I've never liked Angry Birds. Not because I'm angry with any birds in particular, but because I always preferred the free game that came before it, Crush the Castle.
Rather than get bitter at Rovio's billions, Crush's developers (well, hosts) Armor Games, are sticking at it, and have released on iOS a revision of the game called Siege Hero.
Seeking to swtich things up a little from the "hurl something from left to right" formula that both Crush and Angry Birds employ, Siege Hero is like a first-person entry in the genre. All you need to do is tap on the screen where you want the boulder/bomb/stone/fireball to land and that's exactly where it ends up.
This direct control (made simple with the fact you can hold your finger down to get a "scoped" view zooming in on the action) makes things, on one hand, easier than Crush. Your projectiles won't land approximately in the region of where you clicked, you'll be destroying stuff exactly where you want, first time, all the time.
To combat this, though, the puzzles seem to have become a little tougher too, requiring more precision in your tactics than the old "hurl it and hope" solution that always worked so well in Crush.
It also lacks a bit of Crush's old "Monty Python" charm, with its graphics now iPhoneicised into small, slightly repulsive cartoon characters that don't feel quite as rewarding to crush. Its physics also don't seem as realistic, though that could easily be a consequence of the hardware.
Still, it's a great take on the genre, and given the fact it's not only from one of its pioneers - but also features vikings instead of birds - it's a great time-killer for $0.99.
Siege Hero is available now on the iTunes store for both iPhone/iPod and iPad (sadly it's not a universal app).
Siege Hero [Apple App Store]