Lego Star Wars Microfighters review (iOS / Universal)February 10, 2014
10 word description: Vertically scrolling arcade shoot-em-up from the Lego Star Wars franchise.
10 word review: Surprisingly good retro action. Lots of addictive fun without IAPs.
You will like this if you enjoy: Old school arcade shooters. Raiden, for example. Games based in the Star Wars universe.
The good news: Graphics and sounds are very good. Relative touch movement control is virtually perfect. Level design and enemy attack patterns are traditional without feeling stale. Unlocks and upgrades are well conceived and fit both the gameplay and the Lego theme. For a franchise game on touch screens, the total lack of IAPs is worthy of special praise. Challenge is pitched about right, even for hardened veterans of space shooters.
The bad news: Load times between menus and levels are quite long. Super-weapon is easy to accidentally deploy due to double-touch fire option. No progress sync between devices.
Arcadelife verdict: When I saw this one on the app store I expected it to be just another shallow disappointment riddled with IAPs. I love being wrong, particularly where iOS arcade shooters are involved. Microfighters plays a lot like Raiden, with fixed sequences of enemies and attack patterns, but also has unlockable upgrades as optional temporary power-ups that can be bought before each level and only last for that level. The currency is Lego studs, collected when destroying enemies and obstacles, and the items are unlocked by collecting red bricks by clearing a specific group of enemies in each level.
This game is a lot of fun, a great homage to the original arcade shooters and a fine, solid iOS game in its own right.