If you play Angry Birds Seasons, you’ll want to know what I am about to reveal!
While working my way through the Seasons Greedings section of Angry Birds Seasons, I would occasionally stumble over something surprising and wonderful. After taking careful aim and releasing my first bird shot on a given level, the bird would hit its target and….bam! All hell would break loose. In an instant, all (or almost all) of the pigs and blocks were destroyed in a massive blast. When the smoke cleared, I saw that I had bagged a new high score — much higher than I could have otherwise attained. It could be tens of thousands of more points than the minimum needed for a 3 star score (see my Angry Birds: The All-Purpose Guide to Three Stars [Part 1 and Part 2] for more on how to achieve 3 star scores).
What was going on? I didn’t know. So I went to angrybirdsnest.com, an Angry Bird’s fan site, seeking the answer. There I learned that these supernova explosions were due to “magic spots.” It turns out that, if a bird hits a certain spot just right, it will trigger one of these supernova explosions. At first, people thought that these spots were glitches in the game’s software and that they would be wiped out in a future update. But no, they seem to be intentional. And they remain.
Here’s how they work:
• As far as I know, Magic Spots only exist in Seasons Greedings. And they only exist on levels where there is a pig wearing a red Santa hat. I am not sure that every level with a Santa pig also has a magic spot. But if the level doesn’t have a Santa pig, there is no magic spot.
Beyond this, there is no way to tell where, or if, a magic spot exists on a given level. That is, nothing about the magic spot location looks special in any way.
• Although I am not 100% sure of this, it appears that a magic spot explosion is possible only on the first shot of a level. After that, all plays out normally. Certainly, after the Santa pig has been destroyed, your chance is over. [Update: I have now confirmed that magic spot explosions can work after the first shot – if the Santa pig remains untouched after the initial shot.]
• Actually, the name “magic spot” may be a bit of a misnomer. The trigger for a supernova is apparently not so much hitting a precise spot as it is hitting a spot that causes the necessary effect to the Santa pig. Typically, you may need to get the pig to roll in a certain direction. Simply destroying the Santa pig will not have the desired effect. A corollary to this is that there may be more than one spot that causes the explosion.
All of this means it can be quite frustrating to reproduce a magic spot explosion. You can hit what seems to be the the correct location in the exact way needed — yet no supernova occurs. This is probably because your hit did not have the needed effect on the Santa pig. You may have to try the same shot over and over — dozens of times — just to get one supernova.
• The damage that results from a supernova will vary each time you hit the magic spot. Even if you get a successful shot off, you may want to try again. Your next success may yield an even higher score. The best spots are the ones that allow you to finish off a level with just the one shot. I can’t say this with certainty, but it seems that my supernova scores are higher than they would be if I had accomplished the same destruction with a conventional shot. It’s as if you get special bonus points for the supernova devastation.
Magic Spot Levels
Here are my four favorite levels with magic spots (there are others beyond these four):
1-18: Aim your bomb bird for the triangular gap near the center top. If you do it right, when the bomb explodes, you’ll wipe everything out in one shot. My best effort yielded a high score of 119,100.
1-21: Get your first shot to go through the snow, right under the area where the Santa pig resides. Do it just right and the resulting explosion will send sticks flying. I’ve never achieved complete destruction here. You’ll need one or two more birds to finish off the level. But you’ll wind up with a higher score than without the supernova.
1-24: Hit the blocks that form a ceiling above where the Santa pig resides. According to reader comments on angrybirdsnest.com, the goal is to get the Santa pig to roll 90 degrees to the right. I can’t confirm this. However, I can confirm that if you hit the ceiling in the right spot, you can wipe out the level with just the one shot. You won’t get total destruction with every blast. But if you do, you can get a score in excess of 100,000 (my best is 98,310).
1-7: This is it: the motherlode, the super-est supernova of all. To set off the explosion, send the bomb bird in a high arc so that it lands directly atop the final right-most column of bricks. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, even if you hit the spot, nothing will happen. But when it works, watch out. You can achieve a near total wipe-out leading to incredible scores. Initially, my high score for the level was 73,300, good enough for three stars. After a couple of magic spot explosions, I pushed my score to 117,510 — almost 45,000 points more than my prior three-star score!
Are Magic Spots Good or Evil?
One the one hand, magic spots add an element of fun and surprise to Angry Birds. When you hit one these spots, especially after an hour of trying, you’ll jump up and cheer. On the other hand, they add a further element of luck to the game — which I regard as a negative.
Why luck? Aside from the telltale Santa pig, there is no way to know if a magic spot potentially exists for a given level. Even with the Santa pig, you don’t know for sure that a magic spot is present — or where it may be. Further, no matter how skillful you are, it seems impossible to achieve the supernova explosion with any reliability — even if you know exactly where to aim. Yet, if you don’t master these shots, you have no chance of climbing to the top of the Leaderboard. The magic spots are bit like finding the golden eggs. But the eggs don’t affect your score.
On balance, I vote thumbs up for the spots. Once you discover them, they become yet another intriguing twist to this great game. As far as I know, magic spots exist only in Seasons Greedings. I am hopeful that we have not seen the last of them.
P.S. For those of you who are curious: My Angry Birds Seasons high score is 6,430,780 (currently I am 17 on the Game Center Leaderboard).