Does Angry Birds Work in Chrome?

Angry Birds is quite literally, a phenomenon. It’s strange how many people have shed countless hours of their time by flinging angered birds at virtual pigs protected by structures of varying size and type. The Rovio Mobile studio, developers of the popular game, started with humble beginnings in 2003 as Relude, being renamed in 2005 as Rovio. In December of 2009, less than a year-and-a-half ago, they launched Angry Birds and I don’t think they at all expected it to become this big.

Angry Birds was originally launched on Apple’s platform, the iPhone, from launch and was later joined by Android, webOS and Symbian in 2011. It made the jump to mainstream traditional computers in 2011 with the launch of the Mac App Store and the Intel App Up store for Windows.

With Google’s impending launch of their Chromebooks and the continuing success of Chrome, Rovio Mobile’s Mighty Eagle Peter Vesterbacka took the stage at Google I/O this year to announce Angry Birds coming as a web application. Although it is available primarily through the Chrome Web Store, anyone can point their browsers to chrome.angrybirds.com to launch the same web app.

Angry Birds on the Web: A Mini Review

The web application is pretty much the same experience as you’d expect from any platform. The only noticeable difference is that it doesn’t use the same stylised cursor as it’s native, desktop counterparts. Interesting, it also is not built in Flash so you don’t need a plugin to run it.

There is a bit of noticeable lag when playing, even on my MacBook Air which can run the Mac version at 1920×1080 with no lag. However, it can be found to crash your browser sometimes which is extremely frustrating and I was about to quit the game if it had lost me this review I was working on at the time!

Unfortunately, the Seasons or Rio versions aren’t available (yet) but all the levels of the standard game seem to be there.

Angry Birds running in Safari in HD mode

Comparing it to Native

How does it compare to a native application then? Let’s take this in two parts: mobile and desktop.

Firstly, in mobile, Angry Birds has this simple time wasting feel that allows you to just instantly launch it and commence playing and then put it down at any stage. It’s not too long winded and suited greatly to the fast-paced mobile gaming arena.

In comparison to it’s desktop applications, it just feels to slow and I don’t like how there’s no full screen mode and how it’s constantly windowed in your browser with major padding. Some functions like zooming in and out is also missing, which is a disappointment to those who use some of these key features.

It might suit Chromebooks well but on other computers, more functional games are available and, on most, you can easily get it in an application marketplace on Windows or OS X.

Running Angry Birds at 1920x1080 on a MacBook Air.

Final Thoughts

The gaming juggernaut that is Angry Birds shows no signs of stopping, but I don’t fell like it “works” on Chrome, or any browser that will support the demands of the website. Running it natively allows Rovio Mobile to take advantage of each device’s hardware such as the touch-display of an iPhone, or the trackpad on a MacBook. However, the web app needs to be generic and therefore cannot exploit the device’s specs.

With all my love for Angry Birds, it’s a fragmented game as you can’t transfer game data across devices. I played it on my iPad, but when it came for the upgrade to the second generation, I didn’t feel like rebuilding my progress. I’ve not played much since and it doesn’t seem like the web app will give me any inspiration to do so.

Have you played the game as a web app? Have any of you played it on a Chromebook or CR-48? Share your experiences as a comment down below!