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Preview - Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures

Posted by: Ben Berry at 9/21/2010 10:02 PM
Have you ever thought “This game is good, but it would be even better if it was Star Wars”? If so, with Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, you wish has been granted. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Clone Wars Adventures is a free-to-play collection of quick play arcade and casual games with a Playstation Home-like collection and customization wrapper around them, only done well.

You create a character that fits within any of the Clone Wars-era archetypes, and this becomes your avatar for the wrapper and some of the mini-games. You customize the clothing and possessions of your avatar via a shop typical of these types of games. Most of the things you can buy are purchased with credits earned by playing the mini-games. Some of the more desirable items can only be purchased using Sony Station credits which you have to use real money to buy. This is one of the two ways the developers expect to make money off the game.

The primary way the developers look to make money off the game is by offering a “Jedi” membership at $5.99 per month. This membership provides the player with additional character customizations, an additional character race choice (Zabrak), exclusive items for purchase and some additional games. There’s not really enough yet in the extra items or racial choice to make it worth it, but the extra games make it a little more worth while. If it was say $2.99 it would be a no brainer.

The games of course are the real attraction here. There are 19 games if you’ve got a Jedi subscription, a few less otherwise. Most of the games are the more addictive casual games that are all the rage these days. Tower Defense makes an appearance, with Star Wars style tower weapons destroying Droid Army enemies. Lightsaber Duel is a very nicely done “simon says” game where matching each set of keystrokes inside the time allowed builds your combo power. It also provides you with a nice visual of a lightsaber battle, with each successful keystroke gives you an advantage in the duel. You build in combo power which allows you to win a round in the duel, Mortal Kombat style.

Some of the games are simply there to allow the player to earn quick credits for the store, like a daily spinner or a short series of trivia questions where correct answers earn credits. Others like the side-scrolling Republic Gunship (a Defender clone) can provide quite a bit of enjoyment over a longer period of time as you run through an endless number of passes across the surface of Geonosis. This was the game I did the best at during my trial, and actually earned one of Clone Wars Adventures trophies (aka accomplishment) for successfully doing something. What that particular something was, I haven’t yet had a chance to look for.

I believe the game is being marketed to kids/teens, and based on what I saw in the Republic Command shell of the game, it seems to be pretty busy. All character names are approved before they can be used, but users are able to IM each other, so I’m not sure what the game managers ability to keep an eye out for predators will be.

In conclusion, if you like social or lite arcade play and like Star Wars, you’ll absolutely love Clone Wars Adventures. If you’re looking for something truly new and different in a universe you already know, keep waiting for The Old Republic because you’re not going to get it here. You will however have fun with it. Adults will enjoy the games on medium or hard difficulty and you can find some fun stuff among the items to buy for your character.