Angry Birds Action!

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Angry Birds Action! App Poster Image
Still angry, but more ads in movie-promo pinball game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Overall gameplay is straightforward with simple mechanics, but extra options sometimes lead players to other areas of the app and to outside sites, which may get a bit confusing, especially for younger players.

Violence

Lots of crashing and exploding of barriers, and the cartoon shorts also have some explosions and conflict. When a bird crashes, it face-plants into the ground.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Lots of ads and consumer tie-ins with a "countdown" for the Angry Birds movie on the main screen, ads for other Angry Birds products, direct links to Internet-based ads for other products and corporations (including McDonald's Happy Meals), other cartoons with various characters, and movie promos for movies (such as Marvel's Civil War), as well as in-app purchases for gems. No parent gate on ads or purchases.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Angry Birds Action! is a pinball-like arcade game that heavily promotes the Angry Birds Movie and other products, including McDonald's Happy Meals, other movies, and in-app purchases. Described as "pinball meets anger," the main gameplay here looks different from the original Angry Birds but is similar in its point-and-shoot physics. This game -- featuring cute birds knocking stuff down to rescue eggs -- is easy to play. But kids can just as easily get sucked into the ads and extras, such as cartoon clips mixed in with movie promos, "BirdCodes" to enter from Angry Birds products, and links to social-networking and other out-of-app sites. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To play ANGRY BIRDS ACTION! players still slingshot a bird toward the targets, which are usually eggs that the bird is trying to "rescue." Release the bird and watch as it knocks objects over, blows up bombs, or ricochets off the pinball-like objects. Once the egg is "rescued," the bird moves onto the next screen. After three rounds, the level is complete. Throughout the game, players are rewarded with points, power-ups that make the birds move faster, and more. If players use all the birds available without hitting all the targets, they have to start again. If birds are out of energy, kids will have to pay gems, wait as a timer runs down, or pay real money to continue. Players can also watch featured cartoons and video ads, connect to Facebook, and use "BirdCodes" for extra content.

Is it any good?

Though it's a fun game, the overwhelming amount of ads, movie promos, and direct links that take kids out of the app and onto websites make this app a less-than-ideal choice for kids. At the time of review, there's even a countdown to the movie's opening day in the corner of the main game screen. There's no doubt that the Angry Birds franchise is doing some innovative stuff, such as linking content to "BirdCodes" that kids can get on other products or at the movie for more content, adding related short cartoons, and including extra characters from the movie. Unfortunately, all the innovation is about marketing to kids through pop-up ads, video ads to earn rewards, and related content. In the end, the fun arcade game and the cute characters at the center of this app are crashed into, bowled over, and blown up -- in true Angry Birds style -- by the aggressive marketing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how advertisers market to kids. Read Common Sense Media's parent tips such as "How do I teach my kids to understand when something is an ad?" and play on the app with your kid the first time or two to point out what's being marketed, when, and how.

  • Reinforce your family's rules about in-app purchases with your kid before downloading this app. Is it OK to buy? If so, how much money is OK to spend?

  • Talk with your kid about anger. What are some healthy ways to manage angry feelings? Of course, it's all in good fun on the Angry Birds apps, but using extreme examples can sometimes help kids understand emotions.

App details

For kids who love Angry Birds and arcade games

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