The latest chapter of the popular game series lets players shoot birds at structures to remove portions and release items that are trapped inside. Players may strike the lower level of a block tower in Angry Birds Journey, and send the entire thing crashing to the ground, while hatchlings in cages need to be dropped directly on the ground to be released. Other creatures are trapped in balloons and are freed when it floats upward. In some levels, you can also hit gold mystery boxes to find out what's inside -- and sometimes get an extra bird as ammo. While players can't choose which bird to shoot, the game involves some strategy because along with aiming at a specific spot, they can factor in what effect each bird's special ability will have. After gamers pass a number of levels, they'll unlock the ability to fill an anger meter as they break blocks, infusing a bird with extra strength before shooting it.
The visuals and sound add some ambiance to the playing experience., but the shooting process is still as questionable as it's been in older titles. Some features are initially confusing, like the backstory, which is told through a series of images without any text or dialogue, making it hard to figure out. The in-app currency system is also a little unclear, because coins are earned which can be used to extend levels if you run out of birds to shoot. Players may also receive a puzzle piece as a bonus for doing well, which is more of a mystery. Also, gameplay is largely uninterrupted, but after first receiving unlimited lives, you'll eventually unlock a reward that changes that to 40 minutes of playing time until any lives you lose replenish. That, by comparison, doesn't really seem like a better deal. At least there's a chance to keep playing without buying anything, because since the lives sometimes replenish in as little as 20 minutes, and you can watch an ad to immediately get another one, the Angry Birds Journey doesn't have to come to an abrupt end.