Angry Birds Go – The Birds Go Downhill Fast

3.0 Overall Score
Gameplay: 3.5/5
Design: 3.5/5
Duration: 2/5

A new way to play Angry Birds | Great for pick up and play | New 3D design | Multiple modes

On the simple side | Races are very formulaic and uneventful


The Angry Birds have been launched every which way, but now they’re finally spreading their wings to a new game type in Angry Birds Go. It’s a kart racer allowing the birds to jump into downhill racing cars to now outrace those green pigs. Angry Birds Go is a nice diversion from the tried and true physics puzzler seen in Angry BirdsSeasonsRioSpaceStar Wars I, and Star Wars II, although the kart racing genre is relatively predictable. The game begins with you racing as the red bird in a rudimentary kart, and every race helps you improve from that point. You get to unlock the well known birds like pink, black, blue, and yellow, all while upgrading your racer to handle tougher opponents.
Rovio has done a good job in offering five different game modes to keep the racing action relatively fresh. There’s the standard race as well as a race against a ticking time bomb, a fruit smash downhill excursion, versus match-up, and head to head against an unlockable character. The different modes keep you playing as there’s always something new to do, and winning each race helps contribute to upgrading your car. There’s a well balanced difficulty curve that also provides a minimum threshold for your car to be upgraded to, so you can be competitive in a given race. There are also extra challenges in the race mode, and each mode offers a three star scoring system with direct Game Center leaderboard integration.

There are also multiple race tracks all on piggy island for different downhill excursions that include multiple environments, and different tracks per environment. There are also forking pathways with shortcuts, turbo boost tiles, and TNT and block obstacles. One of the most noticeable aspects of the game is that everything is rendered in 3D, and this is the first time Angry Birds has been seen in the next dimension. There’s a high level of polish as you would expect from Rovio to highlight the racing above all else. The main problem is that each race is relatively simplistic as you basically just tilt your way down the track, and it’s not that hard to finish first. There’s not the chaotic nature that kart racers are known for, because there aren’t power-up pick-ups, and instead just one power-up for each bird. Once you get into a certain place, the positions don’t change much, and the results are usually decided early on.
A majority of the game leaves you just rolling through the motions without much interaction, or engagement despite the promising nature. There is a deluxe collision engine when knocking into opponents, but it doesn’t happen nearly enough. After the opening seconds, you end up seeing just one other kart the rest of the race, again making matters simpler. Another major feature of Angry Birds Go is that it’s free to play allowing you to get in-app purchases to refresh energy meters of the bird racers, upgrade your kart quicker, or get additional power-ups. All the IAP aspects are relatively optional since the game is one the easy side, and the energy meters can be subverted thanks to the ability to switch out birds. There’s nothing necessarily bad about Angry Birds Go, but there’s nothing particular good either. It’s noteworthy due to the brand name, but the gameplay is run of the mill that won’t last on your device very long.

Angry Birds Go (Free, Universal) is worth trying out for free, but the enjoyment is a short sprint, rather than a marathon.


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