Apr 27, 2011

Stellar Escape

One thing I've always said is that Angry Birds isn't an amazing game... it's just a game that executes that genre VERY well. It's a prime example of how important polish is to a game title. You might have the greatest idea in the world, but unless you can execute it well then it'll probably just result in another mediocre (or worse) game. Stellar Escape is an example of Angry Birds quality brought to an old and tired genre resulting in a fine piece of work.

In Stellar Escape you are navigating your character (Elliot Black for those into names) as he runs (i.e. you have no control over the fact that he's always running to the right) through a series of courses and you can do five things to navigate through them. You can jump, slide, dive, climb (not up, but along playground monkey bars), or dive into tubes. The first level is a good proverbial confidence builder with simple jumping and sliding and it gives a good feel of what is to come. The game also progresses at a smooth pace. Next you'll add diving through holes that are about 2/3 the way high on a wall. Now that you're juggling three buttons (and the obstacles come pretty fast) you'll start to be challenged. Next, add the monkey bars and you'll be wondering how the tubes fit into the game. Well, the tubes actually allow you to pop in and out of another location (effectively skipping a section of the level). Scoring is based on how much of the level you complete and how many mistakes you make.

qrcodeThe controls are all touch screen based and there's no option to use a keyboard or anything else. That's my biggest complaint about the game. In fact this game is also a great example of how important tactile feedback is for button controls as I find that when juggling five touch screen buttons that my fingers easily slip off of the buttons. And that's annoying. The graphics in the game are great and do justice to the metallic, space station environment that Elliot is in. They are very crisp. Sound effects work well too.

Stellar Escape is another game that costs just over one US dollar in the Android Market and it's a great mobile title that will kill off a few minutes at a time. As you progress through the levels it rates you (in Angry Birds style) allowing you to finish off a couple levels here and there with each level being progressively more difficult. In conclusion, Stellar Escape is a solid arcade style game that will test your reflexes to the max and is well worth the price. Unfortunately, there is no demo so you'll have to buy it to try it, but I think most people will agree that it's a keeper. 4.5/5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting - when it first came out there _was_ a Stellar Escape Lite, which was the first 3 levels for free, but that seems to have disappeared from the marketplace. Great game, though.