Angry Birds Go All Characters When Rovio announced plans to release an Angry Birds karting game called Angry Birds Go! it raised eyebrows for two reasons.
First: the risks in taking a franchise so seemingly tied to a specific genre (2D physics-based aiming'n'shooting) and daring to enter a genre dominated by the Mario Kart games, and the memory of countless character-based karting titles that didn't match up.
Second: the even bigger risks of turning Angry Birds into a fully free-to-play game, making its money from in-app purchases and ads rather than paid downloads.
Free-to-play is problematic for Rovio, partly because of its generous approach to updates for previous Angry Birds titles – if you paid 59p for the original game in 2011, you were still getting new levels for it in 2013 – and partly because of the large number of children who play the Angry Birds games.
On either front, if Angry Birds Go's in-app purchase prodding is too aggressive it'll spark a big backlash. The game is out today for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10 – one of the first games to hit all four platforms on its launch day – so how has Rovio done? Pretty well on all counts.
I've loved numerous iterations of Mario Kart, and laughed at some of the rivals that copied its basic features while missing the nuances that made Nintendo's series so great. I fired up Angry Birds Go! preparing for disappointment, but very quickly realised that it's a really enjoyable game.
Different to Mario Kart, it's fair to say: the power-ups system is simpler, with each character having a single, unique power-up to trigger a set number of times during races, rather than picking up different ones on the track. More emphasis on jumps too, perhaps unsurprisingly given Angry Birds' roots.
The handling feels great, with a choice of touch or tilt. As in most touchscreen driving games, tilt is more fun, but touch is better for actually controlling your vehicle. The way the various karts turn, fly through the air and smash into one another feels very good. Angry Birds Go All Characters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrLRf8rh0Hw