By Ricci Kearney
Video Game Reviews
9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013
In the distant future, humanity has congregated and found shelter on a planet in the far reaches of the galaxy called Terra Nova. A strange alien ship, simply known as the Ravager, destroyed the planet and threatened the very existence of mankind. Now, on the Phoenix Space Station, humanity is working together to explore the far reaches of the universe and defend against vicious space pirates and hostile space aliens. As a young cadet from the Military Space Academy, you will explore the universe and protect humanity and the galaxy. This is "Starborn Wanderers," and it is awesome.
"Starborn Wanderers" is an open world RPG that puts you in the role of a generic space cadet. The game begins by allowing you to choose between a male or female character. From there, you can customize the character's name and upgrade them as the game continues. While it is awesome that the male character resembles Captain Mal Reynolds from "Firefly" (one of the best space shows ever), it is even better that you can choose a female character. The experience is the same no matter what, but with the lack of female characters in video games, this is a plus. After you select your character, you are introduced to the universe of the game.
The graphics for "Starborn Wanderers" look incredible. The game perfectly mixes 2-D and 3-D imagery to create a unique world. The cut scenes feature static animated images for characters with written text. It would be great to have voice over and video for these moments, as they are a bit long and take you away from the action. The game's unique cast of characters feature humans and aliens of all sizes and shapes. The variety and uniqueness of the characters reveal that there is a larger universe waiting to be explored. The graphics and action is bright and colorful. You are not only told there is a greater universe at hand, you believe it.
"Starborn Wanderers" features turn-by-turn gameplay. This has always been a problem of mine in video games since I feel it takes control of the fight out of my hands. However, there are a lot of features that make up for it here. First off, there are varying attacks and power-ups that allow you to attack situations in different ways. You also earn upgrades after every battle that can be used to purchase health, weapons and other equipment. The space combat is great and reminiscent of other games I have played in the past, but this game still manages to feel unique.
It's a fantastic space adventure. As I am writing this, all I can think about is jumping back into the universe to explore more of it. While this game will be compared to "Mass Effect," that's not such a bad thing. If this is a "Mass Effect" for your iPad, then I'm sold. "Starborn Wanderers" is worth the time, worth the exploration and worth the download.
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