Hands-on with Angry Birds for Google+
Same amount of anger, more social
Not content with dominating iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Chrome, and even your local supermarket, developer Rovio has catapulted its popular avian-flinging title Angry Birds over to Google+.
Google+, if you're unfamiliar with it, is the search giant's attempt at a Facebook-esque social network, which allows you to post status updates, share pictures, segregate your friends into 'Circles', and, as of August 11th, play games.
Several big name game publishers and developers have already jumped on board the Google+ express, including Zynga, PopCap, and BioWare.
But, let's forget about them for now and focus on our rather miffed feathery friends.
As you can probably imagine, Angry Birds for Google+ doesn't contain any major tweaks to the game's formula, meaning your aim is still to fling birds at green pigs, and rack up as many points as humanly (or avianly?) possible.
The franchise's popular - and frustrating - three-star system is back in business to reward you for your carnage, and the 'just one more try' mechanic is definitely still present.
As in the Google Chrome version of the game, you currently have access to all 63 levels from the three chapters of the Poached Eggs episode, and to seven Chrome Dimension levels.
The latter can be unlocked by seeking out special hidden Chrome icons, which are scattered throughout the game's levels. These replace the golden eggs that you've no doubt collected while playing the mobile offerings.
Rovio's Google+ version of the game, however, also taps into its freshly available social features, and comes packing a new Teamwork episode.Forever Friends
This comprises two new sections - Friends Playing and Friends Stars - which require you to team up with your buddies to unlock new and exclusive levels.
The Friends Playing section hands you a new level for inviting one, five, 20, and 40 friends to the game, with the Friends Stars section pooling your hard-earned stars with your buddies' and rewarding you accordingly.
This is a nice feature, especially if you have a group of friends that all enjoy the Angry Birds experience.
Unfortunately, Google+ is still in an invite-only stage, meaning you can only sign up if somebody already using the service sends you an invitation.
Furthermore, Facebook still firmly owns the social networking space, so you'll probably have a hard time finding enough genuine friends to grab the unlockables.Socialising with the enemy
As you attempt each level, you'll probably notice your friends' mugs in the top-right side of the screen, and what should be at least a four-digit number.
These are your buddies' high scores, which you will, inevitably, set out to beat.
At the end of each level, you'll also be presented with a list of the best scores from your Circles (of friends).
You can post your best attempts to your Google+ Stream, and even brag directly to your pals that you've bypassed them on your way up the leaderboard.Same day, different nest
Overall, there's very little new here, but fans of the series will adore the tried and tested gameplay all the same.
Angry Birds for Google+ is the definitive version of the game for those who love to play socially, get their friends involved, and brag about their scores.
It'll be interesting to see how this one develops as more and more people - possibly - flood to the new social network.
Naturally, there are further updates 'coming soon'.