A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn a little about physics, logic, and strategy as they figure out the best ways to solve the game's puzzles. Players need to analyze each tower and evaluate their birds' abilities before setting out to demolish structures in as efficient a manner as possible. Kids also can use momentum to make objects slam into each other and cause destructive chain reactions. Angry Birds Stella lets kids observe real-world physics concepts through hands-on, trial-and-error puzzle solving.
Ease of Play
The controls are as easy as ever, but puzzles can be tricky. Instructions are shown in pictures, so no reading is required.
Violence & Scariness
When birds make contact with an obstacle, they disappear in a tuft of feathers, but they demonstrate no pain and seem perfectly willing participants in the mayhem. Defeated pigs disappear in a puff of smoke. Pigs that are damaged but not yet defeated display bruising. In addition to using themselves as weapons, some birds use weapons such as hammers.
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Products & Purchases
The app contains links to download other Angry Birds games as well as interstitial ads and references to a real-world physical tie-in. Coins are used to buy power-ups and can be purchased for $2 to $55.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Angry Birds Stella is the latest in the long-running app series, this time featuring pink, female bird Stella. Although the mechanics of the game are very similar to previous installments, the characters have new abilities, which adds some diversity. The physics puzzles the series is known for are on display, but there is a bit more commercialism this time, as interstitial ads appear and in-game currency lets players buy new birds or buy their way into additional levels.
Is It Any Good?
There's no avoiding the fact that Angry Birds is getting a bit long in the beak. The onetime sensation is still plenty of fun -- and Rovio has done a decent job of shaking up the formula here -- but the addictive qualities of the first few games in the series aren't present in ANGRY BIRDS STELLA. The new abilities of the birds are nice, and the commercial aspects aren't played up too heavily, but it's not a game you can't put down. Instead, it's a game you play for a bit but don't feel a compelling need to return to.
That's no fault of the game itself -- and true Angry Birds fanatics might disagree -- but after so many iterations of the franchise, it's beginning to feel like it's running out of magic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.