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If I click earlier to launch the extra speed for the yellow bird,
will it have a greater impact or does it matter?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

It doesn't matter, as far as I know. There's two things to keep in mind with yellow birds:

  1. They are only effective against certain materials. They will rip through wood but seem to be particularly weak against ice.
  2. When you choose to click on the bird after launching it determines what kind of trajectory the bird will have; apart from going backwards, you can make a yellow bird strike a target at pretty much any angle.
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Yep, the important thing is trajectory. Sometimes you might think that clicking earlier or later gives you more power but really it's just a more effective angle/position. – Matthew Read Nov 7 '11 at 2:25

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