Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Graduated Gamer Reviews: Tiny Death Star (Android)

Oh Star Wars – no matter how much I bitch about anything not related to the original trilogy, I still love you so much. There’s so much to love, from the iconic music scores to the lovable characters to the universal and relatable themes throughout, that when you apply it to other media outside of film it’s almost a guaranteed win. The Star Wars franchise is certainly no stranger to this with its numerous best-selling novels, popular TV series, and of course highly-rated video games. With the wildly successful Angry Birds-Star Wars crossover for iOS and Android I guess it was simply a matter of time before another crossover happened – this time with the addictive Tiny Towers series.

For those of you unfamiliar with Tiny Towers, it’s a sickeningly adorable game where you create a skyscraper floor by floor with businesses and residential areas, and then move in tenants (aka – Bitizens) and employ them in those businesses to fund further construction. Overall, it’s hugely addictive and therefore wildly successful. With the Star Wars theme in play, you take over as Darth Vader who is tasked by the Emperor to fund and build the Death Star through the exact same gameplay as the original Tiny Towers game: by building new floors and selling products. However, when done through the lens of the greatest space opera franchise of all time, you get an experience that would make any fanboy or girl giddy.

Search your wallet, you know it to be empty.
As I stated earlier, the game is highly addictive. As soon as you build your first floor and you see some Bitizens move in and get jobs in your new businesses, you don’t want to stop. This is heightened by the fact that the floor’s theme is unknown until it’s ready to hire Bitizens. Sure, you know it’ll be a restaurant, but will it be an Ewok Sweets, or a Mos Espa CafĂ©? You get a rush each time a new floor’s theme is announced, and it feels oh so good.

I didn't know the Empire had such a lax dress code...I'm looking at you, Sunglasses!
Oh, and if you’re looking for something adorable, then the Tiny Towers series has got you covered. The Bitizens themselves are cute little pixels with gaping mouths and sometimes idiotic looking faces, but they’re so lovable  This is amplified when they decide to “voice” themselves on the Death Star’s version of Twitter, the Holonet. Some of them are just canned messages about the floor’s new stock or a business closing for the day, but then there are truly clever and chuckle-worthy posts that show a light-hearted nature.

Is this the definition of meta? Don't care, it's adorably funny.
But where the game truly shines is of course in the Star Wars theme. The Tiny Towers addiction is rocketed into the stratosphere when you add in collecting Bitizens from a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away. The game has Rebel and Empire Bitizens, neutral Bitizens, alien Bitizens, Bounty Hunter Bitizens – if it’s seen in any of the 6 Star Wars movies chances are you’ll see it in this game (yes, even Gungans). As mentioned earlier there are themed floors, and if you’re lucky to have a special Bitizen reach the right floor, you’ll unlock a special event. Most of these reenact a scene from one of the movies. They’re very rare, especially given the rarity of special characters and the high price of buying floors in later stages, but when they happen they’re quite a treat.

Leia with Cupcake Dog Eyes?
Still, if you want to collect all the themed stores, Bitizens, residences, and unlock all the secret events, you’ll have to either be extremely patient or shell out some real-world money to expedite the process. This, just like with the original Tiny Towers, is the one key flaw in this amazingly fun game. The game is slow-paced after about the 6th floor or so, and this is obviously a way to entice you to buy more coins and Imperial Bux to move the game along. I personally am not one to give in to such business tactics (hell, I rarely buy DLC for console games), but if you’re okay with that you’re going to find a lot to enjoy by pitching in some extra moo-la. And if you’re more like me and feel patience is a virtue, this game can entertain for hours, provided you last through the rough grinding sessions.

Gaping Mouth = Standard Bitizen Look
However, despite this flaw the game is sure to delight any fan of the original Tiny Towers game and especially Star Wars fans everywhere. You’ll constantly be saying to yourself “just one more minute” or “I need to stock this one item then I’ll quit”, and before you know it you’ll be grinding away trying to build that next service floor, unlock new species, or capture those pesky Rebel spies. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? That’s enough to make even the most dedicated Jedi turn to the dark side. Give in to your temptations – you know you want to.

The Emperor not sure if adorable or cute as a button.


  1. Thanks for the review! I saw this in the app store and didn't know if it was worth getting... Guess I'll give it a go.

    1. Glad you liked it. I highly recommend it. It requires constant attention to progress, especially later in the game, but if you're a Star Wars fan that shouldn't be a problem! Thanks for reading.


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