Version Reviewed: 2.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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As I awaken to newscasts announcing Shuttle Atlantis’ landing and the end of NASA’s shuttle program, I remind myself that children of my generation dreamed of becoming astronauts. I remember The Challenger disaster's effect on me, as I sat at my desk grieving the death of an American educator in the prime of life.
Star Connect, a universal app developed by Impresiones Web S.L., retains the nostalgia many people of my generation feel for the shuttle program. The app opens to a home screen that unfolds like pages in a storybook. During the tutorial, I follow an adorable pig-tailed girl, Lucy, out of bed and out of her open window to explore the stars. The storybook theme casts a sentimental spell, while the design of Star Connect, thoughtful and stylized, is reminiscent of favored childhood books. I particularly appreciate the attention to gender equality as a female character guides the player through the galaxy.
Star Connect's object is straightforward. It requires tapping the stars to connect and propel them through new levels to form constellations. The concept is simple, yet it is wisely confounding as satellites are introduced into the mix, blocking the potential for success. Progressively challenging, satellites obstruct attempts to connect the stars. Soothing sound effects evoke elementary field trips to the planetarium.
18 free levels are available for unlocking before hitting a pay wall. Mastery of free levels prompts the player to purchase subsequent levels, which some reviews pander as a rip-off, since Star Connect only provides 9 additional levels. A basic and annoying glitch is that Star Connect is ad supported. The game provides no alternate options. The player must view the ad, and the game often hangs up, which requires a re-start.
Star Connect is an app small children will enjoy. The interface is constructed like a virtual connect the dots, and parents will appreciate opportunities for fulfillment of children’s curiosities about space, allowing for parent-child bonding.
The final person-controlled mission to space is accomplished, and is now recorded in our history and in our hearts as we mark the end of an era. Star Connect carries the story of space into the next frontier and reminds us of the infinity of time and the possibilities of what lies beyond four walls where a window (and imagination) remain open.