Interstellar Review
+ Universal App
FREE! Buy now!

Interstellar Review

Our Review by Jordan Minor on October 9th, 2014
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: DARK NIGHT
Share This:

The Interstellar game is a curious, if cold, tie-in to Christopher Nolan's upcoming film.

Developer: Paramount Digital Entertainment
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

A few months ago I had a chat with a developer behind several prominent movie tie-in mobile games. He mentioned that the future of film adaptations would be less about “games” and more about “interesting companion experiences.” He used the movie Gravity as a hypothetical example, but after playing the curious yet cold Interstellar, based on the upcoming sci-fi flick from beloved Batman director Christopher Nolan, this is what I think he was really referencing.

Like in the movie, Interstellar the game has players searching the cosmos to find a new suitable home for the human race. Unfortunately there’s no Matthew McConaughey here.

The actual gameplay is separated into two sections. In one section, players build their own little galaxies and the level of scientific detail is just spectacular. Players can create planets of different shapes, sizes, and even materials like gas or metal and watch as their colors, orbits, and gravity fields change accordingly. They can customize stars and moons as well.

With their galaxy in place players can then move on to the second, more substantial exploration phase. Using deliberately wonky space flight controls, like a cross between the acceleration of Asteroids and the momentum of Lunar Lander, players traverse user-generated solar systems harvesting resources as efficiently as possible. This means letting the natural gravitational pull of celestial bodies draw their ship into orbit as they collect precious fuel. However, staying in orbit while preventing deadly crashes requires a delicate balance of starting and stopping. And in an excellently mind-boggling final touch, players must also be wary of the relativistic effects of travel through the space-time continuum and try to keep their mission as close to Earth time possible.

But while the level of detail in these systems is fascinating and admirable, actually playing Interstellar will leave players as cold as space itself. Even with the occasional meteor-dodging minigames between levels, the game just feels like work - important work to save humanity, but work all the same. Galaxies are also tiny, limiting the creation mode’s potential and failing to deliver an awe-inspiring sense of scope to make up for the tedious, repetitive labor.

Having said that though, I don’t think that makes the game a failure. While not necessarily an enjoyable gameplay experience, the apparent realism makes it an intriguing intellectual exercise that seems to be investigating the same desperate sci-fi themes of the film itself. Like I said earlier, Interstellar may be a part of a new breed of mobile movie tie-ins. As a game it might not be great, but that may not be an accurate label anyway.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Interstellar screenshot 1 Interstellar screenshot 2 Interstellar screenshot 3 Interstellar screenshot 4 Interstellar screenshot 5

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Interstellar screenshot 6 Interstellar screenshot 7 Interstellar screenshot 8 Interstellar screenshot 9 Interstellar screenshot 10
Share This: