Friday, December 13, 2013

'Angry Birds Go': It's Full of In-App Purchases And Ridiculously Priced Items - Review

Angry Birds Go! By Rovio Entertainment was just official released to the world yesterday. The game is the latest incarnation featuring the popular Angry Birds characters. Go! is a downhill kart racing game, that places the birds and pigs head-to-head in fast and furious races.

All parts of the game is unlock as you play. There's no arcade mode, you can't just play for 'fun', you have to partake in the 'story'.

Your players in the game also have energy limits. You can race 5 times with a character, before they run out of energy and need time to recharge (unless you play with gems to refill). This wasn't an issue with me, because after you unlock a few characters, there are more than enough races to last you a while. I recommend you also take a break from playing.

Going into this game, I knew because it was free - there would be in-app purchases to buy things like coins, gems and special karts, ect... But I didn't realize just how ridiculous these in-app purchases would be, and how bad they would make the game play.

Things you can buy in Angry Birds Go!:

- Double Coin Winnings For Ever! Every time you complete a race, there's a nice button that says you can get double coins of your winnings. This is of course a purchase of $6.99.

- Gems. These can be used to buy other items in the game. There are packs ranging in prices of $2.99 for 200 gems, all the way up to over $100 for 14,000.

- Coins! Using the gems, that you buy with real money, you can then buy coins - to do things like upgrades, buy karts, ect...

- Karts! there are some special racing karts that can be purchased. Priced from $2.99 to... karts that cost $49.99!  Really. $50 for a virtual kart... in a game... The game also does a good job of just placing buttons like "Buy", without telling you how much it is, until it asks you to confirm your purchase.

- Jenga game. - $1.99.

- Boosts. Need a speed boost, or some protecting to your kart - you'll find sponsored advertising boosts in the game, like fish-biscuits the speed your kart as they fly out.

- Upgrades to your kart. With in game coins, you have to upgrade your kart to continue racing and progress in the game. Also, in each world, you'll need to buy a new kart. The prices of the upgrades to the karts are ridiculously high.

Kart Upgrades Are Over-Priced.

In the last week, while the game has been out in other countries, I've seen kart upgrades change in price, at least 3 times. They started out high. Then dropped. Then went back up... HIGH.

To play this game without adding hundreds of your own dollars, will be difficult. You'll have to play thousands of races to complete this game.

For example, I'll use the world 'Stunt'.  To upgrade your kart, you must fill the bars of; Top Speed, Acceleration, Handling and Strength. The first level of these karts have about 12 purchase-able items, all more than 10,000 to over 20,000 coins needed for each.  And they keep going up in price after you purchase each line. Lets say on average each line will cost 20,000 coins. That will be a total of 240,000 coins needed to just upgrade one level. There are 2 more levels for these karts, in this world.

So how long would it take to earn 240,000 coins? The highest paying in Track 1 of Stunt, that you can repeat at the beginning pays 540 (+ coins that you pick up). This is the Verse mode in hard.  So 540 divided by 240,000 is 444. That's possibly how many races you'll need to complete to upgrade the kart, just one level. Of course the real number will probably be lower due to winnings from other races and coin pick ups, but it'll still most likely be more than 300.

Final thoughts. 

I liked the game, but... it's more annoying than a panhandler asking you for money. The prices of things like upgrades and karts are too high. I mean really $50 for a kart? To all parents out there, do not let your kids play this game on a device with a credit card/ bank account linked to it. Or you might get a bill of hundreds of dollars.

Angry Birds Go! is FREE to download, with in-app purchases available. The game is available for iOS (iPhone & iPad)Android devices, Windows Phone 8 and Blackberry 10.


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