The cycle of fervor for the Star Wars saga has started all over again now that the news has arrived of the new trilogy to launch in just over a year and the first moving images have been released for the seventh movie in the series. Whether you opt for the colossal MMORPG from Bioware, one of the countless free-to-play Android minigames or a ramshackle fangame of the many to be found around the web, it’s a good time to have a look through the free Star Wars games you can fall back on to calm your excess of Midi-chlorians.
Star Wars: Commander (Android)
The good thing about Star Wars is that, with its rich backstory that’s been thoroughly embraced by several generations, it can be adapted to any sort of gameplay without too much ‘screeching’ in the mash-up. In this case, the clash between the empire and the rebels is expressed using the gameplay from the popular Clash of Clans: that is, managing buildings and troops divided into ascending tiers, then planning attacks on enemy bases. You can accelerate your progress with the inevitable (though at least optional) micro-purchases. Disney knows what the people want.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (Windows/Mac)
This title is like a shrine on this list. The $200 million it cost EA/Bioware to produce this MMORPG took its tool, forcing the studio to shift the business model from subscription to free-to-play in an attempt to increase its scany player base. The gambit paid off, and three years after its launch there are more than a million active players acting as galactic messengers and grinding mass murders of Moradors in the sands of Tatooine.
Star Wars: Force Collection (Android)
Going back to what I mentioned in Commander, just like with the theme song from Guile, Star Wars sticks on anything, and given the ‘nerdy’ quality of its expanded universe and the adaptation of the saga to so many different spheres, Star Wars lore is like a fish in water when we’re talking about collectible card games. Force Collection has you create decks of cards to take you through battles based on statistics, life points, attacks, and special powers. A mishmash of battles between iconic characters and vehicles from all over the place courtesy of the one and only Konami. So this is what it’s come to….
Star Wars: Assault Team (Android)
Another card game with a rather different approach from the last one. It gets closer in terms of its gameplay and looks to many turn-based JRPGs, with a small squadron of characters that advance through 3D scenarios—albeit on rails, no free movement or anything. Your aim in each turn is to choose who each character should attack and when to user their special powers, all following the storylines of the six films. You may end up repeating levels to get better rewards with which to fortify your troops.
LEGO Star Wars 1 and 2 (Android)
There’s a LEGO Star Wars on practically every game platform that’s come out in the past decade. The popular constructor game is a winning card that’s flirted with brands of all stripes, from Marvel and DC superheroes to other famous film sagas like Harry Potter. In the case of both versions for Android, they keep with the commonalities of the LEGO line, alternating platform levels with others such as arcade driving while you collect blocks and traverse iconic settings from the movies. The second part adds gameplay from strategy games with the development of different units.
Star Wars: Galactic Defense (Android)
Here again, a new gameplay that still works. The name gives you an idea beforehand that this is a tower defense where you have to select one of the two sides to get through levels via the popular mechanic where you position defensive artillery along a path to keep successive waves of enemies from advancing. You can improve your fortifications as you get through the levels.
Angry Birds Star Wars 1 and 2 (Android)
Back to betting on the winning horse, especially since we’re talking about the star franchise from Rovio. Put Darth Vader’s helmet on a pissed-off chicken and you’ll have legions of fans downloading the umpteenth iteration of the Star Wars saga. The same gameplay with strokes of galactic lore. Such has been these titles’ degree of success that more dolls and board games from Angry Birds Star Wars are now sold than the ‘normal’ birds and pigs.
Star Wars: Tiny Death Star (Android)
Finally something different. The NimbleBit studio had already made a splash a while ago with Tiny Tower, a pixelated little game where you had to manage a huge skyscraper where you could build businesses and homes on each of the floors that you added. Now the concept has been extrapolated to a death star; add a little imagination and voilà, within a few minute you’re setting up a Mos Eisley cantina underneath an imperial interrogation chamber.
Star Wars: The Ultimate Showdown (Windows)
Now for an extra scoop. Fighting games made with the MUGEN engine are always a bag of surprises. In this case, some fan out there found it entertaining to rip out the sprites of most of the characters that appeared in the Super Star Wars trilogy for Super Nintendo. The result is a wildly unbalanced fangame where everything is broken, with all the madness being more than made up for by letting you face off as Jawa against the rancor.
Star Wars Bloodlines (Windows)
Here comes the final offering, also extracted from the depths of the web. This freeware game makes use of the resources used in Yoda Stories, an old game for Windows launched in 1997 where you had to complete Luke Skywalker’s training under the tutelage of Yoda. In this case, the game offers an action RPG gameplay in the style of Zelda 2D, with the storyline continuing the events of the original trilogy. With all these mash-ups, contradictions, and fan fictions, this expanded universe is like a siren’s call for Star Wars nerds.