Waiting in the back garden, he pulled out a copy of C&VG he'd bought that morning, and attempted to kill time with it until his parents arrived home.
As he turned a page, he was confronted with an unanticipated swirl of brown and white, which he immediately assumed was the residue of a Cadbury's Mini Roll he'd had for lunch. Unlike most normal people, who would've wiped it off, or ripped out the page, or tried to read around it, Biffo decided to lick the apparent chocolatey bonus off the magazine.
He was about three licks in when he realised the following two things: 1) That he hadn't actually had a Mini Roll at lunch, and 2) That the brown and white swirl didn't taste much like chocolate. It was at this point that his brain kicked in, and caused him to realise that it was, in actuality, a dollop of bird guano, and that he'd just cleaned it off the magazine with his tongue - engaging in some sort of inadvertent dirty play with Julian "Jaz" Rignall, and chums.
Suffice to say, had Biffo ever found the bird responsible, he'd have gladly loaded it into a catapult and flung it at a wall.
Like or loathe the omnipresent ubiquity of Angry Birds, there's no denying that the original did much right.
A beautifully simple concept shackled to satisfying physics and iconic character design, it now seems like an obvious bet to be a world-beater... and a bona-fide sequel has long been expected. Now that it's here, we're pained to report it may not be exactly what fans were hoping for.
Angry Birds 2 is, in many respects, a return to basics, after the innovations and format-stretching of Angry Birds Space, Transformers and Star Wars.
This is strictly side-on bird-lobbing, of the type that most of the smartphone-equipped world fell for six or so years ago; launch your birds, via slingshot, at pig-infested forts, with the aim of bringing down the entire structure. With such familiar gameplay, there's a slight sense of this being a base to build upon, in the way that the original Angry Birds expanded exponentially into branded versions, and racing games.
So what is new? The levels now have multiple stages. You can select whichever bird you fancy using - meaning you can bring down most forts in a variety of ways, depending on the chosen bird's special abilities. There's a new bird - Silver - whose special ability is a vertical dive bomb. There are bosses, whose health meters must be depleted. There are spells (inflate or explode pigs; bring down a rain of deadly golden ducks, or turn forts to ice... etc.). There are new environmental elements (such as plants that swallow up, and cough out, debris). You can play against your Facebook "friends".
And the graphics have been given a major overhaul - with the sort of slick, cinema animation look employed by Rayman Legends.
Oh yes. And Angry Birds 2 adopts a catastrophically cynical and half-witted freemium model that pretty much breaks the franchise and obliterates all of the goodwill built up over the past 12 instalments.
We get that freemium is a model that works for mobile gaming from a business point of view - Mr Biffo recently wrote about his unwanted addiction to Peggle Blast - but so is such a thing as building customer loyalty by not exploiting them unduly.
Angry Birds 2 is one of those game that rations out life and health, and once you're out of both, you have the option of waiting 20-odd minutes to continue playing, or fork out for more time/lives, using your own real money.
It's a near-suicidal move for Rovio, a company that has been incredibly generous with its updates over the life of the Angry Birds franchise. If they'd released a premium version - even for £4.99 - alongside the freemium edition, it would've coughed aside all criticism. At its core, Angry Birds 2 may not reinvent the wheel, but it adds a subtle layer of depth and strategy to everything that the game got right in the first place. It's a genuinely good game.
And yet, as it is, this is impossible to recommend - yeah, what's there is lovely, but if you enjoy it you'll still either end up frustrated at being told when you can and can't play, or get incensed that you've forked out a fiver or more just to be able to keep playing for the duration of your train journey.
Much like Biffo's formative magazine page treat, it leaves a bad bird taste in the mouth.
SCORE: 0 out of ∞
FROM THE ARCHIVE:
REVIEW: JOURNEY (PS4)
REVIEW: HER STORY (PC, Mac, iOS)
REVIEW: HOTLINE MIAMI 2 - WRONG NUMBER (PS4/PS3/Vita/PC/Mac)