Angry Birds Go! Review: Racing to First Place
The next installment in the Angry Birds franchise has been released on Android, iOS and Windows Phone in the form of Angry Birds Go! This latest installment in the Angry Bird franchise takes the lovable birds and pigs and puts them in a Mario Kart-style racing game. While the game is a kart racer Angry Birds Go! is more reminiscent of the endless runner genre with the player only able to control if the kart goes right or left through touch or tilt controls.
The game currently features two courses, Seedway and Rocky Road, which contain five types of races players can participate in. “Race” is a straight race with several other pigs and birds with similar karts trying to finish top 3 in most cases. “Time Boom” is a solo beat-the clock challenge race that has you racing to reach the finish before a fuse burns down, while dodging obstacles along the way. “Versus” is a one-on-one race with the player getting to set the difficulty level on Easy, Medium or Hard. Then there is “Fruit Splat” which is a Fruit Ninja-inspired mode where you have to drive through a set number of fruit on your way to the finish line.
The final race features a boss battle where you are tasked with racing and beating a bird in order to unlock them to use as a playable character. Each section also includes boss-bird races: beat them three times, and you unlock them to use as a playable character. And as you work through, there are more modes to unlock too: one focused on stunts and another on jump-heavy ‘air’ races.
Having all these game features keeps the game from becoming boring quickly. The gameplay is also tight with its easy controls making drifting with the karts fun to do. The drifting controls actually made the game even more fun because I would create my own meta-game by trying to see how many of the other racers I can run off the track while still getting first place. It’s a silly thing to do but makes going through the course more fun since you can quickly familiarize yourself with the courses.
Angry Birds Go! also has the added feature of working with a new collection of Telepods Angry Bird toys. And if you purchased the Angry Birds Jenga board game you are able to unlock a Jenga game mode by entering the promo code. If you didn’t buy Angry Birds Jenga than you have the option to unlock this game mode through an in-app purchase on Angry Birds Go!
While the gameplay and design is well executed the one downside to Angry Birds Go! is that it goes all in with its freimium. The Kart that you are initially given is the most basic Kart in the game. While you can upgrade it you are going to have to spend real money if you want to get the best looking karts in the game. This may be a real deal breaker for some as buying these karts can get costly, with the range being between $2.99 and $49.99. It doesn’t help that the game itself doesn’t tell you right away how much something cost, such as the Double Your Coins Forever feature that always appears after every race actually cost.
+DIY Style Design
+Plenty of Game Modes
+Gameplay Easy to Grasp
+Integration with Angry Bird Toys
–Freemium Model Makes Things Costly
–Easy to Mistakenly Make In-App Purchases
For some Angry Birds Go! will be another fun installment in the franchises as it offers up plenty of game modes and a design that is aesthetically pleasing. For others they may be angry with the games in-app purchases being too much considering the cost of these in-app purchases. So when making the choice to play Angry Birds Go! you have to ask yourself: Do I mind the free-to-play model this game has gone with?