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Angry Birds GO! is Now Available on Android, Your In-app Purchase Nightmare has Risen

angry birds go

Long lost fans of Mario Kart, a potential new addiction has arrived on Android in the form of Angry Birds GO! Oh, and that exclamation isn’t because I’m overly excited, that’s simply how Rovio is spelling the game’s name. But yes, the kart-style racer from Rovio is here and available for free. 

Free is actually an interesting way to put it, though. The game can be downloaded without a cost, it’s just that the in-app purchases are heavy with this one. You start as the red bird, pick from a couple of junky karts to get going (with the option to buy a better one), walk through a tutorial, and then you are on your way.

Once you start playing ABG, you will probably find the gameplay quite enjoyable. It’s easy to get the hang of, does indeed reminder you in a way of Mario Kart, and features enough different styles of play that you shouldn’t get bored any time soon. There are ways to build up your kart to make it faster and more powerful, power-ups to give you an advantage, and different birds to unlock throughout your journey.

The problem is, that in order to advance you better be ready to spend all sorts of cash or have loads of patience. The game is constantly asking you to spend money, whether that be on a $50 kart (seriously, that exists) or on gems to give your “tired” bird more energy to race. That’s right, after 5 races, your bird is too tired to race, so you either wait the 20 minutes for him to rest or you spend cash to make that happen quicker.

I’ve been playing the game for a solid hour this morning and overall, don’t find it to be all that bad of a game. It is actually pretty fun once you get to racing and unlocking new birds. It’s just that I’d much rather spend $5 up front to unlock the game fully than deal with greedy in-app purchase tactics and ads. I get that this is the model for gaming these days, but man, it takes a lot of fun out of it.

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Cheers Heath!
  • Andrew Herman

    This app is a battery drain on the Galaxy S4 while running in background. I watched my battery drain from 90% to dead in 3 hours multiple times when installed but not using the app. Uninstalled it and I no longer have an issue.

  • Tech Lives

    loll i can’t play games my phone. Because my installed android spy software on my phone. :P

  • carluverdrm2004

    Not available on my 2012 Nexus 7? That’s disappointing….

  • Pengwn

    I don’t mind In-app purchases when it comes to games.. but trying to enforce a pay for play time is an instant turn off and pretty much ensures I will never download the game. That’s just comes across as pure greed.

  • interstellarmind

    Nintendo would make a KILLING releasing Mario Kart 64 on Android like Rockstar’s android GTA games.

    Are you listening, Nintendo??

    • Chris

      all their classics would do wonders if they make the move to mobile.

      • Andrew

        They are on mobile. Nintendo always rides their own platform and the 2ds and 3ds are their mobile devices. Don’t expect Nintendo classics on Android or iOS any time soon. They are making them plenty of money on their own platforms where they don’t need to put them on phones.

        • Chris

          I think you are smart enough to know I ment android or iOs. if not, then theres something wrong….

          • Andrew

            I know that is what you meant, if you care to read my entire comment. Nintendo uses their software to sell hardware. They are a different model from most gaming companies.

  • interstellarmind

    IAPs are the death of mobile games. I understand developers are using IAPs to curb piracy. But there has to be a better way.

    Galaxy on Fire II was such a great game. I easily played it for hours (and happily played the upfront $5 and would have played up to $10, really), but since they redesigned it with IAPs I stopped playing because if you didn’t want to spend $30-$50 in real money you had to grind for hours to advance. Sucked the fun right out of what used to be my all time favorite game (tied with Battle for Mars, which is sadly no longer supported).

    • interstellarmind

      (and happily *payed* the upfront $5 and would have *payed* up to $10, really

  • Stone Cold

    First AB game I won’t download.

  • emoney

    it’s like a bar making you pay a cover and then you can drink as much as you’d like OR a bar not having a cover and charging you for everything. Of course the bar prefers the second and the consumer prefers the first.

  • TheSimpleTruth

    In game microtransactions in order to play the game fully? I’ll pass… Until the ios 7 jailbreak comes out that is.

  • Josh Martin

    WOWZA! This is a HUGE download haha… Luckily I still have unlimited VZW :D

  • Jason Kahn

    No NEXUS 7 2012 Support

  • gotgremlins

    Gremlins caused this :) gotgremlins.com

  • picaso86

    Bad business model IMO. They should’ve learn a thing or two from Candy Crush. I found myself spending $2 the other day to advance into a new map. Level 167!

  • Twofourturbo

    In-app purchases have killed my desire to play mobile games!. Much rather have a free version with a quick advertising to play just 1 level followed by a couple dollar purchase of the whole game with no additional purchases.

  • brkshr

    I honestly don’t think I will mind the 20 minute wait. Similar to Candy Crush’s 30 minute wait, it keeps me from doing nothing but playing games all day.

  • Brian Hardy

    Not compatible with 2012 nexus 7

    • Jason Kahn

      I know, I read some of the reviews it seems like a lot of people are having severe performance issues. I think they rushed this one out before it was fully developed.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Even though there are In-app Purchases, I’m still really liking this game! I guess I’ll just settle for the default characters and karts. At least for now.

    It’s kinda a new Angry Birds experience. Cannot wait for Online Multiplayer to go live next year!

  • Patrick Crumpler

    Lol. I can see parents uninstalling as we speak.

    • Adrynalyne

      Am I the only parent that has purchases requiring a password each time?

      • Patrick Crumpler

        I doubt you are the only one. But like we saw the other day. 123456 isn’t that secure. Lol

        • Adrynalyne

          Crap.

          *Changes password*

          How did you guess it?

          ;)

          • Patrick Crumpler

            Seriously. This is a huge rip off to me. Totally turns me off to the franchise.

          • Adrynalyne

            I know. However, IAP is here to stay. It is too profitable a model to pass up.

          • gorkon

            Until people wake up and realize they have been had….

          • Adrynalyne

            That same day, Facebook will shut down.

            I wouldn’t hold your breath.

          • gorkon

            Actually your likes and other things you willingly enter into Facebook are far more valuable than the pennies they made from Zynga….it’s all about the Big Data. Data they can sell to marketers.

          • alex drum

            Because no website ever survived before microtransactions. Ad/data revenue totally doesn’t exist.

        • President Skroob

          123456?? That’s the same combination as my matched luggage!!

  • Fredy Nativi

    In other words just stay away from games like this until developers get that we don’t want IAP.
    Done, I would also rather pay 2-5 dollars fro a quality game without the hassle of IAP.

    • Adrynalyne

      The minority won’t sway the majority.

      The majority is fine with it.

      • Rafy286

        Exactly! We are the minority. Look at FB games and Candy Crush. It’s the new model and it is here to stay.

      • alex drum

        To be honest I don’t think anyone is fine with it, its just the majority doesn’t realize that when they pay that $0.99 they are making sure microtransactions stay around. Not enough people realize they constantly vote with their wallet and when they buy crap, they will get more crap. This is especially true in the gaming community. Every level headed gamer I have talked to wants microtransactions GONE, the problem is that kids and ignorant adults don’t realize that developers are making games based around these things now. Games are getting way more grinding and what used to take a couple of hours to get, now takes days. when people pay to speed things up they are telling the devs “yea im cool with this” but pretty much 100% of the time they don’t realize they are actually casting their vote for microtransactions. these damn things are now getting to be a big thing in games that cost $60 and that’s total crap!

        • Adrynalyne

          If nobody was fine with it, it wouldn’t work as a business model though.

          The thing is, when you say every “level headed gamer”, you are discussing the minority.

          The casual gamer is who microtransactions cater to, and it works very well.

    • Grace

      Yup, vote with your wallet. OR, save lots of money. :) I know I’ll be saving quite a bit. Some of my favorite game companies went this path, so they won’t get a single dime from me again. To me, it is a lack of integrity.

  • monm

    8 races in and cannot advance without purchasing a new kart. oh well.

    • sirmeili

      This will keep me from playing an app. I don’t mind ads, but if I can’t play the game all together without paying for something, then you should have just charged me up front for that. I don’t mind playing a game longer to get something (instead of paying for it to get it earlier).

      • Adrynalyne

        I don’t mind IAP if it is designed to unlock the entire game (one purchase), or let you get ahead, but making it a demo unless using continual IAPs? Screw that.

  • Derek Duncan

    Yea you’d rather pay $5 for the game without IAP. But Rovio would rather make $50 on you playing this game w/ IAP…

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Except that I’ll never pay for any of their stuff, so they just make nothing. :)

      • Josh Martin

        Ditto– I’d rather wait the 20 minutes to play again :P Plus, it helps me not waste my whole day on a game hahaha

      • Derek Duncan

        Right, but some suckers will pay hundreds!

    • alex drum

      Thats how much angry birds costs on the PS4

  • monm

    $50 billed to my amex for a big bang special edition L6 upgraded kart? careful kids…

  • Lucky Armpit

    It’s unfortunate that this is the model of mobile gaming. Wife used to work in ACH and she would tell me of the massive amounts of money people would spend on Facebook games, and mobile gaming purchases. I stopped playing Bubble Witch because I got as far as I could without buying an IAP. Would much rather spend $10 on the entire game than be nickel and dimed to death. I love Mutant Roadkill but some of the IAP in that game are $40. $40!! Unfortunately that means people pat that kind of money for power ups. Sigh.

  • Chris

    to all you kids reading this, mario kart was the KING racing game of us 80s/90s kids. hell I’m 23, almost 24 and still play it. Nothing beats the 64 one though. Decent graphics. straight forward game play with out all that nonsense that the newer ones have.

    as for this game. i might give it a shot. doubt I’ll shell out money for in app extras. though I do have credit from the Google opinion app. So none of my actual money would be used.

    • gorkon

      I always liked Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube.

    • Keg Man

      I even enjoyed the Wii one, but the original was probably the best

    • Chris Hannan

      I’ve been looking for a kart game on my phone similar to Mario Kart for a while. Nothing comes close.

      • trumpet444

        you could always go the emulator/rom route and stick to the original

  • Menger40

    There are too many good games that let me pay once for the whole thing to bother with stuff like this.

  • Ian

    Not even going to give it a shot. Voting with my dollars.

    • alex drum

      YES! sadly this is a concept many do not understand.

  • Game over

    Why won’t this just go away

    • Chris

      listen to your own advice.

  • Andrew Egger

    About damn time

  • gorkon

    For GOD’S sake can I just PAY for the game? SERIOUSLY!?!??!?

    • sirmipsalot

      Because IAPs defeat piracy, and paying up front for a game does not.

      • gorkon

        HOW does IAP defeat piracy of a free application? I don’t think it does ANYTHING with that.

        I have a relative that actually hacks the games for his kids. Adds more gold and whatever it takes to get the game done. So I don’t think this does what you think it will do…it DOES PUT tons of money into Rovio’s pockets because they can basically charge you 50 something over time because of the multiple in app purchases.

        • sirmipsalot

          Hacking IAP-laden games is quite a lot trickier than sideloading an APK and possibly some data files. It defeats most casual pirates in the same way that copy-protected floppies did.

          You may not think that this is not about piracy, but reading what publishers say about this when citing piracy statistics is enlightening.

          • gorkon

            Um….no it doesn’t. If someone wants to do anything bad enough they can. Most of the games my brother in law is hacking at HAVE IAP.

            Again….tell me how IAP does anything but: line Rovio’s pockets?? The fact is they KNOW that if they have a free game and charge for things like Gold in the game that they can suck more money out of each customer than if they charged 5 bucks per game.

            It’s the same concept as charging a quarter accomplished in the arcade when I was young.

          • sirmipsalot

            Yes, if “someone” wants to, they can. Which is different than saying it’s commonly available, as a practical matter, to as many people. Yes, IAP “lines the developer’s pockets” — so do up-front app sales. But after several high-profile pirated game launches (see: Dead Trigger), the publishers have obviously decided that IAP is a more reliable way to get paid than relying on the community to be good citizens and not pirate.

            This article sums it up well: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/133430-you-dont-know-how-lucky-you-are-stop-complaining-about-in-app-purchases

            It’s not as simple as “those evil publishers just want to shake my money loose”. Yeah, some of them are evil jerks, but the IAP trend is larger than that.

          • gorkon

            Actually you just contradicted yourself by saying it’s not so simple as wanting to shake my money loose but then the developer states that people pirated a 99 cent game so they had to go IAP in order to get by? So which is it? If the whole game was 99 cents…I don’t think my brother in law would BOTHER to hack it so his kid can continue to play the game. I know there will ALWAYS be some that try to pirate even at 99 cents but at 99 cents I just don’t see the point! and most won’t. That’s really how the music industry stopped piracy. They priced the product to the point that most will just buy from iTunes, Amazon or Google.

            I fed many a quarters into arcade machines in my youth. QUARTERS….not 99 cents here…5 bucks there. While I spent what was probably 4-5 bucks a week in arcade machines there were weeks I spent 20 bucks. Now I played A LOT more game for that 20 than I would get for the same thing in most IAP games today. PLUS they didn’t remove CORE features of the game. You just had X amount of lives or X amount of energy and once you ran out…you continued with another quarter. The system made sense. The game was 100 percent functional AND if you were good enough you didn’t NEED to add another quarter. You could easily work through 3-4 levels before you died…unless it was a really complex game. The first one I remember that was really complex was Defender. it had more buttons than any game before it and I remember the first few times I blew a buck easy. However eventually I got to the point where I could go at least 4 levels and last 10-20 minutes on that first quarter.

            With the current IAP scheme, and it IS a scheme, you play like 5 minutes and then you have to pay to even PLAY. It wasn’t to continue. It was just to PLAY. For example, in Angry Birds Go I played until i go to the point where I have no choice BUT to pay to continue(to upgrade my cart so I could continue). That’s a little different than not being good enough. I mean technically I could have been good enough to make sure I can continue by getting enough coins but how could I when I JUST started playing the game?!?

            I am ALL for game developers making cash but I’d rather PAY THEM ONCE. I’d even pay 10-20 dollars if the game was good enough (and this one isn’t a 10-20 dollar game…probably 5 at best).

            If it’s piracy they are worried about…bake in a check if the game is a valid copy. There’s umpteen million better ways but no they pick the one that will make you pay 50-100 dollars to complete SIMPLE game like Angry Birds Go. That’s where I draw the line. I want to pay but if you think I will pay game console or PC game prices for a game like Angry Birds or Angry Birds Go…you got another thing coming. They are both good game but they ain’t worth me spending 50 on them.

          • sirmipsalot

            I have no idea why you’re arguing with me. Developers and publishers are on the record as to why they are going with IAPs and abandoning up-front purchases. You asked why – I told you why, at least as they have explained it.

            They *do* bake in checks. How do you think they have statistics about piracy? Try bother reading any of the umpteen statistical breakdowns by game developers & publishers. They can reasonably deduce who is pirating their game, including IAP hacks, though they admit that their statistics are probable and not guaranteed. Still, someone cashing in $100 worth of IAP points within 5 minutes of downloading the game is probably suspicious, don’t you think? The solution in the past has been to simply give up and convert a game to IAPs *and* keep ads in even the paid versions (ugh) to guarantee they get some money out of the pirated copies. Dead Trigger went with the former, Rovio has gone with the latter. We may both hate IAPs, but the third option (disabling detected-as-pirated games) is considered even *more* customer hostile and would have a huge backlash. In every context when games have tried this, there have been pretty spectacular, high-profile failures. IAPs are a less-risky solution that at least get you some money.

          • gorkon

            Maybe because you are responding?

            I don’t and haven’t disputed that piracy doesn’t happen. I dispute that IAPs are done for combating piracy. Some will say that…until they look at figures that Candy Crush has brought in. Then they will still say that but the real reason they are doing it isn’t piracy…it’s money. Period. More often than not people ARE good in my opinion. Most people don’t want to cheat the developer from earning their keep. So they would pay for the game. Even with in game purchases there are STILL people who will pirate and fight lie cheat steal. You can’t prevent it. Just when you think you have with a IAP they figure away around it while most people just play along or go away.

            ANY anti-piracy tool has only done one thing: make it more difficult for those who DO play by the rules. It doesn’t do anything to deter the pirates.NOTHING will stop a pirate. Period. IAP’s and other silly things to combat it will prevent people, like myself, from wanting to even BOTHER with mobile gaming. Thus they will forever lose my dollar as I won’t play b their silly games.

          • Grace

            Totally agree. I am avoiding all IAP games and only paying for games without. I’m a big supporter of the Play store and would like to see it grow, but I’m NOT going to support leeches.

  • mustbepbs

    “after 5 races, your bird is too tired to race”

    After watching the trailer, I’d be too tired and terrified to race after 5 of those. Can’t say I blame a bird.

    • gorkon

      Actually it’s not too tired to race. It’s a limit on the CC of your Bird’s cart. You have to go to above 120 cc for the 6th race….pretty sad really.

      • michael arazan

        Pretty soon Games will be running Credit Checks in order for you to play them.

  • Andrew

    If nobody actually pays for in-app purchases then that model will go away.

    Sadly that won’t happen.

    • Chris Hughes

      On one hand, I like that I get to try a game before actually putting any money into it. On the other hand; I hate knowing that a game has been intentionally slowed down or castrated until I “buy 10000 gold coins for 2.99!!” Or wondering if I’m being destroyed in multiplayer because I didn’t pay the 20 bucks for the extra stars (Asphalt…I’m looking at you)

      Really wish more developers would move to a “Try to the whole game for x amount of time. If you like it, buy it” model. In app purchases should be for additional content.

      • mustbepbs

        There’s no money in that. If Candy Crush has proven anything, it’s that there are suckers out there willing to shell out hundreds of dollars on imaginary lives and powerups. Why get $5 per person when you could potentially get much more? Welcome to mobile gaming.

        • niuguy

          Its moving into the consoles too. :(

          • Adrynalyne

            PCs as well.

          • Tyler

            The model has been around for a while just evolved from pay to play (subscriptions) to play but you’ll need to pay.

        • Nick Heckel

          I think calling people suckers for spending money on a game harsh. If someone gets the same $60 of enjoyment out of Candy Crush as I do from Portal 2 then to each their own.

          • mustbepbs

            Yeah except for $60 you OWN Portal 2 in its entirety (which is not what it costs by any stretch now). For $60, you get a few levels progress of Candy Crush, whatever that is worth.

          • Nick Heckel

            “Whatever that is worth” is exactly my point, it’s subjective. Also, Portal 2 was simply the first game that came to mind. it could easily be Battlefield 4, GTA V, FIFA 14, Madden 25, Dead Rising 3.

            Sure, with a game in the PC/console space you own it but in terms of hours played and gratification received you could very well get the same amount from an IAP game.

          • michael arazan

            Imaginary monetary value. Need to teach children this at an early age.

      • Keg Man

        only problem I have with that is the time is usually too short

      • Chris Hughes

        I hate replying to my own comment…but I guess what I mean to say is that what I hate the most is the sinking feeling that skill is being removed from the game. It has the potential to destroy multiplayer gaming. Who wants to play knowing that you’ll get beat unless you buy a better .

        But it’s also bad for single player as well. When I play a freemium game I always have this sinking feeling that the game isn’t challenging, it’s annoying or impossible unless I spend 10 bucks. I’m not against paying 10 bucks…just unlock the game as designed.