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Angry Birds Rio: New levels with a new look

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(Read caption) Angry Birds Rio is expected to hit app stores around the world in March.

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Angry Birds, the spectacularly popular downloadable video game, will soon get a sequel of sorts, entitled Angry Birds Rio.

According to Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, the latest entry in the franchise will be a tie-in to the upcoming animated flick Rio, which – yes – also stars a bunch of birds. But don't expect your typical hastily-prepared movie merchandise: Rovio says the game will launch with a full 45 levels, and allow users to add more levels via in-app updates.

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In a press release announcing Rio, Rovio exec Mikael Hed said his company "had taken the concept of combining a mobile application and motion picture promotion to an entirely new level." Right. Well, at any rate, it sure will be cool to get some more Angry Birds levels! We beat our iPhone edition of Angry Birds about 30 times over.

Pricing hasn't yet been announced for Angry Birds Rio; the release date is March. In the meantime, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Rovio has a big Angry Birds Rio spot planned for the Super Bowl. The advertisement will apparently include a secret code; that secret code will unlock a new level of Angry Birds. And on that level is information on entering a contest. The prize: A trip to the Rio premiere in Brazil.

Angry Birds has become one of the most downloaded apps of all time, partly because of the price – a buck on iTunes and it was free on Android – and partly because the game model is so intuitive. “People like to be entertained,” Carl Howe, a director at tech research firm Yankee Group, told the Monitor earlier this year. “We think of ourselves as being overworked and busy all the time, but the reality is that we have lots of little nooks and crannies in our day."

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