Stardash review (iOS / Universal)

October 15, 2011

“Ziggy played guitar…”

Here we go again ... so far, so Gameboy

10 word description: Old school scrolling platformer. Run, jump, collect coins. Retro graphics.

The instant familiarity is deliberate, but how many more times can this be successfully pulled off?

10 word review: Another playable and fun Gameboy style speedrun/collecting platformer. Nice.

Look, it's a "homage", not "plagiarism", ok? Glad we sorted that out

You will like this if you enjoy: 1-bit Ninja, to which this game bears more than a passing resemblance. All the other speedrun style iOS platform games.

Just when you expect to be jumping up a flagpole - it's a balloon instead. See, originality isn't dead

The good news: It’s fun, the controls work, the “you can jump in mid-air” feature is quite cool (no, it’s not a double-jump), Gameboy graphics are ok (but be careful all you developers out there who are about to jump on this bandwagon – that particular bubble will burst very, very soon, I assure you), level design is solid and familiar.

Coins - check, speedrun - check, secret item on each level - check. Still a great game, though

The bad news: I haven’t run out of enthusiasm for Gameboy styled platform speedruns with multiple level goals … YET, but I will, and I’m sure the rest of the world will too. Stardash is lucky, because it’s good enough to survive not only the comparisons but also the fact that it looks like a blatant copy of 1-bit Ninja, even if it genuinely, honestly isn’t. No, it’s “inspired by” Gameboy Mario … exactly the same as 1-bit Ninja. Luckily everyone in the world knows this, so there’s no problem.

There's deja vu and then there's just a huge, meaningful yawn. Still fun, though

Arcadelife verdict: It’s a great addition to anyone’s growing collection of speedrun style platform games. Although it feels like it’s been assembled from a generic set of parts, it works well as a whole and provides the right mix of challenge, OCD level goals and retro charm. How long can developers keep churning out Gameboy style coin-collecting, secret-finding, sub-Marioland platform games for iOS devices? Probably longer than the market is willing to sustain them all, I’d hazard a guess…

Here's a 1-bit Ninja screen for comparison*

Arcadelife rating: 77/100

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.2
iTunes link

Orange Pixel / Stardash website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0)
iPad (OS 5.0)
* That was a joke

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: