Yesterday Angry Birds landed on Google+, Google’s new social network and answer to Facebook. Angry Birds on Google+ is an HTML5 based version that in many ways is very similar to Angry Birds Chrome, with some notable exceptions that we’ll go into in a sec. The current version number is v1.0.2 and includes all three chapters of Poached Eggs, the Chrome Dimension episode (link to walkthroughs) and an exclusive episode called “Teamwork”. The latter may sound strange, but it’s actually pretty cool. This is one of the many areas where Angry Birds taps into the social aspect of Google+.
- 3 star walkthrough videos for the Teamwork episode are now available!
- If you want to join the ABN cirlce on Google+ just click this link (opens in a new window) then +1 my comment titled, “Angry Birds on Google+ here we come!”. Once you do that I can add you to the circle.
- Can’t zoom out? Confused by the controls? Check out our control guide.
- Google+ is not available to everyone just yet. If you don’t have a Google Account I believe you still need an invite to gain access. If you have a friend who has access ask them to send you an invite.
The lowdown on the Teamwork Episode
Basically, the purpose of the Teamwork episode is to work together with your friends to unlock special levels. There are two groups of the levels in this episode:
- “Friends Playing”: These levels are unlocked by inviting friends to play Angry Birds on Google+. Once a friend accepts your invitation your counter is incremented by one. To unlock the first level you need one friend, the second five, the third twenty and the fourth you need forty friends.
- “Friends’ Stars”: These levels are unlocked by you and your friends earning the required amount of stars. For example, say you have five friends, plus you, who play Angry Birds on Google+. If you each have twenty stars your total star count is 120. That is enough to unlock the first level in the “Friends’ Stars” group. To unlock level two you need 400 stars, level three 1,000 and on level four you need 2,000 stars. Wow!
If you’re stuck or just curious about the Teamwork levels check out the 3 star walkthrough videos!
Gameplay Social Features
As we mentioned above, the actual game play is very similar to Angry Birds Chrome, so we won’t go into that too much. That said, the window size is smaller on Google+ and there is no HD option. It plays fine for me, but your experience may vary based on your computer and browser.
Let’s move on to the social features. Beyond the Teamwork episode there are a few other social features available.
When you open up an actual level you notice right away in the top right hand corner that there two avatars and scores. This is your score and one of your friends, presumably the one with the highest score on that level. Having this right in the game play area allows you to compete against your friends and have a score to aim for.
Yet another social feature allows you to announce/post scores your scores to your stream by clicking the bullhorn icon. There are two ways to do this:
- First, you can access the post button (bullhorn icon) at anytime by tapping the pause button then hitting the leaderboard icon (note, you won’t see the bullhorn until you pass the level).
- The second way is available after you pass a level. We’re all familiar with the menu that pops up when we pass a level in Angry Birds. On Google+ this menu includes a min-leaderboard that shows your position and gives you the ability to post your score to your stream.
You can see the bullhorn icon in the screenshots under the “Leaderboards” section below.
Google+ is currently the only place outside of the iOS ecosystem that has fully-integrated leaderboards. We obviously have leaderboards here, but they are not fully-integrated (I wish!). So far as I can tell the leaderboard functionality is currently handled on a level-by-level basis. In other words, you will find a leaderboard for Poached Eggs Level 1-1, but you won’t find one for your total score across all levels. I’m sure that is something they’re working on though.
Privacy & Permissions
In order to play Angry Birds on Google+ you have to grant them permission to access certain information. Each game is a bit different. Angry Birds currently needs access to:
- “View basic information about your account”
- “View a list of people from your circles, ordered based on your interactions with them across Google”
Your Progress is in the Cloud
Currently, when you play Angry Birds Chrome your progress is stored in something called local storage. The issue here is that if you delete your browser cache it may delete your local storage cache as well (I say “may” because most browser have this as a separate option). When this happens your will lose all your progress in Angry Birds Chrome. Because it uses local storage it means that your progress is also only available in a single browser. Fortunately, this is NOTE THE CASE in Angry Birds on Google+. Your progress IS SAVED on the server in the cloud, which I have verified by deleting my local storage cache and logging in and playing from multiple browsers. So you can rest easy that your progress is stored safely on the cloud. Let’s just hope that cloud doesn’t get vaporized by a sunspot.
To get set up an running is pretty simple, but we’ll break down the steps just in case your not used to Google+’s interface yet.
- You need to click the game icon at the top of the page. It’s literally right next to the “Find People” search bar at the top.
- Once you’re in the games section you need to cycle through the list of games until you get to Angry Birds. Once you find it click the “Play” button to launch the game.
- Since this is the first time you’re playing you will now be prompted with a couple notifications about privacy and permissions. If you’re comfortable with this click, “Got it, let’s play”. Now you’ll have to agree to the permissions, which I outlined above. If you agree click, “Allow Access” and get started.
- You’re now ready to play Angry Birds on Google+!
We’ll be keeping this article up to date as we know more. If you have thoughts or questions please free free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.