Coming off the PlayStation Network release of StarDrone on the PlayStation 3 last year, Beatshapers is now bringing the unique puzzle game to the PlayStation Vita. For those who never got the chance to play the already great game on the PS3, StarDrone Extreme has you piloting a spaceship through cosmic environments while always being in motion.
Each of the 60 levels in the game contains different goals such as simply getting to the end of the level, destroying all enemies, or collecting certain items. One thing making the game unique is the way in which you control the spaceship. Once launched, your spaceship will always be in motion during the game. If you paid attention in school, you would know that an object in motion stays in motion and in space there is nothing there to stop you — unless you smash into an asteroid of course. Spread throughout the levels, in key areas, are gravity beacons that you can attach your ship to in order to control your movement. Attaching these beacons requires you make use of the touch screen While attached the ship will swing an orbit around the gravity well until you release and slingshot yourself in a new direction.
Collecting stars gains you points, which in turn also fill up your momentum, and once you collect enough the ship transforms into a literal wrecking ball. Keep up the momentum with collecting and you can smash through any enemies that might otherwise impede your progress.
StarDrone Extreme is not entirely a new game, but does contain brand-new levels as well as revamped levels from the PS3 version. Another new addition has patched the PS3 version of the game to support cross-platform gameplay. Similar to MLB 12: The Show, you are able to upload your save to the Cloud and continue on either the PS3 or the Vita, if you have both games.
Beatshapers included varying skill settings, so when you make a mistake (you will), it won’t be as punishing. There is an option to skip a level, but when released last week it was available to those who bought the $0.99 DLC. Coming off as controversial, the guys at Beatshapers have done the right thing and are in the process of making the Level Skip DLC completely free. It is already free in EU and should be free in North America very shortly.
The difficulty in the game might be one thing that does come off as extreme. As you make your way through the levels, you would expect them to get progressively harder, but the difficulty spikes randomly. One level might be relatively easy and the next will be the hardest puzzle you have ever played, followed by another cake level; there is definitely something here that makes you scratch your head.
With 60 levels to play and the low price of $3.99, StarDrone Extreme is a steal for the price and a must for just about any Vita owner. Puzzle enthusiasts will love the varying and difficult levels, while those looking for minute long levels for a quick playthrough will enjoy the short level complete times. Let’s also not forgot about the sweet colorful visuals that seem improved over the already great looking PSN version.
Note: The StarDrone Extreme review was written based on the Vita version of the game provided by the publisher.