Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Startales is a free to play game in which players help a little star swing from clouds in a race against the progressing shadows that threaten to overtake the little guy. While swinging from cloud to cloud, there are several abilities that the player can use to get the star as far as possible. At the end of each game, credits are awarded based on performance and these credits can be used to purchase abilities to use during the player's next game. Extra credits can also be purchased via in-app purchase and used immediately to unlock abilities. Abilities need to be repurchased before every game, though, so this can add up quickly if players are serious about this game.
There are two different yet connected goals in this game. First, players can try to get their little star as far as possible by collecting star boosts and swinging as fast as possible from clouds, sailing far across the sky. Second, the player can focus on keeping their little star as close as possible to its love, another star. When the two stars fly close together a love meter fills and the goal is to fill the meter completely, and the challenge is to time swings perfectly to stay close to the other star. Depending on which way the player chooses to play, the game is a very different experience.
The controls are fairly simple. The little star flies across the screen from left to right and the player touches clouds as they fly by. When a cloud is touched, the little star attaches itself to that cloud with a rope and swings in an arc. When the player releases the cloud, the star will fly off in a trajectory from that arc. Like this, the star will swing from cloud to cloud to progress. Catching other stars along the way will build a multiplier for higher scores. The clouds can be hard to catch as they rush by and judging the arc of the swing can be tricky as well but game is fairly forgiving so this doesn't become a real issue.
Startales is a bit confusing as a game. It's not quite clear what the point of the game is, but swinging around is entertaining for a while. The abilities and varying goals add some variety to the game but it still remains a bit of an enigma.