StarSmashers – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, Strategy
Developer: Wayne Jackson , Jason Mallett, Colin Wren
Publisher: War Hungry Games, KISS ltd
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

StarSmashers – Review

Site Score
3.5
Good: Quick to pick up
Bad: Plays like a mobile port
User Score
1.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

With E3 just begun as of the writing of this review, we’ve seen a lot of new tactical PRGs being announced and/or released. With FTL starting the trend a couple of years ago, it was quickly followed by triple-A titles such as a new Fire Emblem not too long ago, and the announcement of the new Mario & Rabbits: Kingdom Battle, so it’s safe to say the genre is alive and well. StarSmashers is such a tactical role playing game. In it, you play as a space ship fighting yourself through a line of enemy vessels. The game is played in a sort of rock-paper-scissors style, where you select a gun to fire, and select an enemy system to fire upon, and hope it does damage to the enemy.

20170616182022_1

Story

You are a captain of a star ship that has been destroyed, and when you start a new game you’ll receive a brand spanking new vessel to wreak havoc. The story then takes you through a slew of fights as you battle your way though the universe. Your enemies are a range of enemy factions, pirates and aliens.

At this point you should start getting suspicious of the vague explanation of the story, and that is because there is not a lot of story to go by. Between fights, there are a few lines of dialogue, usually serving only to introduce the next enemy. They give a quick reason why the enemies are evil, but there is not a whole lot in terms of story arcs, character development, or any stakes you’re fighting for. The story is linear, with no side missions.

20170616185613_1

Graphics

Graphically there is nothing to write home about. The game has reasonably good graphics, but they seem too bland and not very interesting. The backgrounds you see in maps and battlegrounds are generic space looking viewscapes. The spaceships look somewhat realistic, but have nothing wacky or really memorable about them. Upon killing the enemy with a variety of differently colored lasers and missiles, their vessel explodes as you would expect from a spaceship, and you get some nice satisfying explosions to show you’ve killed the enemy.

20170616223725_1

Sound

The sound in this game is very repetitive. There are three or four different tracks, each for a different part of the game. All of the tracks seem to be only several seconds long, and on a permanent loop. The only time you get a little bit of a break is when you are in the upgrade menu where the music inexplicably stops until you leave the menu again. Most of the sound effects are a welcome comical relief from the game. The lasers sound a little bit cheesy, and the explosions sound satisfying and comical.

Gameplay

The game plays out as a turn based tactical shooter. You fight through the campaign missions, and attempt to kill them before moving on to the next fight. You go about this by selecting a weapon to fire, then a system to attack and hope for the best. The turn is timed by a clock, in which you can fire three or four attacks if you’re fast enough, and then your turn ends, after which the enemy gets a shot. This makes it a race to destroy the enemy’s hull like similar games in this genre. There are several vital systems you can destroy and hinder the enemy with, such as shields and weapons, and the reactor which serves to repair the other systems.

20170616185605_1

The gameplay is a bit hostile towards the player. The enemies are out of balance, with some being too strong and others really weak. This balancing issue is amplified by the fact that you cannot return to previous levels and grind experience and/or money to increase your own power. This makes it a punishingly difficult game, but not in a good way. Because of these problems it quickly becomes frustrating to play.

If you do manage to kill your enemy, you will get an amount of cash to upgrade your weapons with, and experience to upgrade your systems. There are a selection of weapons to choose from, in three categories. Lasers are your standard weapons, with unlimited ammo, low damage and short reload times. Then there’s missiles, with high damage, and a longer reload. Missiles will also have a limited amount of shots to fire per encounter. Lastly there’s your subsystems, which range from damage boosters to your weapons, to invisibility and counter-invisibility.

20170616185750_1

The UI is quite standard, with a selection bar at the bottom of the screen for your weapons, bars to the left and right for your systems, and on top of the screen there’s screens for your health as well as your opponent’s. There are no hotkeys for any of this however, which makes the game stressful. The turn timer does not help either, with no way to pause or slow down, hotkeys would have been a nice feature to have.

Conclusion

Some light searching on google tells us that this game is the first game to be released by studio Warhungrygames, and the game plays like it. In normal gameplay it feels like StarSmashers should be a mobile game. There is not much in the sense of gameplay, and the core loop is quite a lot of the same. The developers seem to be somewhat active on the steam page, telling the players that they are working on some updates for the game that should make it a little bit more playable. Without these updates, which should be noted have no slated release date yet, the game does not come highly recommended.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
StarSmashers - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Brustenhoven
Brustenhoven


Bryan, Dutch, gamer, metalhead. 24, and been playing games for as long as I can remember. Pokemon gold for life!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.