The Dark Side of the Pixel; And Apple’s 12 Days of Gifts!

img-4697512585d3c844109cfa4d8717f3d3-type-jpegI can’t believe I’m bringing myself to review this one, but Tiny Death Star seems to be gaining popularity quite quickly. Now you might be aware that I have a real soft spot for anything pixelated and full of sprite-y goodness, but ill try not to let that affect the review. But let me dispense with the pleasantries, commander. I am here to put us back on schedule.

OK, so if you’ve ever played Tiny Tower, you’ll be familiar with how this game functions as a whole. But back before that, before the iOS craze, this whole tower thing started from MAXIS, with Sim Tower, which admittedly looks like uninspired boxes stacked on top of each other to form a rather large pile of mush. Tiny Tower and more importantly, Tiny Death Star, take this genre to the next level and provide a much more visually stimulating experience.

It’s nice to see Greedo in a toy shop instead of the Cantina.
It’s nice to see Greedo in a toy shop instead of the Cantina.

Now, I like pixel art and such, but I have to say that playing this on the iPad was just hysterical with pixels the size of my head. While I have been reviewing a lot of hardcore games as of late, I figured it was time to do one that was a bit more casual, and this fits the bill perfectly. Playing Tiny Death Star requires little interaction but has plenty available if you choose. Though I did manage to really stunt my growth in the game early on, by accidently building a retail floor instead of a residential one. This meant I had not enough “bitizens” to work in my shops, couldn’t make money, and ultimately had a very distracting “!” in the bottom left of my screen because I couldn’t stock items in the shops with no one working there.

Clicking the “!” only took me to the floor in question and did not remove it for any frame of time, and just made me more irritated than anything. Oh, look a warning! How do I make it go away? Oh I caaaaan’t. I need to wait till I slowly make money and build a residential floor, wait for someone to move in, then hire them at the floor. Great. How about an option to knock that off, eh?

Ninja armor, check. Polearm weapon, check. Desire to work in a spa….check?
Ninja armor, check. Polearm weapon, check. Desire to work in a spa….check?

The game does bring a lot more to the table, and fixes a lot of the problems that plagued Tiny Tower. Being able to save your VIPs (special bitizens that have effects, like instantly selling products on the floor you deliver them to) and use them at a later date. Which is quite useful and adds another layer of strategy to the game. Also it adds these little cut scenes that mimic things that have either happened in the movie series, or fit very well to the scene it’s happening in. I haven’t gotten more than a handful of these, but watching Princess Leia toting a blaster escaping my security forces was quite the visual surprise.

So between moving my bitizens around on the elevator and laughing at the rather quirky things that they say on the holonet, which range from pop culture references to pieces of comedy gold, I have to say I genuinely enjoyed myself playing the game even though there isn’t much to it.

Graphics:Rating-Bar3

OK, most people are not going to enjoy the INCREDIBLY pixelated goodness that is Tiny Death Star, but it is done very well, and all of the characters are clearly recognizable even at the size they are. The nifty little scenes that play made me crack a smile and pulled me in and keep me coming back.

Gameplay:Rating-Bar2

Let’s be honest. It’s a casual game so I’m slamming it for not having a lot to do. I am constantly sitting and waiting for timers. Unlike Clash of Clans though at least I have things to do while I’m waiting.  Moving bitizens around the tower on the elevator earns me tips, and decreases the time I need to wait for each of my products I’m trying to bring back in stock.

Audio:Rating-Bar5

Every single robot noise, to the MIDI version of the star wars theme is flawless and even though the game really isn’t very true to Star Wars, it’s nice to see the developers put that level of effort into the title. Even during the cut scenes the sounds of the blasters were dead on.

Innovation:Rating-Bar2

It’s been done before, and it’s been improved before. It has a couple of fixes from other games and has a pretty star wars wrapper on it. Not sure that warrants more than a two.

Overall:Rating-Bar3

Meh. It’s a casual game, so for those on tight schedules, this will be quite entertaining. That being said there isn’t a lot to the game, and that prevents it from getting a higher score.

But that’s not all folk’s

DeathStar3

While looking for games to review I came across this little gem that you should all at least be aware of. Apple’s decided to give stuff away 12 days in a row. I’m not 100 percent sure of what’s going to come from this, as things are still fairly hush-hush, but I’ll install it and see what they’re giving away this year, and you should do the same. ‘Tis the season everyone!

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Rocket Yard Contributor

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