Guest Post: Tanner Reviews Pocket Starships

Editors Note: This post comes from Tanner Bivens of tannerreviews.com. He reviews movies and games on his site. He also hosts The Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth every week.

Pocket-Starships-1

Good day everyone. I’m not sure if you have noticed from the title or not, but I am not in fact Free App Maven writer Shaila Meeker. In fact, our dear Shaila has taken a trip to Florida with her fiance Brandon and will be gone this week, effectively leaving me in Ohio hell as she enjoys Disney World. I will try to contain my levels of jealousy to mere quiet resentment. But while she is enjoying the nice weather and fun rides, she asked me if I could guest write on her site while she is away, to which I was more than happy to do. For those of you who have not visited my site tannerreviews.com, I am a film critic and a video game enthusiast. If you do not know of my site you should go and visit it. It is an awesome site! I should know, it is mine after all.

But when Shaila asked me to write a review for her site, I was at first a little out of sorts. I do not use apps very frequently… Or at least not nearly enough as she does. So after given the assignment, I rushed to my phone to go through several apps to see what would be a good one to review and after several possibles, I decided to choose a free game for the iPhone 4s called Pocket Starships. It certainly was an interesting game to say the least. A kind of cream of the crop out of a plethora of boring games and money gauging apps. So I downloaded it and decided to give it a go. After playing it for a bit, I have to say for an iPhone game… Not that bad. I was expecting much much worse when I downloaded it, but instead I found myself pleasantly surprised.

There isn’t a lot in the way of plot when it comes to Pocket Starship.  Well okay, there is a little bit of one, but it is one that can quickly be brushed aside as you button mash the text crawl away. Essentially, when you first boot up the game you are given the choice to join one of two factions, the Shard or the Varins. One second in and already you are given a choice that will change your experience forever!… Well not really, I gave both games a go by downloading, uninstalling, and trying again (I’m sure there was an easier way don’t judge me) and both are for the most part the same. After a quick tutorial you are thrust into this new world where you must complete quests for your given alliance all the while battling your arch nemesis faction in various locations marked by a hexagonal map, some owned by one faction, some by the other, and a little area where players can congregate and blow each other to pieces.

Pros

Avoids Buy to Win Tactics that These Games Have Become Known Formzl.fcevlskr.175x175-75

When I was first asked to write a game app review, I was groaning. Most app games are notorious for micro-transactions and ‘buy to win’ content. I was expecting to download a ‘free’ game and then immediately be told to shell out a dollar or fifty cents in order to gain cool new weapons and a second level that would be physically impossible to complete unless you shell out said dollar or fifty cents… But no I was very surprised to see that when it comes to the overall game, the micro-transactions are practically invisible. You can play this game comfortably knowing that you will not hit a giant pay wall in between hunting down evil pirates and refining your ore to create new and better gadgets and considering this website is dedicated to free apps, this a huge plus to the game.

Surprisingly Expansive

For a free to play game app… This game is expansive. The playing area is set up in a grid like system, some owned by the Shard, some owned by the Varins, and then a small area where players can take on each other. Each one of course has a futuristic type of name as to be expected and you can travel from location to location and fight baddies with your group of friends who you are supposed to coerce into playing (we will get to that soon). I was not expecting a tiny app game on a phone to be as expansive as some PS3 games that I have had the misfortune of playing in the past. An excellent and surprising addition.

Meh?

It’s an MMO

For anyone who follows my site, you will know how I feel about MMOs. Just watch my debate with my friend Jate Nott to understand my dislike of them. This is an MMOG and as such the main way the game gets more people to play is making most missions near impossible to complete on your own. The game even encourages you to create mission forces of multiple people to go on these missions so you don’t get completely annihilated. Now of course you can join complete strangers to compete in missions. But for the most part what the game is saying is, ‘Get your friends to play this game, MORE PEOPLE! MORE PEOPLE!’ I can understand the reason they did this which is why it doesn’t really fit into the ‘Con’ category. But it is something that should be noted if you wish to pick up this game, get a friend to join in or just go with Angry Birds.

Cons

downloadThe Game is Effectively Button Mashing or Busy Work

I don’t know what I was expecting from a game that I can play on my iPhone. But the majority of this game seems to be nothing but busy work. It is a go to location, aim your laser at the ship and wait until your or it blows up. Either that or mining and refining your ore to create new weapons and objects which both require little other than pushing the touch pad in a given direction until the thing disappears. When you are not doing either of those, you are in the space station button mashing a little bit more. It is a lot of busy work on top of busy work that can wear on a player quick.

Conclusion

Overall, this is one of the better app games that I have seen. The graphics are surprisingly good, the world is expansive, and you get to be the captain of your own damn starship! Granted my dislike for MMOGs is personal so I do not hold that against the game and the busy work game play is a small price to pay for a game that is a refreshing change of pace from play to win games and Angry Bird clones. If you are looking for a fun title to kill some time, download this one. You will not be disappointed.

Final Score 3.5/5

Thank you for reading fans of Free App Maven and if you would like to read more from me, please visit my website tannerreviews.com.

Play Pocket Starships

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Tanner Bivens

http://tannerreviews.com

View more posts from this author
  • EGD74

    Beware — They are awful to their community and the game is plagued with terrible bugs and exploits that they can’t fix because they outsource development.

    Some paying customers have had their accounts be nearly unplayable because of some mega-bugs for as long as 3 months. Their accounts are never fixed and support eventually doesn’t update their tickets.

    They let users fun free using exploits that in essence get honest players to waste their resources, thus trying to get them to spend more $ on this “Free-To-Play” game. Again, support does nothing about the exploits, aside from telling you they will look into them. Again, just do a search and find out for yourself.

    Use any software these guys put out with extreme caution; while they seem good on the surface they actually are not that customer friendly at all.

  • Ply Session

    this is not pay to win – let me copy-paste from a fellow player it sums it up pretty nicely: “I’m refugeeOG from: US server, Varians faction, Warpfire alliance. I’m the 2nd-to-top ranked overall player, because I am addicted; I love this game. I have been playing for about a year now,and still going strong. The devs keep adding new content and fixing stuff, so you won’t get bored. You can get to where I am now by either spending nothing, a little, or a lot; the choice is up to you, and it only affects how fast you get there, so the game is very fair.

    The PvP combat is amazing, faction vs. faction, where you fight for control of special regularly moving “storm sectors” that contain rare rocks essential for the crafting of great PvP gear. Also, the game has faction alerts: built-in mini-wars, faction vs. faction, where the dominating faction of those military objectives will win Solar (the premium currency), Keys (to open lockboxes for a nice chance at Premium ships and other awesome PvP consumables), and domination points … DP (which collect daily to give you daily boxes to open, containing nukes, golden (premium) robots and ammo, etc.). Basically, the game gives you great incentives to play and fight, so you never have to sit around at station; you will always have something to do, if you fancy it.

    Combat is a refreshing soft-twitch; none of this “mouse-to-select-and-then- take-a-nap” business. You attack the ship closest to where you are pointing, but enemy ships can also block for their allies and block important objectives, like the sector mining / command outpost. There are fighters (DPS glass cannons), healers (ship repair, EMP-interdiction, support) and tanks (base busters, blockers, damage soakers). Range matters. You have close range blaster weapons, longer range launcher weapons, AOE and single target type weapons, and NUKES … awesome variable range, massively damaging AOE battle-changing packages of pure chaos.

    Players get space in station, which is upgradable, to store their materials, crafting parts, PvP consumables, and ships. You can have many ships, so you have the freedom to choose the ship-type you wish to fly, and then make a change anytime it suits you. Death penalties are mild, just enough to encourage death avoidance, but no loss of anything that you will miss, which encourages players to get out there and take risks and have fun in the PvP. Basically, the only penalty for death is a bit of “red-shield” that automatically heals inside station or you can “speed-heal” it for Solar.

    Players come from all over the world to play; no country or region is locked out. You can play directly from facebook, kong, PC browser from their website, Apple devices (iOS), Android / Google devices, Amazon / Kindle devices … play from PC, Desktop, Laptop, Notebook, Tablet, Smartphone, etc.”

    Facebook : https://apps.facebook.com/pocketstarships/

    Kongregate: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Spectaclegames/pocket-starships

    Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.spectaclegames.pocketstarships&hl=en

    Apple IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket-starships-space-mmo/id752128884?mt=8

    and browser: http://www.pocketstarships.com

  • MrPicard

    All the good things totally overrated. This game is plain bad. FULL, and I really want to stress it out again: FULL COMPLETELY WITH BUGS!!! It’s the worst game ever because there are no mods in-game, admins completely disappear when there are serious problems and they ban you or mute you temporarily if you dare to question them, even if you invested money on the game.
    RefugeeOG, I know him, but what Ply Session doesn’t mentions is one of the threads Ref made about ALL the glitches the game has and were never fixed. He made a thread unanswered for 3 months and in those months not even a single bug was solved. In fact, when they try to fix anything they end up breaking it much worst. And now instead of keep fixing it they release a new set of ships (C-Class) which I’m sure it will add much more bugs and glitches to the game.
    Don’t even worry in installing it. The reviewer maybe never played it for more than a week, but be sure if you do so you’ll end up regretting it.

    If you don’t believe me, here is evidence of Pocket Starship forum and RefugeeOG issues I mentioned: http://forum.spectaclegames.com/showthread.php?2176-My-account-is-glitched-again-after-today-s-server-restart-after-the-crash/page6