Mobile Gaming Tiny Death Star: Tiny Fun


From the opening screen, you can see that Tiny Death Star plans on capitalizing on familiar Star Wars troupes for all they're worth. But it does so effectively, while still delivering the kind of gameplay one would expect from the creators of Tiny Tower.

Hi. I'm Digital Jedi. And I hate builders. Give me a puzzle to solve or an alien to shoot at. Or give me a puzzle to shoot at. Or give me an alien to throw a puzzle at. You get the idea. I'm not a fan of slow and steady games where the point is NOT an epic boss battle, but the completion of a structure or location in the quest of completing even more structures or locations. Tiny Death Star is where I make an exception.


The Lucasfilm/Nimblebit/Disney Mobile game would have been charming with the 8-bit thematic alone. But the well thought out Star Wars overlay is what made me want to play this game in the first place. And the clever use of Star Wars characters and settings, along with its tongue in cheek approach to building up the galaxy's most feared killing machine, are what keep me coming back for more.

[/floatl]Here's the gist of it. Palpatine has a plan to fund the creation of the Death Star. His nefarious scheme? Retail! You start out by building apartments and moving in Galactic Bitizens, whose sole purpose is to work at the retail, recreation, service, entertainment and restaurant levels which you'll also build. As you make money at these stores, you continue to buy increasingly expensive levels of more apartments and more retail outlets. And all the while, you're also spending money on building secret Imperial sub levels. This is the primary goal, although you'll find all of the action surrounds those retail stores, and the more tedious chore of delivering visitors to their desired levels.

[/floatr]While that's fundamentally it, the game has an assortment of colorful flourishes that make the long waits to build levels, transport visitors in the lift, move in new Bitizens and restock stores surprisingly entertaining. For one, your resident Bitizens are all unique, have specific skill sets and even their own desired dream jobs. They also frequently make funny or kitschy status updates via the Holonet. All of this in an effort to build the ultimate super weapon.

Over time, you'll unlock new species to deliver and move into levels, along with the most recognizable cast of characters in the Star Wars universe. Another treat is if you deliver a Star Wars character to a level corresponding to a scene they were in in the movies, you will unlock a bitified version of that scene that's probably sillier than you remember. All of this available in an album where you can review your unlocked cast and view unlocked scenes.


All of this for the low price of nuttin'. Well, almost nuttin'. There are in-game purchases, but the developers of Tiny Death Star have done a fantastic job with balancing credits vs real world cash purchases. Just about anything in the game can be purchased, moved, unlocked or accelerated with Imperial Bucks. But you get a surprisingly generous amount of bucks at the start of the game. And a number of default game actions grant you free bucks for your troubles, such as building levels or tracking down Imperial Bitizens. (In my short time playing, I've managed to accumulate around 400 bucks total.)

There are a handful of items that are only available as in-game purchases, such as faster elevators that also increase the amount spent in stores by the delivered Bitizen, but these are few and not really essential to the inherent gameplay of the app. With a little time and patience, you can achieve the game's goals without spending a literal dime.

If you're a fan of builders or a fan of Star Wars, I highly recommend Tiny Death Star. It strikes a great balance with elements that could easily get tedious were it not for the charming retro look, the nods to famous cinematic moments, the random comedic moments and an 8-bit smooth jazz version of John William's famous soundtrack. The entire package gives this game a vibe that even a gamer like me, who usually prefers blowing things up to stacking levels on, can enjoy. Who knew I'd like a game where I actually make stuff? Then again, my next review is going to be Robot Unicorn Attack 2, so..


Download Tiny Death Star on Google Play or iTunes.
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