Friday, January 14, 2011

Free / Indie Game Review: Starlight 2 - An Amusing Interactive Experience

Title: Starlight 2
Platform: Flash - Plays in browser
Sponsor: Armor Games
My Rating: 7. As an interactive experience,
this is a very amusing work.

   Starlight 2 is a Flash game available for play at Flonga. Each level has an assortment of stars laid out on a 3D plane. They are all connected in a connect-the-dots fashion. By dragging the stars around with the mouse, they can be arranged to form a 2D image; a constellation.
   Starlight 2 is not so much game as it is an interactive experience. I was incredibly intrigued by the experience though. It is very interesting to watch the formations transform while dragging the mouse across the screen. Many of the images are not at all distinguishable until the stars are close to being correctly aligned.
   After playing for a while, I realized the whole game was just too easy. I was having so much fun making the pictures, I did not even realize how effortless the whole ordeal was. Looking for a harder experience, I tried the pro mode. I was not disappointed. The pro mode has you both drag the stars around to make the correct picture as well as rotate it to sit in the correct orientation in the night sky. It is only marginally harder, but it added just enough challenge to keep my interest for a few more minutes.
   The idea explained in Starlight 2 is that you are trying to find the perfect vantage point for the constellation in the sky using your mouse cursor. The graphics are very appropriate for it. At the bottom of the play screen is a shadowed skyline image that adds just a little flavor to the night skies. As the stars rotate with the mouse, you can easily see when you are getting near to the picture thanks to the way the lines are drawn. Almost every time you make the constellation, you cannot help but to smile. Some constellations are particularly amusing.
   The soundtrack was appropriately soothing for the game. A nice little piano melody played throughout the course of the game. Strangely though, I think I have heard this tune before. The whole time I played I kept thinking to myself: "I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars, no handlebars..." Most of us recognize that track.
   Altogether, I think this is a great interactive experience. There is not much gameplay here, but everybody should have a look. If nothing else, I think you will be as amused by making the images appear correctly as I was.

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