19th Nov2013

‘Star Wars: Tiny Death Star’ Review

by Paul Metcalf


The Emperor has a problem, he needs funds to build his Death Star to full glory and he needs your help…to turn it into an apartment block.  Sound strange? Well welcome to the world of Star Wars: Tiny Death Star.  The idea is simple, you build up a tower with different levels of residential areas, recreational, and industrial areas while also building up the Death Star beneath.  For people who have played Tiny Tower this may be something you recognise, because it’s basically that game but with added Star Wars.

What makes Star Wars: Tiny Death Star fun is the in-jokes and movie references that have been added.  This will keep the geeks happy, and of course with the inclusion of Darth Vader and The Emperor who constantly have bitchy little conversations about the progress of the Death Star it keeps everything refreshingly connected to the franchise that is so popular, especially with all the hype of the new movie.

Disney are a company who have made the most out of smartphone and tablet games and have realised the potential of in-app purchases as a way to make money while providing the actual game for free.  While some games can have a cynical approach that forces the gamer to have to make these payments Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is thankfully made in a way that payments can be made and they will help the player progress faster, but it’s possible to ignore them completely and just continue to use the game for free.  As somebody who doesn’t see the harm in the in-app payment model for games I tend to use them if and when I decide to, but if you feel forced to pay then that defeats the purpose of choice.  Thankfully the game keeps them at arm’s length.

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star can be played in a simple way of just building up level by level and hoping for the best, sure you’ll make money but things will happen at a slow speed.  To find the fun of the game you have to look at how your so called “Bitizens” feel and decide if you’ve given them the right job.  By looking at their dream job and trying to match it then you’ll find they produce money faster.  With 30 different species and 80 types of levels that can be added to the tower there is also plenty of variety in what you can build.  Just be ready to hunt down the rebel scum who sometimes make it onto your Death Star and try to ruin your fun.

Adding to the style of the game the graphical style and sound effects are “8-bit” as are the Bitizens themselves, this gives the game the retro style which fits the Star Wars theme, and adds to the cuteness of the game, as you’ll see from the screenshots the way the characters are drawn is quite cutesy in style and is aimed at children, but the adult Star Wars fans will find plenty to love in the game.

One of the best things about Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is the fact that the initial download is free, and the in-app purchases don’t get forced on you.  If you are willing to pay then you do get to add characters to the game and speed up progress more, but this choice is left to you.  I’ve found that it’s a game that you’ll dip in and out of and while there is a lot of re-playability in the game you will play it a little less over time, but it will always welcome you back with the knowledge that your tower will have been still making money while you are away.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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