Star Wars: Cantina: 3-Minute Warning

Posted by Grey Monday, April 19, 2010

A long time ago, diner dashing in a galaxy far, far away....

Usage of a movie license for gaming is getting a little too often frequent, and that is especially so for the iPhone, probably due to the relatively lower product costs. And there probably isn't any movie license that comes bigger than Star Wars, all the more adding to the surprise one can imagine upon laying hands on this light-hearted though somewhat lacking time management game, exclusive on the iPhone.

With a novel idea that marries the troubled little hangout for scums of intergalactic proportion featured in the original trilogy of Star Wars, to a Diner Dash-style time management game, Star Wars: Cantina put players into the role of Nia, who is in town just in time to help the bar owner Robb to earn enough money to pay off a loan shark (nope, not a Hutt, though a Hutt does appear later in the game).

And just like every other time management games where players have to deal with impatient, nit-picking patrons who comes in the dozen, get themselves into table-serving frenzy, and have the usual in-between stage's upgrading of tools or facilities, Star Wars: Cantina tread on the very same ground, only that it comes with a Star Wars twist.

The mere presence of the stormtroopers storming into the cantina to be serve by you is in itself quite a funny sight to behold. Undoubtedly, the real stars of the game is the patrons. From the commonplace moisture farmers, to Jawas, Bounty Hunters, Gamorreans, Twi'lek Smugglers, Stormtroopers to the aforementioned Hutt, these minor though nonetheless signature stock character of the Star Wars mythos brought an unexplainable fun factor to the 16 levels of Campaign Mode. And they are not just showing their collective faces for an obligatory role, as almost all of these archetypes actually have their very own personalities which keyed into an important factor that will affect the gameplay itself. While the moisture farmers, being the lowest class in the game (and probably the Star Wars universe, oh wait, not them, the lowest class must be the freaking Ewoks) have the remarkable patience waiting to be served all day, you won't get to have that luxury with the Gamorreans or the Stormtroopers, who will display their rage on being served badly by thrashing your joint. However, being highly paid individuals, they do tend to tip more generously than the moisture farmers.

The cantina, though a minor location in the original trilogy, has its significance for setting the "Han shot first" scene and its fun jazzy atmosphere. All this have been nicely captured in this game with the original Cantina theme making it into the game along with many other classic Star Wars tunes getting a jazzy facelift.

The artists on the game also turned out a terrific job, with the playful, cartoony take of the character designs being suitably bright for the tone of the game. With such decent production, it is a pity that the gameplay comes out somewhat short.

The gameplay started out fun and considerably beginner-friendly, but as the levels progresses, the lack of options to further customize or improve the original setup and the overt-simplified gameplay crippled the potential of the game. This fact is probably indicative of the developer's play-it-safe mentality, which roots back to the earlier mentioned licensing issue.


The Rundown
In theory, this is a great marriage of ideas, bringing in the Stormtroopers and the drinks servers. However, the gameplay comes out short when compared to the intuitive gameplay of Diner Dash.
I won't say it's strictly for die-hard Star Wars fans only, but I wouldn't recommend shelving out five bucks for this.

The Good
- The great character designs by the artists managed to conjure a fun, bright adventurous spirit
- The Cantina version of the Star Wars tunes is a nice touch

The Bad
- Functional though lacking gameplay
- The virtual touch screen is not sensitive enough

And The Cute Little Stormtroopers
Yeah, Stormtroopers don't come any cuter than these.


For a more transparent understanding on the Game Reviews here in The Daily Zombies, please check out "The Daily Zombie Rating System And Review Policy for Gaming".


THQ Wireless Inc.
Star Wars: Cantina
Category: Game
Price: $0.99
Released: Apr 02, 2010
Size: 31.6 MB
Seller: THQ Inc.
Latest version: 1.0.22 (iPhone OS 3.0 Tested)


Hop in the shoes of galactic adventurer Nia Adea and try your hand at running a little cantina on Tatooine - serving refreshments on a hot desert planet can get really hectic! Featuring a colorful clientele familiar to all fans of classic Star Wars: trigger-happy Rodians, burly Gamorreans, Imperial stormtroopers and even a Hutt among others. There is never a dull moment in the Thirsty Bantha Cantina!

Star Wars: Cantina is all about trying to keep your cool when a steady stream of demanding customers all want your attention at the same time. Robb the bartender will take care of mixing the drinks but your task is to see that the right beverage finds its way to the right customer. And don’t keep them waiting, some of the customers are real troublemakers! Working towards your daily quota, accuracy and speed are essential. As a reward for a job well done, outfit your cantina with decorations and attractions to appeal to even the most difficult customers.

Familiar Star Wars characters, original and colorful visual style, a customizable cantina and casual but challenging gameplay make sure that the game feels as fresh as a cool drink on a hot Tatooine afternoon.

Key Features:

• Run your own Star Wars Cantina.
• A humorous take on the Star Wars universe.
• Take orders, deliver drinks and serve customers to maximize your tips!
• Customize your cantina with upgrades to make your customers enjoy themselves more.
• Career Mode with increasingly challenging levels and a story told through cartoon visuals.
• Endless Shift Mode: see how long you can keep up with the stream of customers.

For games that really rock (and roll and shake and...) check out

Other games from THQ Wireless:
CHOP SUSHI! – Master Chef’s quirky puzzle adventure.
STAR WARS THE FORCE UNLEASHED – iPhone version of the hugely successful console game.
PASS THE PIGS – A dice game with a difference!
DE BLOB – Paint the town Red, Blue, or Green. iPhone version of the best selling Wii game
STAR WARS SOUND BOARD – The best sound bites from your favourite Star Wars characters!
INDIANA JONES SOUND BOARD – The best sound bites from the world’s greatest action hero!
SUPER FRUITFALL – Match-3, screen tilting puzzle fun!
WWE LEGENDS – Relive, rewrite or redefine the greatest moments in WWE History
PET VET - Animal lover’s dream – care for all creatures great and small with no vets fees!
UP! – The official game of the Disney.Pixar motion picture
TREASURE GRAB – A maze chase game of stealing everything
INDIANA JONES AND THE LOST PUZZLES - Indiana Jones’ first ever puzzle adventure!


Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later.


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