There’s definitely no shortage of complex games with flashy visuals on the app store, but… Star Thief is not one of them. Instead, this starry puzzler puts accessibility and fun above high production values, taking the road less traveled with a rather basic design, yet it still has what looks to be a very appealing experience.
In an odd twist, you actually don’t get to control a character in this mobile auto-scroller. At all. Ever. Tapping and swiping across the screen is all that’s required to collect stars. Along the way, you’ll also have to throw boulders around and break eggs, to release those poor things from captivity and give them a new home. Well, that’s what I think is going at least, since neither trailer nor Facebook page has any story details -- or if it even has one. Not that puzzle games are known for telling incredibly deep and emotional tales anyway, more often than not being 99% gameplay and 1% background information.
Star Thief is an original level-based arcade game designed specifically for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It could be described as Super Mario World meets Fruit Ninja.
While I did mention that production values aren’t high in Star Thief, there’s no denying that it sports some quite appealing visuals -- sometimes less is more. And since it seems that quick reflexes and nimble fingers will be needed to grab every single star in the 50 levels, it’s a good thing that everything has a clean and crisp look to it, with nothing to obscure your view (except your fingers, as you swipe and tap like crazy).
You won’t have to go at it alone either, as according to Paul Ewers, its creator, Star Thief can be played locally with a friend, since it supports multi-touch. Whether playing it like that actually makes it more or less difficult, well, that remains to be seen. Sounds like a fun way to play it for iPad owners though, but those with an iPhone/iPod Touch might be better off playing it alone, due to the smaller screen size.
Are you ready to twinkle like a little star? Star Thief is currently residing on iTunes ($2.99), without any ads or IAP.