Casual Game Spotlight: Devouring Stars
Hello again casual gamers. On the menu today we have a nice variety of stars. You won’t actually be eating anything while playing Devouring Stars (unless you are snacking in the real world), but you get to pilot some ships which will collect stars so you can use them as weapons.
That’s right, the region of space you occupy has civilizations which can pull entire stars from the sky, make them orbit a ship, and use them like a boomerang. Fortunately for you, your ships are included in the “stars as weapons” club. The basic goals are to gather as many stars to your ships as possible and to maneuver your ships to either directly attack your adversaries or to draw them in to one or more of your ships so you can overwhelm them and make them explode. Once you have popped all your opponents, you need to get to the closest portal so you can escape the current region and find somewhere else to clean up.
There is a fair bit of planning and strategy involved, which is a good balance for the rather slow pace of play; this is not a fast-reaction-time sort of game, but is more about amassing resources, denying the opponent the chance to do the same, and meeting your opponent with overwhelming firepower. To get moving, all you need to do is tap and drag a ship into a cloud of stars and the ship will do the rest by starting to accumulate those stars. The longer you linger in the star field the more stars you accumulate, until you drain all the stars from the area. When you think you have enough stars, tap and swipe your ship to get close to the enemy and you will duke it out by hurling your star collections at each other. The one with the most stars wins, while the loser explodes.
Devouring Stars also has a star map which points out different enemy outposts you can target. This map of destiny can be rotated with a tap and swipe, “randomizes” your encounters, and is the “go back and start again” point when you fail and are eliminated by your adversary. You can spin the map left to right or up and down (have fun remembering where you are and where you have been).
When you start out, you get so select which ships you want to use. There are subtle differences in performance based on the ship type. The game even lets you combine ships during a round to increase the potency and combine the start count so you can face the enemy with a larger arsenal. The downside to this maneuver is you have fewer ships with which to herd the enemy to a kill zone. It’s all tactics at your disposal, and when you learn the rules of engagement things start making more sense. By the way, on the small screen of the iPhone, getting the combine command to work precisely is a bit tricky, but this just serves to increase the challenge.
Devouring Stars is not an adrenaline ride, but it is a fun game with some solid graphics and a nice soundtrack.