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Tiny Death Star for Mobile
 

Tiny Death Star for Mobile

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: iPhone, Strategy
 
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Developed by Disney Mobile and NimbleBit and published by LucasArts, Star Wars: Tiny Death Star was released in November. Mechanically, it's very similar to Tiny Tower. I didn't play it when it was first released, but as a Star Wars fan, I had to give it a try eventually. While it seems relatively simple, I've found myself really enjoying it.

Presentation

Tiny Death Star definitely looks and sounds like Star Wars. After playing it for a while, I tried Tiny Tower, and I found Tiny Death Star's graphics to be much better. There are lots of different species that all look great as small sprites and even cameos from major characters from the movies.

One of the things I liked best was little references to the universe. In Tiny Death Star, stores sell up to three products. These products are all based on things from Star Wars. For example, the Livestock Exchange sells Ysalamiri, which are Force-negating creatures first introduced in Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire. Little details like that make the game very cool.

Gameplay

The goal of the game is to expand your Death Star. You get "bitizens" to move into your Death Star, give them jobs, and earn money to build additional floors. There are six types of floors - food, service, recreation, retail, residential, and Imperial. Bitizens will show up at the groundfloor and select a random floor as their destination. You then take them to that floor. If it's a residential floor and that floor has vacancies, they can move into the Death Star. Once a tenant, you can assign them a job at a food, service, recreation, or retail floor if there's a job opening. Those four floor types each provide three services or products. Each product or service takes a particular amount of time to order, and once the order's complete, it can be sold.

Bitizens have a dream job and skills in each of the four store types. The higher their skill, the faster they'll order. If they're placed in a dream job, they'll order double. To create a perfect Death Star, you'd want to have every bitizen in his or her dream job with a 9 in that skill.

What about Imperial levels? These are effectively bonus floors used for quests. I've built some, but I decided to focus on building everything else and then coming back to Imperial floors at the end.

The stores will sell without user interaction and can order one product at a time, again without user interaction. However, you have to start the order, and once the ordering is complete, you have to tap on the floor to stock it. I usually will go through, stocking every floor that needs to be stocked and ordering from every floor that needs to order in the morning. Around lunch I'll check on my Death Star and do it all again.

Tiny Death Star is free, so how do the developers and publisher make their money? The stores all earn credits, and sometimes you'll get Imperial bux. Credits are used to purchase new floors. You can select the type but not the specific floor. With bux, you can purchase specific floors, particular bitizens, or even faster elevators (allowing you to bring bitizens to their destinations faster). If you want to progress quickly, you can purchase Imperial bux with real money. I never felt the need to purchase any, so don't let that stop you from playing the game.

Conclusion

For such a simple game, I found Star Wars: Tiny Death Star to be quite enjoyable. Yes, I'm a Star Wars fan. I love the movies (well, I had my problems with the new trilogy of course), and I've read a number of the novels. I'm sure that contributed, because all of the little references are pretty fantastic. However, even if you're not a huge Star Wars fan, you'll probably find it entertaining. I started playing on an iPhone 4, and it was a little laggy at times as my Death Star got bigger, but after I switched to an iPhone 5S, I never had a problem. If you enjoyed Tiny Tower, I think you'll also really like Tiny Death Star. It's free, so you have nothing to lose but a little of your time!

I am MrDevee on Apple's Game Center, Devee in BANG!, and @TheUser on Twitter.










 
 

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