App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Oddball concepts have a tendency to grab the eye. There was that one about zombies and gardening, and the one about stacking up massive sandwiches to feed an intergalactic horror, so there’s every reason to think that the one involving interstellar hamburger delivery by a sloth will garner some attention. Being legitimately entertaining helps, too.
Conceptually, Star Sloth is quite weird. As I’ve just said it involves an incredibly “lazy” mammal delivering hamburgers in space. So, yeah, duh. Mechanically, however, it’s actually quite interesting. Players only need to worry about controlling the trajectory of the hamburgers as the sloth’s rocket follows a set path. That’s probably the fourth strangest thing I’ve ever had to type. One simply has to get the burgers to the floating, hungry denizens while using the same foodstuffs to destroy hazards in order to succeed. It functions similarly to many an iOS physics-flinger, only with a few elements also found in runners. It’s a hybrid that works a lot better than most would expect.
Aside from the obvious silliness and Cute Factor, Star Sloth is also quite fun to play. It takes some pretty fast and accurate flicking to hit the desired quota for a level, and even more to get 100%. Finishing a “stage” leads straight into another, offering a chance for some massive earnings. Once enough cash has been horded players can use it to buy various cosmetic upgrades for their sloth such as energy drinks (they keep it from falling asleep because, well, sloth) or fancy gloves. More importantly it can also purchase new areas to add to the randomized level queue.
There are a few points where Star Sloth feels a little off, though. Certain sections of some of the galaxies almost feel unfair with their hazard layout and speed. The obnoxious floating saucers that tend to intercept flying hamburgers don’t help. Sure they can be worked-around for the most part, but sometimes it feels like there’s no way to get 100% with the way they tend to get in the way at the perfect (imperfect) time. There also aren’t a whole heck of a lot of doodads to buy, but the game just came out and they aren’t exactly necessary to begin with.
Star Sloth isn’t necessarily the weirdest game I’ve ever played, but it’s up there. Thankfully it doesn’t rely on weirdness alone to appeal to iOS gamers. Although I’ll admit that the core experience feels a little barren without specific levels to conquer and rank in, only a handful of cosmetic upgrades, and nothing but a high score to ultimately drive players forward. But it’s fun and works in small doses or prolonged play sessions, making it an ideal on-the-go game.