App review: Angry Birds Go!
Angry Birds go racing in a game that's somewhat reminiscent of Mario Kart
- Packed with features
- Appropriate design
- Movement controls
- Too many paid content notices
- Occasional menu crashes
Angry Birds Go! may be a different step for Rovio, but the developer has delivered well. The racing game is packed with features which will provide many hours of entertainment, and despite containing too many prompts for paid content, offers a plethora of free gameplay.
Angry Birds Go! is Rovio Entertainment’s first move away from the traditional style of its Angry Birds franchise (Bad Piggies aside). While its graphics and design are reminiscent of Mario Kart, the mobile racing game retains its Finnish developer’s points- and star-based completion system, clearly distinguishing it from the Nintendo classic.
Menus and features
Launching Angry Birds Go! will greet you with a plethora of colour. The menu structure is simple and therefore caters for all demographics, including younger users who have nabbed their parents’ device. The main menu contains links to Options, Toons.tv, profile, Telepod connectivity, and of course, Play.
The Options pop-up allows you to toggle sound on and off, select between on-screen or movement controls, view credits, and enter unlock codes. There are also links to Rovio on Twitter and Facebook, and the option to connect your Rovio account to Facebook to compete against friends’ scores.
Toons.tv takes you to the website of the same name within the app, providing access to episodes from the Angry Birds television series and other titles. Profile will bring up the account you are logged in to, its total score in Angry Birds Go!, and a link to account details. Telepod allows you to link the game with a Hasbro-manufactured Angry Birds Telepod toy.
Game modes, characters, and cars
Hitting the Play button on the main menu will take you to the levels menu. At the time of writing, four levels are available, but only the first is unlocked by default. Named Seedway, it has two tracks, each of which contains five different gameplay modes: Race, Time Boom, Fruit Splat, Versus, and a boss race against one of the unlockable characters.
Additionally, each of the game modes has a series of difficulty levels. Race, Time Boom, and Fruit Splat have five, whereas both Versus and the boss races have three. To be able to race higher difficulties, you must upgrade your car to the appropriate ‘cc’ level (more on that later). Once all difficulties and bosses are beaten, that character joins your team, and the next track or level is unlocked.
Rovio has also incorporated a series of challenges into each game mode which are there to keep you entertained once you have finished unlocking everything. The challenges contain three special requirements that need to be fulfilled. For example, a race challenge asks you to score over 90,000 points, jump over 50m in a race, and use three boost pads in a race.
Rovio has included 12 playable characters in Angry Birds Go!, each of which has its own special ability. You start with Red, who has a Super Roaster speed boost ability. From there, the unlockables (in order) include Stella (Soda Pop Sedan), Bomb (Big Bang), the Blues (Tri-Toaster), King Pig (Royal Rumbler), Terence (Beep Beep), Bubbles (Rapid Rider), Matilda (Tub-copter), Foreman Pig (Crimson Baron), Hal (Shoemerang), and Corporal Pig (Dragster Snout). The characters’ abilities are different for the player and CPU. For example, Stella blows bubbles backwards if CPU-controlled, and flies up in the air in a single bubble shield when used by you. Each character can be used in five races before requiring a real-time rest. This means that if you really like one character’s ability, you’ll have to wait before using them again.
Instead of each character having their own car, you can purchase one or more cars for the lot to share. Each level requires you to purchase a new car. There isn’t much in the way of options. Free content is restricted to three options, and they require coins in order to be purchased. These are earned in-game, but can also be bought with real money. The other four cars, which have better statistics and are arguably more aesthetically appealing, must be purchased, and some don’t come cheap; it will cost you between $3.27 and $54.60. Paid content is common these days, although we advise parents to ensure Google Play payments require a password so children don’t go tapping away without consent.
The manner in which paid content is presented in Angry Birds Go! was something we noticed immediately; Rovio has included the option to pay for cars, coins, and gems virtually everywhere. While this only proved to be a mild hindrance to us, we can see it being a real bother to parents who allow children to play the game. While payments can be very easily restricted via Google Play settings, the placement of advertisements for purchasing content will frustrate many.
Gameplay, controls and graphics
What makes Angry Birds Go! unique is that it combines downhill racing with the goal of scoring as many points as possible while completing certain tasks in the process. This is what also keeps it addictive. The races aren’t long which makes you feel like you have time to do more, and it also allows you to play for very short periods. As we are Sydney Trains commuters, this was particularly handy when changing trains as it meant we weren’t interrupted mid-race. Let’s face it, stopping mid-way through a Temple Run 2 game when doing well could really put you off reaching a top score.
Aesthetically, Angry Birds Go! is excellent. Content is not overly detailed, but it’s not intended to be, nor should it be, in our opinion. Instead, it stays true to Angry Birds, and does a good job at being a comic-inspired, interactive cartoon. Besides, if graphics are what you want, then another game, such as Real Racing 3, is where you’ll get them.
During our testing period, actual gameplay was smooth and uninterrupted on our Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. The movement controls deserve a mention, too; when we tilted the smartphone, we felt the handling of the cars steered the appropriate amount, and it was responsive when flicking left and right for sharper turns.
We must note, however, that the game crashed on several occasions when flicking through menus very quickly; this is something which will probably be ironed out in future updates.
Developer: Rovio Mobile
Reviewed on: Samsung Galaxy S4
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCServiceNow Specialist - Administration and DevelopmentVIC
- TPTechnical ArchitectVIC
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- TPSenior Node.JS DeveloperNSW
- TPProject Manager - General InsuranceNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTLevel 3 Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCPerformance TesterQLD
- CCBusiness Analyst AgileQLD
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD
- CCAutomation Test AnalystQLD
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- CCChange and Communications ManagerQLD
- FTNetwork Services ManagerQLD
- TPTechnical ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Network Designer - CiscoVIC
- FTL1 Application SupportWA
- FTDeployment EngineerSA
- FTICT Client Services ManagerQLD
- TPTechnical Analyst - 6 Month Contract - Great Rates Of PayNSW
- CCBusiness Implementation Manager - Change - Financial ServicesNSW
- CCVirtualisation Engineer - IP NetworksVIC