Star Wars: Tiny Death Star Review: 8-bit Nostalgia


Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is a free-to-play mobile game for the Android, iOS, and Windows phone platforms that’s actually quite fun to play. The game liberally borrows its concept from the Tiny Tower franchise, but it does so using the Star Wars license, so it’s hard not to be drawn into its 8-bit charm.

The core concept is to build up a new Death Star for Emperor Palpatine by adding various types of levels that can feature residence quarters, or different types of entertainment and consumable related stores and venues. By doing so you attract new bitizens (tiny 8-bit sprites styled after the Star Wars universe) to live in the residential levels, and in turn they can be put to work in the non-residential ares to generate more coins. With more coins new levels can be built, and herein lies the symbiotic relationship between bitizens, your Death Star, and ultimately your cash reserves.

Palpy and Vader plan the Death Star rebuild

Palpy and Vader plan the Death Star rebuild

Tiny Death Star also features Imperial Bux, which can be purchased with real cash, or earned in-game by performing certain tasks such as hunting down a rebel spy and tapping on their pixelated face. The Bux can be spent to speed along the development of new levels, as well as the production of new inventories in your non-residential floors to sell for coins. During the construction of the first few levels the allure of speeding along their completion isn’t strong, but as your Death Star grows the time needed to complete new levels can reach upwards of 6 hours or more, so if you’re an impatient gamer who wants to reach 40 levels faster than any other Death Star engineer, then you’re going to have to open up your wallet to score some Imperial Bux.

Quite frankly, I’ve been playing Tiny Death Star since its release, and have yet to find myself thinking about an in-game purchase. This game, like many other mobile titles, is best played in short bursts throughout the day versus a marathon gaming session. This way you never really feel like you have to spend real money to speed things along. When you check in on your Death Star and its bitizens in the morning you can make some moves, and then continue on with your day, coming back to check it again later on to make some new moves, and so on and so forth.

It’s definitely worth sticking with Tiny Death Star to see what types of new levels you can build as each one offers an homage to the Star Wars movie universe, and some feature a few of the franchise’s iconic characters. You can also collect official bitizens that are directly based on characters from the movies. Seeing the bitizens and 8-bit style levels is a joy if you’re a Star Wars fan, and the synthesized music offers a classic take on John Williams’ score.

Tiny Death Star's 8-bit visuals are reason enough to play the game

Tiny Death Star’s 8-bit visuals are reason enough to play the game

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star packs enough movie charm to make its free-to-play model work for most gamers. Although, if you like playing your mobile games for long periods of time, Tiny Death Star’s setup will force you to cough up some real money to keep things moving along. It’s definitely a game best played in 5-10 minute intervals spread throughout the day, which for many gamers is ideal when it comes to wasting a bit of time throughout their day to break the monotony of life up. Considering its free to download and play, there’s no reason to not check out Star Wars: Tiny Death Star, so hit up the download links below and get to building your very own Death Star.

Fan service is high in Tiny Death Star

Fan service is high in Tiny Death Star


Download from Google Play for Android

Download from Microsoft store for Windows Phone

Download from iTunes for iOS devices

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star | Review Summary
The Awesome: Pickup and play gameplay, 8-bit graphics and sound, Star Wars bitizens | The Not so Awesome: Longer gameplay sessions will require real money
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star
Date Published: 11/17/2013
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star is a free-to-play mobile title that takes the Tiny Tower gameplay formula and mashes it with Lucas' Star Wars universe. The simple gameplay is very addictive and suits well to mobile gameplay. The game is best played in small intervals throughout the day, so it's a great way to pass 5-10 minutes of your time while on the go.
8 / 10 Buddhas

Review Statement: The reviewer downloaded this game for free on the Android platform for review purposes.

[#ff entbuddha] “Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”
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