Since Disney bought the rights to Star Wars, we’ve seen a steady stream of mobile games, from kids’ puzzlers to MMORPGs—and as a huge Star Wars fan, I had to play them. There have been some really great Star Wars games in the past, but are any of the new mobile options worthy of the venerated Star Wars title? I played 13 of them to find out. Here’s what I thought of each one.
Star Wars: Uprising
Third-person shooters are pretty difficult to pull off on mobile platforms, so my expectations for Uprising were reserved. I played this on my iPhone, which made the available screen space for shooter controls even more limited. But Uprising brings a surprising amount of depth to the table, and has the hallmarks of a potential classic.
In addition to the dungeon-crawler-like story missions, there are massive Sector Battles, a huge amount of gear to collect, and crew management. You maintain a crew of non-playable characters that can run missions regardless of whether you’re playing the game, earning you credits, faction currency, gear, upgrade crystals, and more crew members. It’s pretty addicting: I find myself checking back often to make sure my crew are constantly running missions.
The emphasis on collecting, working together with thousands of other players, the ability to get the best equipment without paying, and decent isometric shooter mechanics make this one of the better Star Wars mobile games out there. 8/10.
Star Wars: Galactic Defense
I’m a big fan of tower defense games, and I’ve been waiting for a good sci-fi one to hit the iPad for a while. And though the basic premise of the game is sound, it doesn’t feel in any way original; in fact, it seems more like a half-baked clone of Kingdom Rush, one of the better TD games available for the iPad.
Four types of towers, multiple upgrade paths, heroes . . . even the notifications for new enemy units are similar to Rush. You can use more than one hero at a time, though, and you get to collect and upgrade a wide range of heroes from across the Star Wars universe, which is cool. These features give the game a little bit of flair, but at its core, it’s just a decent, though unoriginal, TD game. 5/10.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Although it doesn’t really look like it, Galaxy of Heroes is a collectible card game, in the vein of Heavenstrike Rivals. You collect heroes, level them up, manage your formations (the combination of heroes in play at any time), battle through a campaign and against other players, and take control over your heroes during battles. For the most part, switching control over to auto saves a lot of time, though higher-level opponents may require some strategizing and manual control.
The appeal of this game is all in the collecting; get your favorite heroes, build a fun team of Star Wars characters that never would have set foot in the same room (Darth Vader and Aurra Sing teaming up with Ahsoka Tano and Admiral Ackbar? Sign me up!), and see how they fare against other crazy combinations. It’s fun, but not especially deep. 6/10.
Star Wars: Force Collection
When I downloaded this, I expected a game like Galaxy of Heroes . . . and in a way, it looks like that’s what Konami was going for here. But it’s an abysmal effort. Missions include tapping on stationary stormtroopers to slice them with your lightsaber, battles are completely automated, the entire game is hokey-looking, and the way in which victories are determined isn’t very clear.
I couldn’t play this game very long; there’s just nothing to it. While it’s possible that it gets better after several hours of play, I couldn’t bring myself to put more than 30 minutes or so into Force Collection. If you’ve played more and think it’s awesome, let me know in the comments and I’ll give it another shot. Otherwise, I strongly recommend passing on this affront to the Star Wars universe. 3/10.
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
If you’ve played LEGO Star Wars before, you know exactly what to expect. Goofy animations, lots of humor, an absolutely monumental amount of things to collect, and the right mix of fun and challenging gameplay make this a great role-playing game.
These are some of my favorite games, so I was looking forward to seeing how they translated to mobile. I call it a success. The controls are a little difficult to get used to, but in general, it’s pretty intuitive. I think this game would really benefit from a tablet-sized screen; on my phone, it was too easy for me to try to tap on my character and accidentally hit an enemy, or vice versa.
Moving around takes some getting used to, and I never felt like I had great control over where my character was going, but the game does its best to help you out when you need to get somewhere to progress—if you’re trying to collect a secret item, though, you’re on your own. It takes a while to get used to, but overall, this is a very good port. 7/10.
Lego Star Wars: Yoda Chronicles (and New Yoda Chronicles)
You might think that this would just be another LEGO Star Wars game, but it’s actually a bit different. Instead of controlling two or three of your favorite characters, you take control of a squad, which can include heroes, troopers, vehicles, and starships. Tap to move, tap to shoot at a target, and that’s about it. You just follow the directions to different objectives and do your best to stay alive.
There’s not much in the way of gameplay, and the game itself is quite short, but somehow it’s still pretty fun (especially the space battles). I wouldn’t recommend it for much more than playing while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or the airport, but it could be worth downloading if you love Star Wars LEGOs as much as I do (or if you watched the Yoda Chronicles mini-series, which is evidently a thing). 5/10.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Since its release in 2003, KOTOR has remained one of the most loved role-playing games in existence. It’s also been hailed by several publications as one of the best games of all time, Star Wars or no. And it holds up surprisingly well on smaller screens. I played it on my iPhone, where there’s very little room to maneuver your fingers, and found everything to work just fine.
The battle system (pause, select action, hit play, battle) is very conducive to mobile platforms, as it gives you an extra second to think about what to do. The touch interface is easy to use. And the game itself is great—all of the things you love from your favorite RPGs, like skill trees, tiers, tons of different possibilities for gear, and a solid dialogue system, are present. The graphics aren’t great, but they’re as good on the iPhone as they are anywhere else—the game is over a decade old, after all. Definitely check this one out. 9/10.
Angry Birds Star Wars (and Angry Birds Star Wars II)
Whether or not you’ve liked the other thousand or so versions of the addicting Angry Birds games, the Star Wars rendition is a fun and goofy tribute to one of the greatest sci-fi stories of all time. Pretty much everything is the same as in the other Birds games: fling your birds at the evil pigs to destroy structures and get rid of your enemies.
Of course, to add a bit of Star Wars flair, your birds get powers: use Luke’s lightsaber, Han’s blaster, Leia’s tractor beam, and Chewie’s bulldozer-like momentum to wreak havoc on your porcine enemies. A good game for playing when you have a couple minutes to burn and you don’t want to fire up something more involved. Because there isn’t a story to speak of, I’d recommend downloading the free one on your platform first, then getting the paid one if you want more levels. 7/10.
Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions
Recon Missions follows Ezra, the main character of the Star Wars Rebels franchise, in his exploits against the Empire—because Rebels is a kids’ show, this is also a kids’ game. The mechanics are really simple: forward, back, jump, attack. It’s not going to win any awards for depth, but if you know someone who’s a fan of the show, they might like this game.
Honestly, there’s not much to say about this one; you complete quests by jumping and shooting, find hidden emblems, and build a haven for refugees on the planet of Lothalo. That’s about it. 5/10. (Definitely better for kids.)
Star Wars: Commander – Worlds in Conflict
A real-time strategy-ish game, Commander allows you to set up a base, manage your buildings, train troops and build vehicles, and then take them into battle against your enemies (either the Empire or the Rebellion, depending on which side you choose).
Most of the strategy involved is in creating a base that’s well-defended; attacking targets in missions is mostly automated. Resource management also plays a role; you’ll need enough extractors and depots to get and store resources for building more buildings and troopers.
To complete each mission, you’ll need to use your buildings to create an attack force that’s then transported to another location. After arrival, your team has limited time to complete the mission. Destroy all of the opposing troops and buildings before time runs out, and you’ll win. You can also take on other players, which means that you’ll need to make sure your own base is ready to defend itself. Overall, not too bad, and definitely the best option for RTS fans. 6/10.
Star Wars: Heroes Path
Another kids’ game, Heroes Path is actually a turn-based puzzler. It’s probably best for kids in the 6–8 range, but could appeal to older players as well. Each level starts with a number of character in different places, and players need to plan out their moves and actions to make sure the challenge is completed. The first puzzles are exceedingly simple, but they do get a bit more complex as the game goes on.
There are a lot of different things that you can do, from moving characters and ground tiles to activating computers and powers, which makes for a game that stays interesting. There were even some puzzles that took me a few tries to master, and I found it to be rather satisfying when I completed them. Despite being a kids’ game, it’s pretty fun, though the early puzzles can be a bit tedious. 5/10.
Download Star Wars: Heroes Path for iOS (free)
The Best Star Wars Mobile Game: The Verdict
Knights of the Old Republic was the only game in this list to score a 9/10 rating, and I can confidently say that it’s the best Star Wars mobile game out there. Its age is starting to show with its blocky graphics, but the game itself makes up for downfalls in this area. Its seamless transition to mobile also helps a lot. Aspyr, the developer, is considering releasing the sequel, Lords of the Sith, on mobile, and I sincerely hope they decide to (if you’d like them to, sign this petition).
Uprising came in a close second—the shooter mechanics aren’t bad for mobile, and the depth of the game makes it easy to sink a lot of hours into it without getting bored. The minor social aspect makes it interesting, but you don’t have to work with other players if you don’t want to. The gear collection and crew management systems are really addictive, and because you can play 10 or 15 minutes at a time, it’s a good on-the-spot game.
Finally, LEGO Star Wars. These games have been around for a long time, and they’ve always been awesome. Once you get used to the unwieldy mobile controls, the game is just as good as it is on a console or PC. You might need some extra patience to solve the jumping puzzles, but the humor and overall goofiness will always make you smile.
So there you have it. The three best Star Wars mobile games for your mobile gaming pleasure. What do you think of the list? Which games are your favorites? Or do you tend to stick with console and PC Star Wars games? Let us know in the comments!