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Our overall verdict "Excellent"

Rovio dropped the newest entry in its popular Angry Birds franchise onto app stores last week with Angry Birds Stella. As you’d expect, some people love it, others hate it and there’s even been talk of a sexist angle to the game by some. We’re not getting into all that, but we did give it a go and here’s what we thought…

There’s a bit of a backstory to Stella – something about piggies stealing a map with the help of an evil bird in a balloon. This angers the lead character (Stella) and the only way to get revenge is by busting up hundreds, perhaps thousands, of big bad piggies. The gameplay basically stays the same, and while we won’t rehash it all, there have been no advancements for the most part.

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One thing to note is with your ammo/birds at the beginning of a round. If you run out, you can buy more with coins earned (or purchased), but the number of birds you start with depends on how well you did on the previous level. Aside from that, it’s the same gameplay we’ve grown to know so well.

Graphically, Angry Birds Stella is one of Rovio’s finest games to date. The levels look gorgeous, and it’s one reason to keep playing as you’ll want to see the next set of levels. Unfortunately, that’s where you’ll also hit the occasional paywall in the form of a giant wall of smoke – go figure. You can shell out coins to clear it or wait an hour. Coins are also used to buy new photos/costumes, powerups, or extra ammo.

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As with most games in the franchise, Angry Birds Stella has a slew of levels. There are 120 listed, and you can bet the farm that more will be added in the near future. There are also six new birds with special powers including one with a tornado attack of sorts and a bird with a sonic scream. The new powers do freshen up the gameplay a bit, but it’s the same old song and dance for the most part.

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Angry Birds Rovio is what you would expect – physics flinging fun. Fans of the other games should enjoy this one, and it will probably pull in a few new gamers as well. It may be grindy at times, but it looks great and it’s hard to argue with free. If you were hoping for something new and refreshing… we still have Angry Birds Transformers to look forward to. You can pick up Angry Birds Stella for free on Google Play or the App Store.