We all know the classic platformers highlighted by Mario, but imagine if Mario was replaced by your finger? That’s essentially the case in Star Thief, which foregoes shoehorning in virtual buttons, and instead relies on an intuitive touch control scheme. You simply tap and swipe to collect all of the stars scattered about each of the 50 included levels. The screen scrolls automatically, and you need to keep up while maneuvering the new complexities that arise.
There are four main environments that introduce caged stars, vanishing stars, treasure chests, destructible blocks, and more. The levels continuously increase in speed requiring split second reaction to take account of what you need to do, and then do it before the screen passes stars by. One of the major challenges is a red zone that damages your finger if you touch it in your pursuit of the stars. What starts out so simple becomes nice and complex as you’re frantically trying to capture every star on screen while dealing with forking pathways, stones to toss at caged stars, multi-touch stars, star sequences, and the ever increasing pace.
There’s a personal touch infused into every part of the game highlighted by the hand drawn artwork. There’s just so much to enjoy on screen, and it fits so well on iOS with some of the smoothest touch controls out there. The game keeps introducing new mechanics which require plenty of precision, which the game expertly provides. Each of the 50 levels is a treat in its own right that will fully engage all of your concentration, and provides a great intrinsic reward upon completion.
Star Thief ($2.99, Universal) is fun above all else, making it a should buy that is simply perfect for iOS.