The point of movie based games is to hopefully recreate some of what the characters in the movie feel like during certain iconic scenes. If the game does that well, it can possibly be a success, although I’m sure we all can attest to the fact that this isn’t always the case. Star Wars: Trench Run for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) manages to retain the feel of the scenes from the original Star Wars, while putting control into the average gamer’s hands – literally.
There are two main settings in this title – in one you shoot around above the Death Star, firing your blasters at tie fighters, trying to take out as many as you possibly can and in the other you’re darting through a trench of the same massive destroyer of worlds, dodging gunfire, structures and Darth Vadar himself. So, let’s talk a little about these each individually.
The part of the game that sees you controlling your fighter above the Death Star’s surface is, in my opinion, the most fun aspect of the game. You’re twirling around, twisting your ship every which way to get the enemy in your sights and then blast them out of the sky. In Arcade mode you build up points as you do this, and face wave after wave of tie fighters, as they come at you guns a’blazing. Control seems pretty solid in this area, but you’re not required to be precise. You tap the right side of the screen to fire and, with a tap on the left, you can slow down time, supposedly utilizing The Force to your benefit. While this mechanic works well in the Trench Run mode, it’s mostly unused in the dog fights above the surface.
Speaking of this Trench Run mode, I enjoyed it because it was the part of the game that made me feel the most like I was actually piloting a fighter in the movie. Using the accelerometer in the iPhone, you pitch up and down and sway left or right to avoid structures and weapons fire. You can shoot turrets along the way and occasionally have to deal with avoiding Darth Vadar’s personal attacks from a ship tailing you. I found the controls and the general mechanics in this area of the game a bit unyielding. The controls didn’t feel responsive enough and it was hard to judge exactly where your fighter was in relation to the objects you had to avoid while navigating through the trench, which led to numerous unneeded do-overs. A bit of leeway may have done well here, perhaps reducing the ship’s shields by a sizable amount when hitting a structure instead of destroying the ship altogether.
Another little thing I did enjoy about this title is the fact that they used actual scenes from the movies to set the stage, although the scene of the Death Star destroying a planet every time you reached a “Game Over” was a bit overboard – it felt like my face was being rubbed in the fact that I suck. The visuals were nice and the sound effects left me feeling right at home, matching my memories of the movies almost to a tee. The unforgiving nature was my biggest turn-off, and that was amplified by the less than responsive controls in the Trench Run portion, but overall this makes a nice addition to your iPhone game library for a quick bit of Star Wars movie action.
- Game: Star Wars: Trench Run
- Developer: THQ Wireless
- Publisher: THQ Wireless
- Release Date: 11/30/2009
- MSRP: $4.99
- Game Info: A review copy was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the publisher for purposes of this review.