First there was Legendary Wars, then Monster Wars, and now the battle is in space in Stellar Wars. There are all types of genres in the App Store, and yet Stellar Wars doesn’t just fit in one mold, and is instead a genre mash-up. The game combines elements of real time strategy, side scrolling space shooter, and arcade action into one unique experience. Stellar Wars revolves around a lengthy single player campaign that offers ten different planets to travel through with over 50 levels for about a dozen hours of gameplay. The different game modes are introduced in the new levels, so there’s a consistent change from level to level, rather than just more difficult versions of the same style.
There’s a storyline as well that involves the Liv robots that is the developer’s mascot going against the insectoid alien species. Every level continues the battle between the two groups with 12 upgradeable bots at your disposal as you face over thirty different types of enemies including ten bosses. The game mode that you will see the most is real time strategy similar to Sword and Soldiers as you mine for materials, which are used to build more units, while your enemy is doing the same thing. Your goal is to build up a multi-faceted group with differing units to then be able to charge towards the enemy base to destroy it. The set-up requires constant attention because of the way the game is tuned, so that you need to continually mine for materials, produce new units, and use your special abilities to defend your own base and attack the other. RTS games can be slow moving, like tower defense, but Stellar Wars does a good job of maintaining your attention, similar to what Kingdom Rush offers for tower defense.
The RTS gameplay is the heart of Stellar Wars, and you continue to upgrade and unlock new units to enhance the strategy involved. Another major component is the side scrolling space shooter which is a mode to depict traveling between planets, and it provides a challenging action arcade experience as your ship fires automatically, and you just drag your finger to aim attacks, and dodge enemies. There are other modes where you take direct control of a particular unit within the real time strategy set-up for a more of a hack and smash style. The game definitely keeps you on your toes, and you’re never quite sure what the next level holds. With that said, there are times where it feels like each mode could be fleshed out a little bit more, and they might not be as good as they could be if Stellar Wars just picked one style to focus on.
There’s a whole lot going on in Stellar Wars, and it can be a little overbearing at times. It seems like the game keeps pushing you back to the mother ship to upgrade your units, and there are so many different upgrades that bog down the time actually playing the game. There are also upgrades that tie into a special extra in-game currency, which makes you feel like spending money can make the game easier, and part of the difficulty is to drive you to spend money to upgrade faster. That is the exception though, and for the most part it’s a well balanced experience to keep you constantly engaged. All of the action is presented through ornate art design, and again there’s just so much to draw from just a $2 app.
Stellar Wars ($1.99, Universal) delivers a deluxe wide-ranging gaming experience that is a should buy for some engaging strategy.