Devouring Stars ($4.99) by Bulkypix and Nerial is a real-time strategy game (RTS) that is set in the far reaches of the cosmos. If you have ever wanted to be the embodiment of chaos in the galaxy, then now is your chance.
As a gamer, there are many reasons why I choose to play games, but one of the main reasons is to escape reality for a while. I mean, is there anything better than just sitting down and playing as something that just isn’t possible in real life? Even though I’m not the best when it comes to most RTS games, I was intrigued when I heard of Devouring Stars, because come on — who wouldn’t want to be an almighty entity in the universe that is capable of devouring stars to gain immense power? Fortunately, if you’ve ever dreamed of such power, then this game does not disappoint.
The visuals in Devouring Stars are gorgeous and stunning, and will appeal to anyone who likes a somewhat minimalistic aesthetic. Since the game takes place in the outer reaches of the universe, the backgrounds will be black or dark blue, with splotches of light clouds in the area that hold hundreds of stars. Each entity in the game has its own unique symbol and color, and as they grow from devouring the stars in the area, the particles surrounding them glow brighter and get bigger. If you’re a fan of cool light and particle effects in games, then you’ll find plenty of that in Devouring Stars. Animations are smooth and fluid, so there was no lag on my iPhone 6s Plus. To top things off, Devouring Stars has a soothing, atmospheric soundtrack that is a real joy to listen to, so I recommend getting a good pair of headphones to fully immerse yourself in this intergalactic journey.
In Devouring Stars, players must go through levels that are based on how they rotate the “map.” Each rotation will give players a different set of levels to fight through, and each stage will vary in terms of foes, size, and difficulty. However, the main objective remains the same no matter which stage you’re in: devour the stars, obliterate the foes, and escape through the portal to move on. The story of the game is pretty interesting as well, since you control a tribe of godlike entities that are trapped in Tartarus, but you are also being hunted by four other tribes. In order to defend themselves and fight back, the entities that you control devour space star fields to create protective nebulae shields, or even merge into a more advanced unit with special abilities. In Devouring Stars, you create your own fate.
Controls in Devouring Stars are simple enough to understand, and there is a handy reference guide in case you ever forget how to do something. Before each battle, you choose the units that you want to take along with you, and you’ll unlock more as you progress in the game. To move a unit, just drag them to where you want to go. The camera can be panned around by dragging anywhere on the screen that is not your unit. As you’re in control of multiple units, just use three fingers to move them all at once in the same direction. You can pinch two units together in order to merge them into something stronger, and if you want to revert back to more but less powerful units, just pinch the single unit apart. As you approach enemy units, your entities will attack when within range. Your strength depends on how many stars you’ve devoured, so the more the better. Tapping on the circular button in the top right corner will pause the game and allow you to see how many stars your units have devoured (one ring is 100 stars). If you need a reference guide for controls and units, then just tap on the other button in the corner.
I’ve only started with Devouring Stars, but I’m finding the game to be rather enjoyable so far. The visuals are fantastic, the ambient music is relaxing, controls are straightforward and intuitive, and the levels can be rather challenging with the tougher foes later on. There is high replay value to things as well, since there are several different units that you can use to your advantage in the battlefield, and the map gives you a ton of areas to discover. And for those who like Game Center achievements, there are a handful of them to strive for as you play.
I recommend checking out Devouring Stars if you are a fan of RTS games or just want to relax while controlling pure chaos. Devouring Stars is available on the App Store as a universal download for $4.99. Be warned, though, as the game does not seem compatible with older devices according to iTunes reviews.