Full of Stars (iOS version reviewed) combines two unlikely genres, pairing an interactive adventure story with arcade-style action.
As you set out across the galaxy to escape a devastating war, you’ll need to dodge obstacles and collect materials in each vertically-scrolling level. The controls take a bit of getting used to, since everything is based on how you touch or swipe the touchscreen. Once you adjust to them, however, they become intuitive.
The resources you gather come in two forms of currency. Idium particles are more common and can be used for ship upgrades, repairs, and similar actions, while the rarer idium crystals function as money. You also gain leadership points if you complete certain challenges during your flights, such as flying a certain distance without crashing or destroying multiple rocks at once. Idium particles, idium crystals, and leadership points are all necessary if you want to keep your crew alive.
You see, whenever you crash during a flight, you’re faced with a random event—usually a problem—and a decision to make. For example, your crew might start rioting. You can either use leadership points to calm them down, spend idium crystals to improve conditions on the ship, or leave the result up to chance, in which case crew members might die.
These situations are interesting at first, although they become repetitive after a while. If you and your crew members all die, you’ll need to start over as a new pilot, which means the story text at each planet can also become repetitive.
However, the game remembers certain things from one playthrough to the next. For example, once you’ve seen evidence of the war, you can evacuate immediately at the start of the game.
Your ultimate goal is to reach the fabled Blue Sector and start up a colony. Once you do so, subsequent pilots can bring new people to your colony, which allows you to upgrade it further. Later ship upgrades, as well as a second story featuring a different character, are locked until your colony reaches a certain level.
That is, unless you want to pay.
Full of Stars wants you to make in-app purchases. One purchase can remove the colony upgrade block. Another can unlock the second story. You’re limited to three flights before you must wait for your core to recharge, unless you pay for an unlimited core. And of course, the game’s currencies can be bought, too.
Repetitive, but entertaining
This design can be frustrating, especially due to the repetitiveness. Nevertheless, Full of Stars is an entertaining game with a fair amount of content, even if you want to play it entirely for free.
This post was written by Samantha Lienhard. Visit her blog to see her writing, and more game reviews.
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