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Review: Eveningstar

March 15, 2010


Eveningstar is a vertical scrolling shooter with a new twist. You control a magnetic ball of energy that is tethered to your spaceship through your ship's movement. Your job will be to solve puzzles using the Eveningstar, and destroy unique looking enemies. The graphics are beautiful and the colors vary widely in each of the nine total levels. There is no social score keeping available but the difficulty is adjustable.


Touch to control your spaceship as you fly through a slow vertical scrolling environment. You have a life bar and a total of three lives. Upon death you return invincible for three seconds right were you died, losing all upgrades gained up to that point, and making death seamless. There are nine levels in total, each of which has very unique creatures and includes a boss at the end. You can select any level that you have unlocked to play each time you start the game. You fire the guns by touching the bottom left of the screen, there is no fire button displayed. The main damage you do and the answer to most of the puzzles is the Eveningstar. The Eveningstar is a blue orb of energy that can destroy most enemies instantly, and can also manipulate the environment by touching it. It is tethered your ship and can swing wildly in any direction around you, depending on how much you can swing your ship around to create a slingshot effect. The controls will see you firing your gun, swinging your ship in wide circles, and dodging to avoid incoming missiles and enemies, all this becomes a lot to deal with at the same time. Fortunately the map scrolls very slowly allowing you time to focus on the tasks at hand. There are a number of upgrades including extra lives, healing, double straight shot, triple wide shot, fire backwards, and Eveningstar size increase.

The Good

The responsive touch controls take vertical scrolling shooters to a whole new realm. The graphics are colorful and crisp. The backgrounds and enemies are all quite unique and very beautiful. The soundtrack is professional quality and adds to the already high excitement level with an epic quality. The levels are quite short allowing for easy replays whether for higher scores or just to beat the level. Each level has a boss and each boss needs to be outwitted using your Eveningstar and guns.

The Bad

As you fly through the levels, the screen scrolls forward at a snail's pace which can be annoying at times. The backstory is only available intext form and you need to select it if you want to read it. The Eveningstar is difficult to control at first but becomes instinctual as you play on. The game has a brisk overall feeling. You can die quite easily if you don't pay attention to where you are swinging that thing. It can become difficult to see obstacles near your spacecraft due to the wild touch and slide control movements needed to get the Eveningstar to do it's maximum potential damage. The lack of social score keeping really hurts the replayability despite the adjustable difficulty. There is no store to buy permanent upgrades from, nor a monetary system of any real value, despite coins being attainable as you play through the levels.

The Verdict

The unique touch specific controls makes Eveningstar a game that would only work on the iPhone and is worth checking out just for the revolutionary controls. The soundtrack is top quality and enhances the gameplay. With three easily adjustable difficulty levels this game is accessible, from the casual gamer right on up to the pro. Eveningstar could have easily earned a 4.5 with social score keeping, but this app is still a gamer's dream.

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