Angry Birds 2 is here, and once you get over the name after Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Space, and all of the other Angry Birds games that came before this sequel, you'll see this is a worth successor to the franchise that started it all. All you need to get started is an itchy trigger finger and an eye for toppling poorly constructed towers of glass, wood, and stone.
Getting past Level 20 without spending money requires something a little different from the previous Angry Birds titles, but to help you through we've got some tips and tricks that will carry you well into the game.
Forget about memorizing the levels
Unlike previous Angry Birds games, most of the levels in Angry Birds 2 are randomly generated. The basic constructs and their placement on the level is usually similar, but the way the materials are stacked — again, there's wood, stone and glass — is almost always different. Your best bet when it comes to getting through a level isn't going to be watching someone else's tutorials or getting help from someone who has played the game before. It's going to be using the right bird for the right situation and taking each structure out in the right order.
You also can't rely on the birds being given to you in the same order each time, so you'll need to learn how to use each bird effectively if you want to get particularly far in this game. The alternative is restarting the level until you get something you want, but remember you only have 5 lives, and regenerating each life takes either time or money.
Be sure to use the environment to your advantage
As you travel along the winding road that makes up the level map in Angry Birds 2, you'll be moving through different towns. Each town has its own set of environmental variables that can give you a huge advantage if you use them correctly. Sometimes these are flowers that spit level pieces and bird into hard to reach places, while other times these are portals that will suck up a falling structure and hurl the pieces at another structure. All you need to do is look for the best way to take advantage of these level additions and use them to your advantage.
If you're feeling particularly adventurous, remember the flowers can eat anything and spit everything out at the same speed. This is fun for bits of glass and wood, but amazing for Terrence the giant red bird.
When in doubt, focus on doing as much damage as possible
One of the more interesting mechanics added to Angry Birds 2 is the ability to gain extra cards by filling up your damage meter. Most of the time these cards are for a bird you've already used, but occasionally these cards will be spells you can use to get through a segment in the level with ease. If you find yourself running low on cards, focus on doing as much damage to the level as possible, and you'll usually gain an extra bird or two to make the rest of the level a little easier.
Another way to score extra cards is to focus your destruction on the mysterious golden piggy when it shows up. Popping a golden piggy always grants you a new card, but be careful. In exchange you usually wipe out your damage meter. If you're careful, or skillful, you can get through segments like that with two bonus cards instead of one.
Avoid spending spell cards unless you absolutely need to
Five spells have been added to Angry Birds 2, replacing the original "Mighty Eagle" pay-to-win mechanic with something a little more clever. You'll learn quickly what each of these spells do, but it's important to keep a hold of them. Once you activate a spell card you can't put it back, and if you gain a free spell card in a level and don't use it the card does not find its way to your spell stash.
Spell cards are for when nothing else works and you can't get through a level, unless you get one in your hand through bonus cards or a lucky starting draw. If that happens, wield those spell with extreme prejudice. Otherwise, once you run out you'll wish you had been better about spending them.
Don't fight attack piggies head on
Every couple of levels you'll run into a pig that does more than hide in a poorly constructed bunker. These attack pigs wield cannons, rockets, and sometimes even magic to stop your birds from doing what they are supposed to, and if you aren't paying close enough attention to your opponent you'll get to watch with surprise as Terrence is turned into a plushy teddy bear and bounces ineffectively off of the side of the structure.
The best way to take out these attack piggies is by going under them. These pigs are usually at the top of a structure, and striking the bottom usually removes any chance they have at retaliation before it all comes crumbling down around them.
Don't forget your Daily Quests
Angry Birds 2 includes a gem system for buying things like extra cards and lives, and while you're not obligated to ever spend anything there are situations where it's beneficial to do so. Everyone starts out with just enough in the gem bank to get out of one or two sticky situations, but for anything else you'll either need to spend actual money or earn gems in the game. Some levels include gem gifts that can be given or received through Facebook friends, but the best way to earn gems is through Daily Quests.
Like most games with a Daily system, Angry Birds 2 wants you to check in once every 24 hours and play for roughly 20 minutes to unlock everything you need to grab all of the gems they are giving away. It's not a lot, but it's enough to keep you from needing to spend actual cash as long as you're able to go a couple of days without needing them to get through a level.