywood with them!”
Sadly, the 6-year-olds didn’t make it all the way to the end. But this man did – Jonas Koivula a 19-year-old from Raisio, southwest Finland.
We don’t know if Jonas is taking Kristiina to Hollywood with him…
And if you haven’t tried playing Angry Birds yet, then you can find more here. You might just be the next champion!
*Picture courtesy of YLE Finland