It’s easy to do at Angry Birds Space Encounter, a new exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex that brings the uber-popular mobile app game to life. If you’ve never played, here’s the deal: A variety of super-powered birds use slingshots to hurl themselves at the evil pigs who stole their eggs.
But this time, they’re on NASA’s turf.
That means you must enter an intergalactic wormhole to foil the dastardly swine, at six interactive stations in the 4,485 square-foot exhibit. It is the first Angry Birds attraction in the U.S. designed for all ages.
In the mobile app game, players use simple concepts of physics, math and geometry to launch the birds over obstacles and around curves. It’s that association with math and science that make a partnership between the two a natural fit, Kennedy Space Center officials say.
The story goes that the original idea for the Angry Birds Space game came in a Twitter message from @NASA to Rovio Entertainment, creator of Angry Birds. The tweet read “Hey @RovioMobile, our computers are a bit better than they were in '69. We might be able to help you launch birds if you find pigs in space.”
The playful message led to NASA’s partnership with Rovio to create the Angry Birds Space game and exhibit. When NASA astronaut Donald Pettit announced the new game from the International Space Station in March 2012, he catapulted a stuffed red Angry Bird across the weightless environment to show the game’s use of physics and math.
The exhibit is an entertaining diversion, especially for younger children, who might not understand the science, but will know they’re having fun.
So if you’re ready for a wacky kind of space adventure, here’s what to expect:
Eggsteroids Slingshot – Pull back on a giant slingshot to send an arsenal of cartoonish stuffed birds at the images of Space Pigs glaring smugly back at you from a facing wall. Race against the clock and against other players to earn points.
Danger Zone – Maneuver a labyrinth of mirrored walls, strobe lights and sound effects in search of hidden Angry Birds.
Red Planet Laser Challenge – Work your way through the surface of the Red Planet to search for the prized golden eggs. Played by one or two at a time, participants crawl under or cross over a web of laser beams in search of golden eggs.
Game Zone - Play the Angry Birds Space game on mounted iPads as you watch the action on monitors above. Compete against other players in a tournament or just give the game a spin on the “easy” level.
Create Your Own Angry Bird – Swipe your fingers on mounted iPads to drag images from screen menus of eyes, beaks, hats and mustaches to make your own Angry Bird. You can print your creation and pick it up from the gift store for free.
Cold Cuts Tile Puzzle – Choose your level of difficulty and unscramble the tiles of a digital puzzle on a mounted iPad while viewing the image on the flat screen monitor above.
There’s also a green screen where you can have a souvenir photo taken with the Angry Birds, and a gift shop with a variety of Angry Birds merchandise.
If You Go…
Angry Birds Space Encounter, an interactive exhibit based on the popular mobile app game, is now open at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Entrance is included in regular complex admission.
The complex opens daily at 9 a.m. Closing times vary by season. Admission is $50 for adults and $40 for children ages 3-11. An annual pass is $63 for adults and $53 for children. Prices do not include tax. Admission also includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX film and Astronaut Encounter, among other exhibits. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. For information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.