There was (long ago, far away etc) a time when Star Wars games were a bastion of quality. Even the crap ones like Rebel Assault.

Angry Birds: Star Wars is a throwback to that halcyon era. It’s seemingly constructed by someone locked in a time capsule that predates The Phantom Menace and, reader, I love it.

In many ways it’s an Angry Birds ‘best of’ compilation, merging traditional catapulted birds with the gravitational bodies of Angry Birds: Space, and the brand collision is exquisitely handled. I haven’t felt quite so happy to use the term ‘scruffy nerfherder’ in a piece of writing (completely out of nowhere!) since the first time I played the original LEGO Star Wars.

The way the Star Wars music warps into an up-tempo Angry Birds version, the piggy Sand People, the way the points you score are written in Star Wars opening-crawl-o-vision, accurate laser-fire sounds that make you feel like you’re eight years old and shooting imaginary storm troopers in the playground… this is a total, total love-in that all involved can be genuinely proud of.

All this fancy hyperbole would be null and void, however, if there was genuinely nothing new to the game. After all, there’s only so long you can be dazzled by knocking over a pile of wood and glass that’s built in the shape of a Jawa Sandcrawler on a double-sun backdrop. (Well, that had me for a while actually – but not everyone would be so easily pleased).

The individual powers of each Star Wars-ised bird genuinely bring something new to the game – and thankfully don’t feel like lazy additions. The ‘Luke’ red bird can swish his saber through level furniture to give him extra flight and damage, for example, and ‘Obi Wan’ can explodey-levitate physical blocks in front of him to smash up Imperial pig scum. Most game-changing of all is the Han-bird’s blaster, which can be fired mid-flight in whatever direction you choose to cause targeted wreckage at different ends of the screen.

Sure, the mega-kill Millennium Falcon strikes you earn are game-breaking in the extreme (a reskinned Mighty Eagle) but there’s little else to criticise in a game that so relentlessly charms. There was good in this license, Rovio felt it – and made something that didn’t kill off even the tiniest little bit of your soul. Hurrah!

Star Wars: Angry Birds is available on iPhone for 69p and iPad for £2.99. It’s also available on Android and Windows Phone.