Tiny Death Star

Tiny Death Star is here, fellow Star Wars nerds, and we've had some time today to put it through its paces.

Released by the fine folks at Nimblebit in conjunction with Disney, Tiny Death Star is essentially the now-classic Tiny Tower with a Star Wars twist. It released for the iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms, and it's free-to-play.

Is this management game worth your time? Or is it pure bantha fodder?

Here's what you'll love.

The music and look of this game is spot-on outstanding. As the gameplay trailer that heads up this section shows off, the Tiny Death Star features a great pixelated take on classic Star Wars locales and characters. And the elevator renditions of stuff like the "Imperial March" is perfect.

The nods to Star Wars moments, dialogue and tropes are all fantastic, really. At the core of Tiny Death Star lies the same formula we found in Tiny Tower. It's a nice, management-based distraction from real life. The Star Wars stuff, though, is what puts it over the top. This is a nerd's delight.

The Emperor is present in the game as the sole quest giver. Some of the stuff he doles out will consist of visiting a section of the game's menu, building a specific floor type or assigning someone to a job. The quests always grant big rewards, and they add a nice spot of motivation for playing.

The Star Wars look also brings a few twists on gameplay, too. You'll build Imperial Levels on the under-belly of your retail space, and these will let you do things like interrogate Rebels for… you guessed it… more credits.

As you play, you'll unlock unique scenes when Bitizens arrive. These are all silly jokes and plays on characters in the Star Wars universe. One we liked featured Jar Jar Binks destroying the ceiling with his tongue, a few support beams crashed on him followed by the enormous Jabba the Hutt. Yes, it's silly, but silly is good.

In fact, all of the unlockables are brilliant. Characters, costumes, levels and more all look perfect in this pixelated take on Star Wars. You can buy them with Bux, and some stuff like Boba Fett will cost a lot, but they are there for the taking in free form. Just earn enough Bux and they're yours. Or pay money… which is why this game was made.

Here's what you'll hate.

The fact that this is really just Tiny Tower in Star Wars clothing is a double-edged sword. If you played Tiny Tower to death, you'll likely get bored by this pretty quickly. The Star Wars theme is great, but the core gameplay remains largely unchanged. It really depends on how big of a nerd you are. Good thing we're huge nerds. We loved the Star Wars extras.

This is a free-to-play game designed to addict you and earn your money based on binge spending and convenience fees. Just like the original Tiny Tower, Tiny Death Star eventually hits a wall of fiscal demand. You'll play and play until you wind up spending most of your time in game working the elevator and waiting for things to be built or get delivered. The only way to skip that wait time? Get lucky and score a few free Bux or pay money.

After a few days with the game, it might into more of a chore. Most of these games go that route. If Nimblebit can constantly release new floors, characters and scenes, we might see a desire to keep playing. But, once everything's unlocked, they'll rely on your addiction to stay in Space Business.

The Windows Phone version of the game packed an annoying spot of lag whenever a Bitizen rode the elevator. Once you reached their desired level, the game would stutter for a second or two before continuing. This also occured while moving through menus and making selections. We played it on an up-to-date Lumia 920.

Is Tiny Death Star worth your time?


This is more than just a Star Wars skin on an aging product. Nimblebit was smart to bring out the big guns and IG-88s for this one. Tiny Death Star is a strong management game for any mobile gamer; but, Star Wars geeks? You need this in your lives.

Hey, it's free.

Disclaimer: We downloaded Tiny Death Star on the iOS and Windows Phone platforms. We did not spend any money on it or during play.