The Washington Post

Angry Birds to feature NFC-enabled ‘Magic’

A little bit of magic is coming to Rovio’s Angry Birds game, thanks to near-field communication technology. Users with NFC-enabled phones will be able to tap their phones to unlock levels in Rovio’s new game, Angry Birds Magic.

Nokia previewed the game in its official blog; Rovio will present its latest tweak to the game this week at the WIMA conference for near-field technology in Monaco.

Using NFC-tapping tech to make the game more social is an interesting, if small, innovation for the mobile gaming market.

The game — which will currently only work on Nokia’s C7 phone — will have five normal levels and 15 levels to be unlocked by tapping different users’ phones.

Players will also be able to unlock levels using NFC tags placed in various locations. Nokia said that “clues to their locations will be forthcoming,” hinting at a big marketing push.

Nokia said the game will come free as part of the Symbian Anna update and will be on all Nokia NFC-enabled devices sometime this year.

As far as gameplay goes, it doesn’t seem like much of a change. Some have called it a “multiplayer” feature, but that’s a stretch, since you can’t collaborate during gameplay. And having your levels locked until you can find a person with a C7 could prove rather annoying.

It is, however, a new innovation from Rovio, which has been focused on spreading its game across platforms and releasing its umpteenth version Angry Birds Seasons. (The latest comes in time for Easter.)

The Nokia blog poses an interesting question: How would you like to see NFC enabled in future games?

Related stories:

Angry Birds to hit Windows Phone 7 on May 25

Angry Birds Flying To Facebook; Rumors Addressed

Angry Birds, Facebook to team up in May

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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