Flock Together: Free PC Angry Birds

By Alec Meer on March 23rd, 2011 at 9:29 am.

Yes, that's the first level. I am lazy-man.

Angry Birds is a catapult game that has proven quite successful on mobile telephones. In other news, Elvis Presley sold some records, chocolate tastes quite good and Star Wars offered positive licensing opportunities.

The PC version of Rovio’s bland but compulsive one-button physics puzzler perhaps hasn’t proved quite so much a phenonemon, but that’s probably got something to do with being far more expensive than the eyeTelephone and (free) Android versions. For a limited period, this imbalance is addressed – you can grab the game for free.

You’re required to install Intel’s AppUp Center, which is the chip-lord’s attempt at a PC app store. The wrinkle is that you have to do it via Best Buy’s website (it remains free and Best Buy don’t get your details, don’t worry) and, during installation, claim to be in the US rather than wherever you actually live. If you already have the AppUp Center installed, you’ll need to remove it and start again, as far as I can tell.

You then need to register an account once the App Center’s installed, which is just yer standard email address/password fandango. I then had to restart the App Center. With that, the $4.99 Angry Birds fee was waived. Hooray. Hooray for throwing birds at pigs again and again and again and again and again.

I’m not an enormous fan of the game itself (give me Crush the Castle instead any day), but I must say the HD PC version is really, really good-looking. I might even end up playing it a bit.

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63 Comments »

  1. bill says:

    AppUp is actually a client? i thought it was just a very badly designed web store for previously free/available pc software?

    Does that mean it has advantages for things like updates? (like steam or linux) or is it just an unnecessary extra component?

    • Bhazor says:

      “a very badly designed web store for previously free/available pc software?”

      I thought that was Apples whole thing?

    • Jerricho says:

      The “create new account” button just closes the client. It would appear I’m only slightly less disinterested in uninstalling the appstore than I am fixing it. Intel fail, methinks.

  2. Nighthood says:

    I’d also take crush the castle any day. Angry Birds is an unbelievably overrated app, made popular solely due to good marketing. It’s not even fun!

    • godgoo says:

      I’m not sure I’d go that far, Though CTC is definitely better due to a more enjoyable aesthetic they both still fail to engage me beyond time killing on the train etc. Removing the portability aspect renders tsuch games pointless to me, I have more interesting distractions when at a proper computer!

    • Gnoupi says:

      Physics of the falling parts and the damage they deal are also badly made, and frustrating on angry birds. Most of the time you end up with the last pig under 1 ton of material, but since it fell on it “slowly”, it won’t count.

      At least in crush the castle, when you have a target under rubble, it’s dead. And not suddenly impossible to attack.

    • Nighthood says:

      I completely agree about the physics. There’s nothing more frustrating than completing a level only to find that one tiny green pig-thing didn’t get crushed under 5 stone blocks.

    • TheCheese33 says:

      I don’t care who came first; Angry Birds does it better, and doesn’t look like shit while doing it. My eyes are thrown into intense pain whenever I try to stomach CTC2.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Angry Birds’ audiovisual presentation and interface are a hundred times better, but the game part of the game is worse. And Crush the Castle wasn’t much fun in the first place. It’s as if Windows Solitaire cost a penny to place and as a result the person who originally dev’d it was a multibillionaire.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Could be even worse, could be Monty Python’s Camelot Smash-A-Lot! Oh, the horror.

    • Oozo says:

      I don’t have a problem with it being casual or more popular than The Beatles, but I just downloaded it for my phone and… I see the appeal, I mean, the presentation and the interface and all that is nice enough, but as a game? Challenge is all over the place, but most of all, I found the engine to be surprisingly sketchy. “Crush The Castle” works because the enemies die easily, when they are touched by debris, but here? Even worse are the birds that just don’t want to explose like the good kamikazes they are supposed to be. I mean, in the first 5 minutes, I manoeuvred myself in a situation where the last bird didn’t kill the last pig, but didn’t have the common sense to die, either. The game has not even a timer for that kind of situation. It just sat there, blinking at me, until I had mercy and shut it down.

      Guess that’s a tad elitist, but it certainly seems like one of those cases where the masses buy something strictly because they don’t know that it could be done better. Or, in other words: Keep the guy(s) responsiple for the marketing and the art design, but fire the level designers and the programmers, and you might come up with something I would like to play.

  3. Cynic says:

    People pay for Angry Birds? I got it free, with minor adverts if I let it connect to the intertron (I never did) on my Android. Crush the castle, and that other catapult stuff at castles game, both by Armour are free-er and better-er anyway.

    • JB says:

      From the article just above:

      “far more expensive than the eyeTelephone and (free) Android versions”

    • Cynic says:

      @JB
      Clearly my eyes are lagging behind. Nurse, fetch the caffeinated eye bath!

    • JB says:

      @Cynic – At least it’s just your eyes, I’m having one of those “laggy brain” days.

      Caffeinated brain wash?

  4. tlarn says:

    Angry Birds is a soundly designed trajectory game; that said, it’s alright as a time waster on your phone, but there’s plenty of more creative trajectory games on PC if you do a single Google search for them.

    Edit: Not to mention they’re free.

  5. Skusey says:

    Things that don’t support Vista are silly. Although I doubt I’m missing out on too much.

    • tlarn says:

      You really aren’t. It may be a well-designed game, but it’s simplistic and good for a few minutes at a time, unless you adore this sort of game.

    • The_B says:

      Seems to work just by running the install in compatibility mode for XP.

  6. kwyjibo says:

    Angry Birds is Peter Molyneux’s game of the decade for good reason.

    It’s absolutely built for touchscreens though, it’s so much more fun and direct.

  7. jon_hill987 says:

    It crashes (causing my phone to reboot) on my Sony Ericsson so I am glad it was free on Android. It is also horrible on the tiny screen on the X10 Mini Pro so I would probably uninstalled it anyway.

    • Jonathan says:

      It crashes (needing a hard reset) on my PSP so I’m glad it was more expensive than the iPhone version and runs like crap when there are a decent number of objects on screen…

    • idiotapocs says:

      I also play it on my X10 Mini, with no problems whatsoeverer.

  8. Dachannien says:

    Put it on Steam and I’ll pay (a small amount of) actual cash money for it just for kicks, but I’m not jumping through all these hoops just for one game.

  9. D3xter says:

    Thing is… I don’t want to… not even for free.

    • Arclight says:

      Indeed. They’d have to pay me to stay interested for more than 5 minutes.

  10. Coins says:

    I don’t understand. This stuff has been free for ages, just look up any popular flash website. Why charge for it all of a sudden? Is this so great that it warrants cash or am I missing a huge thing?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      You are missing the fact that Apple realised fools will buy this kind of thing (and their phones). It really isn’t that good.

  11. Urael says:

    I keep hearing about this bloody game and having looked at the video I just cannot understand why every journalist around, whether gamer on non-gamer, seems to be referencing it as some kind of shorthand for the current zeitgeist: “We live in a world where Angry Birds exists!” Cue: mass recognition/appeal.

    Not to be Hipster-cool about this but Screw you, Angry Birds, for being this year’s Paris Hilton of the gaming world.

  12. Eclipse says:

    It says:
    Legal restrictions prevent us from fulfilling your request. We regret that we cannot provide more information. Please contact customer support if you require assistance.

    WTF? Ok I suppose they don’t really want me to use their stupid app store

    • Eclipse says:

      Oh wow, for a totally idiotic and obscure reason they blocked my name or surname, i CAN’T register with my real name, that is Giuseppe Navarria, not something like Dick Hardbanger.
      I had to register with another name: Intelsu Cksballs

    • henben says:

      Maybe you’re on a terrorist watchlist!

    • Urael says:

      Terrorists have watchlists??

  13. GoodPatton says:

    Meh, at best…

  14. ezekiel2517 says:

    Uh, I did all of that and still can’t find where to download it.

    I think it figured out that I am not from the US.

    • Eclipse says:

      Nah, you need to download, install, then register an account and only after that it will unlock the game. THEN it will actually discover that you’re not from the US and ask you to restart the program, but you’ll keep the game

    • ezekiel2517 says:

      Where do I find it then? Because under “My Apps” there is nothing and the game doesn’t even show up under a search in the store page.

  15. Oak says:

    I don’t even like this game, you guys.

  16. itsallcrap says:

    Or, if you feel you can forgo the ker-azy thrill of your projectiles and targets being livestock, you can just play the game from which AB was clearly ripped-off:

    http://armorgames.com/play/4552/crush-the-castle-players-pack

  17. mcwill says:

    Already played Crush the Castle, thanks.

  18. Mr Monotone says:

    Frankly the strangest thing about this offer is that it’s only available while supplies last. I guess bandwidth must be going at a premium over at intel.

  19. Anarki says:

    After all the furore about this game I tried it the other day and was surprised to find it’s just….every flash game I’ve played every day for the last 10 years. Kind of makes sense on a phone, but not on a PC when you can play good games….

  20. phenom_x8 says:

    Yeah, I’ve grab it already almost a week ago!
    Sometimes we need this kind of games after all day work!
    It kinda bored me after a few session , but my nephew loves to play it because the birds sounds funny and told me not to delete it !

  21. Hogni Gylfason says:

    Why is this on RPS? We don’t have enough gravity games on the gray-box?

  22. Berto says:

    Bah… too much trouble just to play Angry Birds…

  23. DrBomb says:

    No vista support? This is nonsense.

  24. j6m says:

    You don’t have to ‘live’ in the US; Currys and PC World are doing this too.

  25. Bungle says:

    A free, casual game with heavy-handed DRM? Count me in!!!

  26. Shagittarius says:

    “You’re required to install Intel’s AppUp Center…”

    No thanks.

  27. oceanclub says:

    Here’s another person baffled how this gets credit that Crush the Castle doesn’t. I _loved_ that game on the iPhone, a perfect timewaster, but really can’t be that bothered with AB.

    P.

  28. ScubaMonster says:

    Wow, big pain in the ass. no thanks.

  29. blipmusic says:

    Angry Birds together with your average brown-gray-drab FPS (a.k.a every m-f:n game out there – by the way: the grass outside my irl window is *green*, GREEN, not brown-gray) is what killed my interest in current gen mainstream games, altogether. The birdie-pig game is the micro-stress ADD people in a nutshell and the military FPS crowd has “maturity” issues.

    Tell me I didn’t just write that out for all to see.

    In other news: YETI Imperial Stout!

  30. Gigaloth says:

    What needs to be done is to take the Angry Birds/Castle Siege mechanics and cross it with other game genres, like platforming. Check out this game called Produce Wars, it looks like its going to do a good job of mixing AB with Donkey Kong Country. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QncZBMsuzu0