Five years ago firing birds from catapults into other objects would have you put away for animal cruelty, but these days it's considered perfectly normal behavior--at least in the mobile device series Angry Birds.

Come December 11, the Birds are back in an entirely new take on the Angry Birds theme: a go-kart racing game in the familiar MarioKart vein. You know the deal here: pick a character, pick a race and then join a flock of other racers for some cartoonized, amusing-weapons-firing, item-collecting, catchphrasing, brightly-colored fun.

So what does Angry Birds Go! have to separate it from Crash Team Racing, Konami Krazy Racers, South Park Rally, Disney Magical Racing Tour and every other cartoon-based go-kart and racing game ever released?

It's free to play for one, as you'll see at the end of the video. And unlike most console-based titles, it's mobile device-only and therefore accessible to anyone with an iOS or Android device--hundreds of millions of users. It also has a good back-catalog of other videogames behind it (like the oft-praised Crash Team Racing) so there's no television legacy to sour if it turns out to be a hopeless pile of trash. And hey, even if it is, it's free.

The good news is that it actually looks pretty good, with a wide selection of characters, a downhill-based rather than track-based theme (since your kart fires off the line via a catapult, just as in the more traditional Angry Birds games) and there's a suitable selection of weapons and bonuses. That's sure to make those birds angry.


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