"Angry Birds" has sat atop the iPhone charts for ages now. Its aggressive 99 cent price tag has certainly helped that along, as has its surprisingly entertaining physics-based, pig-crushing gameplay. RovioMobile has supported the game for months, adding dozens of new levels every few weeks, which are free to those who have purchased the game. In the end, it's a remarkable value for a dollar, but Rovio is trying to find new ways to make money off their hit. One of the ways is known as The Mighty Eagle.
The Mighty Eagle is basically an instant win button. Players can activate the eagle to instantly complete any level they happen to be stuck on, allowing them to progress. Apparently the eagle is a big fan of sardines, so players will need a can of the smelly fish to call upon his help.
The Mighty Eagle will be sold as an in-app purchase, though his delivery mechanism is currently unknown. Can you buy him once and activate him whenever you want, or are you buying cans of sardines (say, $1 for 5 cans), which give you the ability to activate him a limited number of times? RovioMobile isn't going too in-depth at the moment, but they have said it'll be a few weeks before we see The Mighty Eagle in-game. The company is first planning on updating "Angry Birds" with Retina Display support on the iPhone 4 and new iPod Touch, and will also add Game Center support with leaderboards and achievements.
Hardcore gamers will probably scoff at the prospect of The Mighty Eagle, as it's basically taking all the fun and challenge out of the game, but for more casual fans, just progressing past that infuriating level is well worth the cash. I think it's great that Rovio isn't making in-app purchases mandatory to unlock new levels and content, and is simply using them has an optional aid.
You can check out a Mighty Eagle teaser video right here.