|Dev: Beatshapers Limited|
|Pub: Beatshapers Limited|
|Release: April 5, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild fantasy violence|
But that's not to say that StarDrone isn't pretty. In fact, I was quite impressed by all the comets and things darting about in the background that still never really distract you from the action. They just add a bit of visual flair without becoming obnoxious. The biggest flaw in the visuals, however, is the strange red nebula filter that shows up from time to time. I understand that something had to be done to prevent the background from looking too bland, but this effect is remarkably similar to the "Oh my gosh! I'm going to die!" effect found in many recent games such as Red Dead Redemption, Uncharted 2, the newer COD games, and so on. Upon seeing this effect in action, veterans of the shooter genre will instinctively think something is going on with their health bar.
The soundtrack of StarDrone mainly contains beat-based electronic tracks that your brain will quickly tune out. But I actually mean that as a compliment. Puzzle games need to have music that easily fades into the background. Songs that are too melody-driven or draw too much attention to themselves tend to become distracting. StarDrone's music creates the perfect atmosphere without ever becoming annoying. And while I do realize that electronic music in space is a bit overdone (do you really think the only instruments we'll be able to take on a spacecraft are synthesizers and drum machines?) StarDrone uses it quite well.
The sound effects are quite exaggerated: expect to hear more pinball-inspired noises than realistic spacecraft sounds or the even more realistic silence of space. This choice in audio perfectly suits the game. It makes scoring combos a lot more satisfying when there is a special combo sound that makes you feel accomplished. And I personally love the basketball sound the ship makes whenever it bounces off a metal plate.
StarDrone contains a whopping fifty-three levels, and each one has a gold, silver, and bronze medal that can be won by completing the stage within a certain time limit. While the amount of time you are given for each level feels completely random (some of the hardest levels are a lot easier to score a medal on than some of the easier levels) it gives you that extra motivation to go back and replay parts of the game. And despite the flaws with the control scheme, I actually found this a hard game to put down. The levels are short enough that they make you want to go for "just one more try" over and over. While there isn't a whole lot you can do with a control scheme as simple as this, StarDrone manages to add new challenges and interesting twists right up until the very end. Add some trophies to the mix and, despite its flaws, StarDrone is a pretty decent value for eight dollars.
CCC Freelance Writer