Now that the toy tie-ins are on store shelves and we've got an official December 11 release date, we're finally getting a look Angry Birds Go! gameplay. Wow.

Not at all what I was expecting. I knew it was a kart racer, but I was expecting something a little more two-dimensional. Maybe even more of a runner-type game with vehicles. This looks like a full-on 3D kart racer of the cartoon variety, and it's gorgeous.

Rovio promises big things from its first racing game. There'll be upgradeable cars, stunt tracks, "fun and surprising" game modes, in case you were expecting "boring and predictable" to ever appear in official marketing communication.

It;s also free-to-play, which might worry some folks, but I've never known Rovio to sacrifice fun for semi-forced microtransactions, and I don't expect it here.

The Next Angry Birds Game Looks Amazing. Yeah, I Wrote That.

December 11 is a bit long to wait, especially considering the toys are on store shelves with stickers promising the end of October. To compensate for the time discrepancy, Rovio will be releasing a companion countdown app at the end of the month, allowing players to scan in their toys for a preview of the racers they'll unlock in Angry Birds Go! proper.

Watching the trailer again now. This really looks like a high-quality console kart racer, the likes of which only Nintendo puts out these days. Takes me back to the middle of the PlayStation 2 era, when a kart racing spin-off was mandatory. Ah, the good old days.

Angry Birds Go! hits Android and iOS on December 11.