The Angry Birds have a new friend: another self-sacrificing avian assassin has joined the team to help put an end to those naughty, egg-thieving piglets.
He's called Orange Bird, and while he might look like a scrawny little chick in the catapult, one tap of the touchscreen will make him blow up like a self-inflating dinghy. This ballooning bird is perfect for throwing into tight gaps before expanding and dislodging foundations.
You can play with this new bird right now by downloading the free Ham'o'ween level pack for Angry Birds Seasons and unlocking Level 4. We spoke toAngry Birds developer Rovio to find out everything there is to know about this new birdie.
"We like to keep things simple with our birds on a general level," Ville Heijari, VP of franchise development at Rovio, squawks. (That explains why the birds go by names like Red Bird, Yellow Bird, and, now, Orange Bird.)
"In future stories, you might get to meet and know more individual birds," Heijari chirps.
While there have been armfuls of new levels for Angry Birds in 2011, "there's a reason why Orange Bird is the only new bird that has appeared in our adventures this year," Heijari cheeps.
"There are loads of ideas and concepts floating around the studio, so picking the one that gives the best experience and most fun gameplay is quite the task.
"Everybody seems to love the Black Bird, so we wanted to create another big, physical experience. At first, the Orange Bird was a bit too powerful, smashing everything when you activated the special power. But we toned him down just enough, so you get a really nice, physical mechanic where you just push blocks out of the way."
It can take up to four weeks to make a new bird from concept to finish, "but it's a lot of work to incorporate them into the existing gameplay seamlessly without disrupting the balance," Heijari crows.
He reckons the hard work paid off, though: "What we ended up with is a completely new, distinctive bird, with gameplay that's in my opinion the most fun we've had so far in Angry Birds."
Rovio wouldn't tell us whether or not we'll see the Orange Bird in the classic Angry Birds game, or if he'll show up in Rio - "that remains to be seen," Heijari coyly tweets.
But what about a whole new bird - is the Angry Birds team finally complete?
"There are around 10,000 different species of birds in the world. Some of them must be Angry - we just have to study them a bit more and discover the most special ones," Heijari trills.
The Angry Birds Seasons update is available to download now.