Angry Birds Seasons St. Patrick’s Magic Blocks

Yet one more in my series of posts about Angry Birds….

Rovio taketh away. Rovio giveth back (sort of).

As I discussed previously, the Seasons Greedings section of Angry Birds Seasons contained a secret feature called “magic spots” (also called “magic Santas”). Knowing how to activate these Santas could lead to otherwise-impossible-to-get incredibly high scores. Unfortunately, Rovio considered these Santas to be a bug — and removed the feature in the Seasons update that added the Hogs & Kisses (Valentines Day) section.

With the latest Go Green, Get Lucky (St. Patrick’s Day) update, Roxio has not restored the magic Santas. But it has given players a new “magic” feature in the Go Green section. This time it is not a bug — so you can be rest assured it will stay put in future updates.

I am talking about the “magic” wooden blocks. These are the ones that have a clover-leaf icon. These blocks can be found in (at least) four levels of the Go Green section: 1, 6, 11, and 14. Here’s how they work: If you hit/destroy a special “magic” clover (which will be one specific clover of the several scattered about the display), the corresponding magic block(s) explode.

As an easy example, check out level 11. With your first shot, hit the chair at the upper far right in such a way that it knocks over the pot of gold behind it. The pot will fall and hit the TNT below, destroying the clover to its left. This is the “magic” clover. It will cause the “magic” block in the center of the wood construction to explode. The result is that, with your next shot, you’ll have an easier time getting the rest of the wood structure to collapse.

Unlike the magic Santas, exploding these magic blocks will not necessarily lead to a higher score than you could otherwise get. At least that has been the case for me. In particular, I did not find the magic blocks to be helpful for levels 1 or 6. They were useful, however, with levels 11 and 14.

For level 11, the magic block caused me to alter my strategy. Rather than go for the chair on the first shot (as just described), I crashed the yellow bird into the thin vertical block at the lower left, hitting with enough force to continue and damage the thicker block behind it. With my second shot, I dropped the egg bomb near the front of the chair, aiming in such a way as to get the pot to fall (and hopefully also destroy the piles of gold coins around the chair leg). When the TNT explodes and the clover is destroyed, triggering the magic block effect, the entire wood structure typically collapses (thanks to the groundwork of the first shot) — leading to a higher score than I could get any other way.

Does the new Angry Birds Rio have any similar “magic” feature? I don’t know yet. If you find one, let me know.

Magic Santa downgrade. Still unhappy about the loss of the magic Santas? After getting my iPad 2, I used my original iPad to test out my theory that I could downgrade to an older version of Angry Birds — so as to access the removed “magic Santas” while still retaining my current high score. I can confirm that it worked. The procedure is somewhat of a hassle; I don’t recommend it unless you have some time and patience. Here is a list of the steps:

  1. Use PhoneView (or similar Mac OS X application) to save your current Angry Birds Seasons high score file to your Mac (as covered in more detail here).
  2. Delete the current version of Angry Birds Seasons both from your iOS device (e.g., iPad) and from the ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/ Mobile Applications folder on your Mac. Make sure you empty the Mac’s Trash.
  3. Put the saved pre-Valentines Day older version of Seasons in the same Mobile Applications folder on your Mac. [Note: If you didn't save the older version when you had the chance, you are pretty much out of luck.]
  4. Launch iTunes and double-click the app in the Apps section of your Library. If iTunes claims it cannot find the file, accept its offer to let you relocate it.
  5. Sync your iPad to install the older version on the iOS device.
  6. Play the game a bit, to see that it all works — and generating an initial high score file.
  7. Returning to PhoneView, replace the installed high score file with the one you saved in Step 1. You should now be good to go. You can play Seasons Greedings with the magic Santas feature restored.

When done improving your score, reverse the procedure (downloading the app from the iTunes Store if needed) to get the current version of Angry Birds Seasons back — with your new improved score installed. Until then, be sure not to inadvertently update the app by downloading it when you select to “Download All Free Updates” in iTunes.

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