Developer: Liv Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.7
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Liv Games is back with the biggest and best game in the Legendary Wars series with Stellar Wars. This is a real-time strategy game where players must command their units on three-lane battlefield, getting resources to build new units from miners that operate in the background. Tapping on them when their resources are ready will collect them faster, allowing for new units to be built sooner. Enemies come in from the right side of the screen, and are usually trying to destroy the base – the game is prone to throwing lots of wrinkles into the scenarios. As such, players must strategize intelligently for the situation at hand, whatever it may be!

StellarWars-6Stellar Wars excels at blending together a variety of scenarios to keep the game feeling dynamic. Limited-resource levels add new wrinkles, and having to face enemies coming from both sides as in one level on the mothership is a great addition. The side-scrolling shoot ’em up levels are a new challenge, and there are two types: the space shooter levels, and ones where players control a robot moving in the three lanes of the standard gameplay mode. There’s just always something new to take on, and the branching paths of the game add a lot of depth.

The hand-drawn artwork is a superstar here on high-definition displays. There’s iCloud support pulled off by manual saving and loading in the options menu, which isn’t necessarily as convenient as automatic saving but at least it works, which is more than I can say for many games with iCloud functionality. Grinding old levels at harder difficulties helps to get more of the currencies that are used to upgrade units’ stats and to get new upgrades to use. Get the second miner quickly.

StellarWars-4Actually commanding the units remains a challenge, as it has been in previous entries: it’s just incredibly difficult to get everyone doing what they should be doing optimally. Commanding single units can be difficult, as tapping again after committing a move with them can lead to them moving somewhere besides what was intended. The auto-retreat/stop/advance commands are helpful, but not so much when it becomes too easy to accidentally command units to do things that are unwanted. Really, the game gets so chaotic that it’s best to just keep a general eye on things, and focusing on what’s important: making sure the miners’ resources are collected quickly. That can be the difference between success and failure as more resources equals more units. I’d be really interested in trying this game out with a mouse and keyboard, as that could make unit management a lot easier.

Still, despite the control challenges Stellar Wars is a strategy game with a ton of intelligently-designed content that’s well worth checking out.


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