However, I reckon it has every chance of being the better game. Here's why.
When Clash Royale arrived, it set the tone for a whole bunch of me-too copycats. However, it was made up of some familiar elements - we'd already seen several MOBAs and even more CCGs by this point, while the IP was a spinoff from Clash of Clans.
We haven't seen anything quite like Brawl Stars on mobile before. Not that I can recall at least. Is it a shooter? No, not exactly. Is it a MOBA? Nope, it's not one of those either - though I can see why you might suggest that. This is something new.
Don't get me wrong, I love a game with a strategic angle. But when it comes to online competition - particularly in the mobile realm - I don't think you can beat a good action game.
Your average round of Brawl Stars is simply faster, more immediate, and more thrilling than a round of Clash Royale. Your mileage will obviously vary, but these attributes make we warm to it much more than I did to Clash Royale's strategy-lite.
Clash Royale is a fun two-player game. Brawl Stars is a fun six-player game. It's never quite as a simple as 'the more players the better' when it comes to multiplayer games, but higher numbers certainly tends to make things more interesting.
It's not just a free-for-all in Brawl Stars either. There's a hefty cooperative element, with two teams of three vying for control. Working together with your fellow players against another team inevitably boosts the fun factor further.
More tactical permutations
While both games have you facing off against a human opponent from a similar perspective, the action in Brawl Stars isn't restricted to just two lanes of approach. You have free reign of a much larger and more interesting arena.
The result of this, as well as the broad number of individual characters and higher number of human players, is a greater number of tactical permutations. Do you head straight for the gems in the middle, or stay back and wait for an opening from cover? Just one of the many considerations in Brawl Stars.
The art style
Clash Royale has what you might call Supercell's house style to it. Bright, clean, intuitive - but not what you'd call massively attractive.Brawl Stars, to my mind, represents a considerable step up in this respect. It's still colourful and cartoony, and the fonts are familiar. But the character design is cooler and more distinctive. It oozes personality.