I had the pleasure of reviewing not one, but two Star Wars titles on iOS during the past 3 months, although I shouldn’t be using the word pleasure with the first game. It was a teeth-gnashing experience with a lot of Gungan-bashing expletives thrown in for good measure. Yup, I am referring to the much-maligned Star Wars: Force Collection from Konami.
The second title on the other hand, is the more recent LucasArts and NimbleBit (of the Tiny Tower fame) collaboration, Star Wars: Tiny Death Star. If you are fan of games such as the SimTower or even the original iOS breakout hit for NimbleBit, Tiny Tower, you’d be extremely familiar with the premise of Tiny Death Star, and of course, the iconic 8-bit graphics. Your job would be to plan and construct the numerous floors on the Death Star and get the multitudes of Galactic bitizens to move into them, and thus contributing credits to the Death Star building fun.
The floor types themselves are standard Tiny Tower fare. Players can get to build residential, recreational, services, food and retail levels. I’m however, am very impressed by the amount of upgrades to the Tiny Tower experience in the form of Star Wars related content. First up, the levels themselves are all Star Wars-themed, meaning you get levels in which their names wouldn’t be out of place in Tatooine or Coruscant, much less a Death Star.
Players get to build Imperial levels that go deeper into the space station and it’s these levels that give Tiny Death Star the foreboding feel. For example, one of the Imperial levels would be the Interrogation Room, which produces Rebel Secrets… in order to speed things up, you can send unsuspecting Bitizens to that floor instead of their actual destination. Scary right? LOL. In addition to that, funny cutscenes play out randomly on levels in their 8-bit glory.
Like in the original Tiny Towers, the game’s in-game currency of Imperial Bux can be used to grease and speed up all kinds of things, from getting levels quickly built and upgrading the lift, amont other things. The game is a free-to-play title, so the Imperial Bux is one way to ensure that the game devs get fed, but you can still earn them by not spending a single amount of hard currency. You can do so by hunting down Rebel spies or looking out for guests of the Empire (a twist on the Tiny Tower “find-a-bitizen” request), completing missions set out by the Emperor and building more floors.
You’ll have access to the Holonet, basically the Facebook for these galactic Bitizens, and the Album, which contains the species that you have unlocked through the game (by having all kinds of bitizens move into your residential levels or visit your commercial levels), the list of levels and the earlier mentioned cutscenes.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is definitely not just a re-skin of an old iOS favourite. The amount of content here is basically bursting out of the game. You’ve got so many things to see and do, and the game brings a lot of humour through the odd coupling of the Emperor and Darth Vader. There are minor niggles such as the cost of upgrading the lift is rather exorbitant and the game has longer load times (no doubt the game “calls home” at start up, perhaps to prevent cheating?) but the amount of fun I have playing it eclipses all that.
Nineoverten.com rates Tiny Death Star at a 5 out of 5. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Star Wars fan or not, just go get it NOW! The game is available for FREE on the iTunes App Store, Google Play AND Windows Phone Store.