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iPhone  header logo

Devouring Stars - Not a big bang, but a whimper

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad, Steam

Fly me to the moon, let me play amongst the stars

Product: Devouring Stars | Developer: Nerial | Publisher: Bulkypix | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1
Devouring Stars iPhone, thumbnail 1
I love eating. A brief look at my Just-Eat history or my endlessly bare kitchen cupboard will corroborate my story, so when an RTS game about eating stars came into existence, I couldn't resist a nibble.

Unfortunately, while what Devouring Stars serves up looks great, it's more of a snack than a meal.

What's the story?

The actual story is a little confusing - after the destruction of Chaos there are several "tribes" trying to hunt you down.

The narrative is presented well in sentences picked out across space - but it doesn't seem to mean anything. It's all a background for the beautiful combat, with pinpricks of light of a variety of colours coming together to wage war.

It's fairly straightforward, and the game doesn't bother explaining too much - selecting a unit and dragging a trail with your finger will send you careening through space.

It's pretty straightforward other than that - gather stars at a starfield, when you have a lot of stars go and have a fight with someone who has less stars than you.

Shallow but pretty 

Unfortunately, once you get bored of watching the pretty stars whizzing around dealing death, it's bloody boring.

There are some different units to play around with but there's no real change to the gameplay across the board - take your circles, move them into a starfield, and then use your group of star fighters to pick off straggling enemies before using numbers to crush the enemies.

In later levels I found it was best to do this quickly because when the timer ticked down to 0 another enemy would spawn. 

Maybe there's more to it, but in the several hours I played, this was all I was taught, and all I needed. To be fair, doing this simple action is easy, the touch controls gave me no problems, although when trying it on my 5S it was a tiny bit fiddly.

It's a shame the game lacks depth though, because outside of the aesthetic pleasure of watching the stars lazily spiral and blink against the infinite void, there's really no reason to recommend it.

The mechanics feel so stripped back that they manage to make the process of literally beating planets into submission quite mundane.

When I heard that planets would be going head to head in a cosmic face-off I was entirely sold, and everything about Devouring Stars looks incredible.

The menus sold the illusion, providing a stunning campaign map, and even when the game started I was keen to buy in, but it turns out in this case the universe starts not with a big bang, but with a whimper.
Devouring Stars - Not a big bang, but a whimper
Reviewer photo
Jake Tucker | 18 December 2015
Devouring Stars' main crime is that it's boring, and that's unforgivable on the App Store
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