Developer: Disney Mobile
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Tiny Death Star is one of those ideas that’s absolutely brilliant: take Tiny Tower and put it in the Star Wars universe, having players build a Death Star instead of a non-descript tower. Oh, and the bitizens are all Star Wars characters. If that sounds appealing, then go download Tiny Death Star.

TinyDeathStar-3TinyDeathStar-6It really isn’t too much different from the original Tiny Tower, the game where players earn money by stocking floors of a tower that sell different items, building new stores and residential floors for new people to move in to. Managing where bitizens work is important because they’re more efficient at certain floor types. This whole process continues until one’s tower is as high as players want it to be. It’s just all decked out with Star Wars characters and themes this time.

The main change to the original formula is the addition of Imperial levels, which require special VIPs to be brought to them in order to complete certain tasks for the Emperor. As well, there are missions that the Emperor hands out that can help guide and reward players.

This is Star Wars fanservice at its finest. The music serves as jazzy, elevator music versions of famous Star Wars themes that provide a goofy sense of levity. Recognizable aliens and humans from the series represent the cast of bitizens that take up residence in the tower. Every time the game is reloaded, the Emperor turns around in his chair, says “Behold!” and then reveals how much money was earned while away. It’s not just a reskin – a lot of work was put in to make sure that this is faithful to Star Wars and it is so charming, it’s absurd.

TinyDeathStar-7TinyDeathStar-2

The downside to the game being largely untouched on the whole is that it can still have the feeling of inconsequentiality over time. At a certain point, one asks: “Why am I playing? Why am I still playing?” It’s a great ride to that point, but it does get reached eventually. At least the monetization hasn’t been skewed to make players pay out significantly more. NimbleBit might not have been actively developing it, but their touch is still on this game.

While perhaps the repetition of the Tiny Tower concept makes the game feel anything but fresh, the Star Wars theme is so much fun that the game is worth checking out just for it. Long-term, those who haven’t had their fill of Tiny Tower already will probably have the most fun here.


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