Friday, 7 February 2014

App Review No. 38 Angry Birds GO!

Strong Points:
All your favourite Angry Birds characters, now in 3D
Great Angry Birds physics
Fast paced action
5 modes
Lots of races
Challenge levels makes it even longer

Weak Points:
Graphics can look pixly at times
The energy system prevents you from playing for too long
The CC unlock system can get annoying after a while
You can only face friends through Facebook in multiplayer

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: 11 December, 2013

Use the arrows to turn the kart
Press power up button to activate power up

Hello everybody and it's another fine day at the race course as we find out who will win the prestigious cake award. Will it be the Pigs or the Birds? 3...2...1...GO! Red angles his slingshot straight but, thanks to a crafty diagonal angle from King Pig, gets knocked to the side. They're picking up speed as they hurtle down the hill, King Pig just edging ahead. As they go around the first bend, Red picks up the pace, staying close to the inside while King Pig drifts round the outside. They're neck and neck as they reach the first jump but as they leave the ground King Pig activates his special power and flies over the top of Red, flinging Pig minions as he goes. Red seamlessly dodges the incoming green balls of death and speeds down the final straight. It's the last few metres and King Pig is just ahead, is this how it ends? But with a last screech, Red activates his special power and charges into King Pig knocking him to the side and just edging forward over the line. Birds win! The crowd (or at least the rest of the Flock) go wild and the next few minutes is of flying icing and ferocious eating as the Flock dig into their prize. Come back next time for another great race!

The game consists of 5 modes: Race, Time Boom, Fruit Splat, VS and Champion Chase. Race is just as it describes, you race a group of Pigs and Birds down the track. The race starts with you firing yourself from a slingshot (probably to tie it in with the rest of the Angry Birds universe) before you travel down a sloping track unable to brake (other than by drifting) with the only way you can affect your race is by turning. You also have a special power (as mentioned in the paragraph above which I hoped you all liked, by the way) which lets you do anything from charge forward (Red), float in a bubble (Stella) or even explode (Bomb Bird).

Time Boom involves you racing down the track while dodging obstacles reminiscent of the fortifications of previous Angry Birds games in order to reach the finish line before the bomb explodes, hence 'boom'. Fruit Splat involves you driving through enough fruit (these ones are strangely reminiscent of the Fruit Ninja fruit) before you reach the finish line in order to empty the bar at the top.

Champion Chase is much like Race mode except that you race only one character. The rival you are racing also has an upgraded version of their regular super power and often shoot obstacles such as bombs or pigs behind them. Once you complete this mode (by beating the champion three times) you get to recruit the rival to use in your races. VS is the same thing as Champion Chase in that you only race one rival down the track but the rival doesn't have an upgraded super power. There are also three difficulties for it each increasing the amount of money you get if you win. VS is also the only mode without challenges and is more of a way to get extra coins when needed. All modes have to be beaten a five of times to unlock challenges for them with the exclusion of VS and Champion Chase. Challenge mode involves you playing Race, Time Boom and Fruit Splat again only with three challenges to focus on.

And now it's time to talk about characters. In Angry Birds GO! you get to play as most of your favourite characters from the Angry Birds universe including ones from the Pigs side. As I have said earlier each character has their own special power which can used to your advantage. However, even Angry Birds or Bad Piggies have to rest and so you only get to use each character five times before you have to swap to another character. I found this rather annoying as, until you get lots of characters, it bars you from playing for longer periods of time. But it's not annoying as my next point.

Obviously in a racer you need to have some sort of vehicle to race with and Angry Birds GO! is no different. In this one you get the choice between a few karts which each have their own speciality (Handling or Strength for instance) with the best ones being paid for with the premium currency of crystals. You get to choose a different kart in each level pack (Seedway, Rocky Road, Air and Stunt) and then upgrade it for better performance. The different upgrades are Top Speed, Acceleration, Handling and Strength which can all be upgraded a number of times for an increasing price with the speciality upgrade being upgraded the most times. Each upgrade ups your CC level which is used for unlocking the next level in each of the 4 main modes (excluding VS). This is alright at first as upgrades cost about as much as your prize money which means that you can keep playing but later on, you will find yourself repetitively playing VS mode in order to unlock the next Race or Time Boom modes which, like the characters resting times, can get annoying and break up the gameplay. I guess this is done so that you don't complete the game in a few hours but it's still annoying. Anyway, once you upgrade all the different stats for your kart, it levels up bringing with it an aesthetic change as well as more stat upgrades.

The graphics are quite good but the characters can look very different from the background which can look ugly at times. Not that you'll spend to long admiring the view as Angry Birds GO! is so fast paced and is constantly demanding you to make corrections to your sweeping turn or just speed up in order to hit that stupid Pig (or Bird) in the face. No wonder it has an exclamation mark.

Overall Angry Birds GO! is a great racer game which brings a lot of the furious speed and terrifying danger that a soapbox derby should. Now, I need to go and win that cake.

Rating: 90%

Goodbye for now, Harry 

Update: winter is coming in Angry Birds GO! so grab your snowmobiles and bobble hats and get back to racing! A new level pack has become available (Sub-Zero) which covers the tracks in ice meaning that you have to fight for grip in many more furious levels. Mechanic Pig has been hard at work, developing new karts for the snow and these are available to pick up now. Finally, check back every day for the chance to compete in limited time events with increasing rewards.

Update: the snow isn't melting in Angry Birds GO! with new tracks for the Sub-Zero level pack. Also, the daily tournaments have gained an older brother in the form of the week tournaments! Flakes of friendly (and not so friendly) competition sweep across the tracks as friends and strangers jostle for the top of the leaderboard week in, week out. But it's not all competition as Lucky Boxes have been sighted on the track, so pick up yours today to get some awesome prizes! Finally, you can send Lucky Boxes to friends (or be selfish and keep them all to yourself) and hope to get some in return (or if you have selfish friends, get nothing). Either way, get back out there and get racing!

Update: rev your engines and ready you karts, as multiplayer racing is now in Angry Birds GO! Race players from around the world as you try to get to the top of the leaderboard or connect to Facebook for a chance to race friends and soon to be enemies alike! Also, new challenges and another chance to boast about how great you are! But Rovio aren't putting on the brakes just yet as they have promised even more multiplayer mayhem soon!

New 3 on 3 team multiplayer
New Night Time themed races
New Christmas themed update and kart

Update: a new The Goat Kart to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Update: introducing Party Mode to the racing line! Party Mode enables you to play multiplayer locally with friends (if you have any left after a few races, that is)

Chuck becomes Ayrton Senna in a tribute to the Formula 1 legend
Renovations to the garage and improvements to the game engine
Halloween theme - a spooky kart and Halloween based stuff like pumpkins
Holiday theme - everything is covered in snow and three limited edition karts have been added to be won in special challenges that will appear throughout the holidays
Many bug fixes, optimizations and performance improvements

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