Angry Birds now playable for free on the Web

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It seems like almost every major product announcement somehow includes Rovio’s Angry Birds, which is fast becoming a right of passage for any new store or platform. The game has been downloaded more than 140 million times since its release in Dec. 2009 and shows no sign of slowing. Today at Google’s I/O conference, Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka announced that the game is now available for the Chrome Web Store. However, we tested it, and the game is actually playable by any browser on the Web.

The game is tailor-made for Chrome with unique backgrounds and levels specifically viewable in the Chrome browser, but anyone who heads to http://chrome.angrybirds.com/ should be able to play it for free. The HD version of the game ran well in IE9 and Chrome, and while FireFox 4 and Opera ran it, the experience was a bit sluggish. Chrome users who install the game through the Chrome Web Store will get the benefit of full offline play, saving, and the ability to purchase help from the Mighty Eagle, who will get you out of a tough spot (using Google’s new Web app payment system announced today).

Let us know of any problems you have. Overall, we’re fairly impressed with how it runs on a PC. It’s almost more natural than on a touch device.

Vesterbacka was very vocal about his support for Google’s announcement that it will only take 5 percent of revenue, calling the deal, “very fair.” He also had some advice for everyone in the audience: “We encourage you to play Angry Birds whenever you can. Just look like you’re browsing files or something.”

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