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Angry Birds Go! Review

Angry Birds Go!
Published by: Rovio
Genre: Racing
Release Date: December 11
MSRP: Free-to-play
Rating: Pending
Available On: iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry 10, Android

When it comes to the mobile market, it’s hard to find a game that’s had as much of an impact as Rovio’s Angry Birds. The game, which is nothing more than a simple physics simulator with a few cute characters, quickly turned into a global phenomenon. Angry Birds has spawned spin-off games, merchandise, and even a cartoon series since first showing up on the gaming scene.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Rovio is looking to expand its grasp on the mobile market. With titles like Candy Crush coming up fast to take the mobile crown, Rovio has to stay agile if it wants to keep a lead position. Angry Birds Go!, the studio’s latest title, shows that Rovio is not only acutely aware of the one-hit-wonder concerns brought on by the original Angry Birds, but is ready to dash them in one fell swoop.

On the surface, Angry Birds Go! looks like a cheap cash-in. Take a few known characters, stick them in go-karts, and let them race it out. Plenty of famous franchise heads have found themselves in karts over the history of video games, with Nintendo, Sony, Disney, and Sega all taking the kart racing path in the past. In most cases these games were viewed as cheap Mario Kart clones, but some (such as the exceptional Crash Team Racing) built a legacy of their own.

It’s unclear if Angry Birds Go! is good enough to land itself in the same hallowed hallways as Mario Kart or Crash’s go-karting spin-off, but one thing’s for sure: This game isn’t a lazy side project built to earn a few extra bucks. Angry Birds Go! is a fully 3D, beautifully rendered and designed game that runs like a dream on mobile hardware and brings an immense amount of fun set in the Angry Birds universe. It is obvious at every turn that Rovio took this game’s design very seriously, from the tight balance of the karts to the intricate twists and turns of the game’s tracks.

Angry Birds Go! provides most of the things you’d expect from a kart racer. You’ll find customizable karts, a small roster of famous faces, and a collection of courses to learn and master. There are also special powers that allow you to do things like wipe opponents out, give yourself a speed boost, or fly over hazards. All of the animations are as cute as they are attractive – Angry Birds Go! is clearly making the most out of the increased processing power found in more recent tablet computers and smartphones.

Rovio’s new title is quirky, cute, and most of all, fun. It’s enough like other karters that you’ll feel familiar and comfortable, but not so much like other karters that you feel as though it was lifted from another game. Angry Birds Go! brings the Angry Birds cast into an interesting new world with new challenges to face, and it does this exceptionally well. Overall, it’s one of the best racing games you’ll find on mobile devices, and with the low price of “free,” there’s really no reason not to check it out for yourself.

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