This latest entry from Rovio is bound to impress, with more birds, power-ups and interactive features
- Strong, classic gameplay which typifies the franchise
- An engaging, colorful level design
- Detailed upgrade system and star ratings for the more devoted gamers
- Variety of powers offer players a creative aspect to play
- Prevalence of ads often disrupts flow
Angry Birds Stella is a free-to-play game for Android, developed by Rovio and is the latest entry in the ever-popular Angry Birds series. It puts the player in a classic good vs evil struggle between Stella and Co. and Gale, the "bad princess".
What is the game about?
Like in previous titles, the theme is one of reclamation, or getting back something the birds have lost. In this game, you take on the roll of Stella who visits Golden Island with her friends Poppy, Willow, Dahlia and Luca. Upon finding a map, they depart to explore the island, only to have their map stolen by Gale and her piggy minions, known only as "the bad princess". Stella's--and the player's--job, then, is to thwart Gale's plans and to retrieve the map through navigation of over 120 levels. Despite its simplicity, the story is more than enough to motivate players, and in spite of it, the classic Angry Birds gameplay we all know and love is ready and waiting, and as addictive and immersive as ever. In addition, a strong, colorful backdrop and an efficient level design (typical of the franchise) ensures an exciting experience.
What's new in Angry Birds Stella?
Before you worry, the gameplay is what you expect it to be, and generally typical of the series. Birds are still launched at foes to achieve objectives, completion of levels rewards players based on a three-star rating system based on efficiency, birds can be bought, saved, and upgraded, and so on. 120+ new levels means you'll be busy from start to finish.
Unlike in previous iterations, however, in this game each bird has a power, and consequently player behavior will change depending on which bird you use.
Unlike in previous iterations, however, in this game each bird has a power, and consequently player behavior will change depending on which bird you use. Stella bounces, for instance, Poppy dives downward (Tornado Drive), amongst many others. These offer a more varied and meticulous approach to choices made in-game, and give the game an added flavor not previously explored in Angry Birds. Approaches to character design have also been re-evaluated, giving each character their own personality and level backdrop.
While the gameplay is solid, as with many mobile apps, perhaps the most distracting part of playing Angry Birds Stella is the constant interruption from ads every four or five levels. That being said, however, ads are never any longer than thirty seconds, and they rarely disrupt the flow of the game.
How to Upgrade your Flock in Angry Birds Stella
Your birds are yours alone, and with that in mind the game includes various optimizations to customize the appearance of your flock. This feature was likely included for female audiences, however it's still a welcome addition.
Upgrading your arsenal of birds is simple enough, utilising the familiar stars system to earn gold, and in turn using that gold to purchase them. Gold can also be used to save your birds, to train and to practice. As you progress through levels, more stars will be required to unlock new birds, with a concomitant rise in difficulty. The game's reward system is designed so that the number of stars earned will eventually fall short of those required, necessitating the use of gold or Telepods to unlock new features. Telepods are small, physical representations of birds which can be purchased outside of the game environment. The player need not worry, however, as there is usually more than enough gold available throughout the game.
Rovio's Angry Birds Stella is a fitting addition to the popular franchise which promises and delivers classic Angry Birds gameplay in a colorful and engaging environment. While the story is simple, the gameplay is more than sufficient to please fans and new users alike. Despite the existence of a handful of microtransactions, the majority of the game can be played without dipping into one's pocket. The only downside to the gameplay itself is the prevalence of ads, but these are a familiar and altogether tolerable addition, even if occasionally distracting. Overall, the game is as fun and entertaining as one can expect, and is well worth the download.