Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Star Wars
There is little argument that the Star Wars franchise has had its fair share of success. From the movies to action figures to video games the Star Wars logo always seems to draw a crowd. I can remember watching the first installment, Episode IV: A New Hope, countless times in theaters and being amazed at the special effects (that seem to pale in comparison with what we have today).
This week we’re taking an easy approach to the roundup, focusing on the top Star Wars games (and a few apps) that are available for the Windows Phone platform. While Star Wars is a popular genre, its presence in the Windows Phone Store is a little on the thin side. There are some entertaining and challenging Star Wars games but some rather obvious omissions. Hopefully that will change.
Star Wars: Assault Team (free)
Star Wars: Assault Team is the new kid on the block as far as Star Wars Windows Phone games are concerned. The game is a first person styled action game where you control a group of legendary and not-so legendary Star Wars characters through various missions. Characters include Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, and even Boba Fett.
Star Wars: Assault Team begins with you working your way through an Imperial Destroyer, the Devastator. Additional mission scenarios include searching for the Wookie resistance, surviving the streets of Mos Espa, raiding the palace at Coruscant and more.
Game play does take a little time to get used to with movement already mapped out for you. The challenge comes with your battle strategy, building a diverse assault team and keeping your characters upgraded. Combat sequences are turn based and can be a little on the slow side. Luckily, you can go into the settings and increase the battle speed.
Star Wars: Assault Team also has a Battle Arena where you can play head to head against other players for extra loot and a small collection of special missions just in case you need a break from the main storyline.
The more I play Star Wars: Assault Team the more the game grows on me. Graphics are well drawn up and the only downside to things is that you cannot save game play during a mission.
Star Wars: Assault Team is a free, ad-supported game that is available for Windows Phone 8 (not available for low-memory devices). You can find your copy of Star Wars: Assault Team here in the Windows Phone Store. If you prefer game play from a larger screen, you can find the Windows 8 version of Star Wars: Assault Team here in the Windows Store (free).
Angry Birds Star Wars II (trial/$.99)
The Angry Birds series of Windows Phone games are entertaining, dare I say addictive gaming titles. The series includes two Star Wars themed games and it was tough to choose one over the other. The original Angry Birds Star Wars is an equally entertaining game but I went with the sequel for this week’s roundup.
Angry Birds Star Wars II is based on the prequel movies and allows you to play the game from not only the Angry Birds point of view but also from the Pigs perspective. The characters include Darth Maul, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Jar Jar Binks, Count Dooku and more.
The game spans three worlds that include Naboo and Tatooine with over 120 levels of game play. You also have a Reward Chapter with bonus levels, a Game Store where you can purchase boosts and new characters with the loot you earn during game play. Speaking of which, game play is along the lines of your traditional Angry Birds styled game. Except your birds and pigs have special abilities similar to the characters they portray. For example, Darth Maul slices through things with his double light saber while Lando blasts his way through things.
Angry Birds Star Wars II is very appealing from the graphic quality to challenging game play. The Windows Phone 8 game (available for low-memory devices) does have a free trial version with the full version running $.99. You can find your copy of Angry Birds Star Wars II here in the Windows Phone Store.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star (free)
If you are yearning to know what it is like to manage a Death Star, do we have a game for you. Star Wars: Tiny Death Star has you tasked with building and managing your own Death Star.
Your missions range from making sure the living quarters are occupied, the shops are productive, expanding the facility itself and most importantly, making the Emperor happy. The ultimate goal is to earn money to fund the Empire’s evil schemes and defeat those pesky Rebels.
Game play can be rather time consuming but Star Wars: Tiny Death Star remembers where you left off should you have to abruptly put the game away. The game does have an addictive quality, graphics well done and you will find yourself with your hands full at times making sure all the Death Star tasks are being taken care of.
While Star Wars: Tiny Death Star lacks the action of Star Wars: Assault Team or Angry Birds Star Wars, it still is a worth representative of the Star Wars gaming family. It is a free game that is available for Windows Phone 8 devices (including those low-memory devices) and you can find Star Wars: Tiny Death Star here in the Windows Phone Store. There is also a Windows 8 version available here in the Windows Store (free as well). Keep in mind that a recent update to Tiny Death Star lets you save your game across devices.
You can’t very well have a Star Wars roundup without a light saber app. While there are plenty to choose from, we tapped Lightsaber because of its selection of sabers and the Windows Store icon looked cool.
The app includes five light sabers from key Star Wars characters (many of which come from the animated series) that include Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka Tano, MaceWindu and Darth Vader.
Once you have selected your light saber there is a button at the bottom of the screen to ignite it. As you move your Windows Phone around, sound effects will be generated to mimic waving the light saber around. The app also uses vibration controls to give the app a better feel.
While Lightsaber is a nice Star Wars app, I would have preferred activating the light saber by tapping on the screen and the ad banners do get in the way just a little. Still, it is a nice rendition of one of the coolest weapons in the Galaxy.
Lightsaber is a free, ad-support app that is available for both Windows Phone 8 and 7.x devices. You can find your copy of Lightsaber here in the Windows Phone Store.
The Force is strong with this one...
If you are a Star Wars fan, all of the titles in this week’s roundup are entertaining, challenging, well drawn-up choices for your Windows Phone library. In a manner of speaking, the Force runs strong with this group.
I’m partial to the Angry Birds Star Wars installments. Game play is simple to pick up but there are plenty of challenging levels to keep the entertainment level up. Angry Birds is one of those games that can help you pass short bits of time or fill the need for longer gaming sessions. Add the Star Wars angle with Angry Birds Star Wars II and the game can be rather addictive. For me, it's just neat to see all the Star Wars characters transformed into birds and pigs.
Star Wars Tiny Death Star can be a time consuming gaming title. The game is played on so many fronts that at first it can be a little overwhelming. From making sure tenants are happy, stores are productive, the elevator is operational and most importantly the Emperor is happy game play definitely keeps you busy. Not everyone is a fan of time management styled games but if you are, Tiny Death Star should make your short list.
Star Wars: Assault Team grows on you but the pace of the game can be a little on the tiresome side. You can pick up the pace through the settings and minimize the time it takes to complete the turn-based combat. I would have rather seen the game concept drawn up more as a first person shooter game instead of the turn based strategy game. Nonetheless, Star Wars: Assault Team represents well.
No doubt about it, Lightsaber is a novelty app for our Windows Phone. It won't turn your Windows Phone into a metal slicing, light saber but it is drawn up nicely. Plus there is just something about having the light saber sound effect whizzing around as you wave your Windows Phone around.
Along with these four titles, here are just a few additional Star Wars themed apps that may be of interest.
Star Wars (free): A collection of 71 background images and over 150 audio clips from your favorite Star Wars characters. (Store Link)
Star Wars Almanac (free): Just about everything you need to know about the Star Wars series from character bios, vehicle specs, planet information, and key elements of the Jedi and Sith factions. (Store Link)
SW-Yoda (free): This is a collection of 20 sound bites from the tiniest of Jedi Masters. SW-Yoda is part of a series of apps from EngiMan that highlights sound bites from key Star Wars characters. (Store Link)
While there is a small selection of Star Wars themed games and apps on the Windows Phone Store shelves, some titles are missing. Such as Star Wars Legos or the Knights of the Old Republic. Hopefully one day, we will see these titles make their way to the Windows Phone Store.
If we’ve overlooked your favorite Star Wars game or app, feel free to sound off below in the comments. Also, if you have a Star Wars game or app that you would like see come to the Windows Phone Store, let us know that as well.