IMPRESSIONS: Starlit Adventures Golden Stars

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

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I’m gonna be real honest. I didn’t expect much from Starlit Adventures Golden Stars. I mostly took it on a whim to help support a fledgling developer from Brazil, Rockhead Studios. All I really knew is it was a cute platformer that first came out for mobile. Which doesn’t necessarily instill me with excitement, though I have learned there’s more quality in the mobile arena than I used to believe. Quickly after starting up the game, I got vibes from many NES classics. There’s ability swapping and animal riding a la Kirby; block pushing akin to Adventures of Lolo and more. And though my expectations were set low, Starlit Adventures Golden Stars actually impressed me.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving away any game of the year awards, but fret not. Starlit Adventures doesn’t have to be the best game ever to leave a good impression. Things start out pretty simple and slowly ramp up bit by bit. The adventure starts with what I call an evil Kangaroo Furby stealing a bunch of stars. Your goal is to get them back. Each world is split into 8 levels, with the final one culminating in a boss battle. Your goal is to dig down from the top of each stage to the bottom, collecting loot, stickers and stars while avoiding enemy fire. You can dig through blocks of earth adjacent to or below you, as well as jump and use attacks. The mechanic that makes this more than mediocre are the suits. Most stages allow you to select from colorful suits at the beginning, and they’re not just cosmetic. Each one provides new abilities. You can toss explosives with the Bomb suit, electrocute foes and attract metal blocks with the Electric suit, and much more. A lot of the fun is playing through a level a second time with the proper suit to collect all the stars. Often these can be acquired various ways, but some special Golden Stars require a specific suit to nab.

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The controls work pretty seamlessly, and there’s not much complexity to confuse the player. My only complaint regarding how Starlit Adventures plays is that your team of Bo & Kikki sometimes don’t do what you want. More than once my abilities would suddenly not activate, such as the Ninja suit’s grappling hook. Other times, there’s a sponginess to their movement, with them almost backtreading a bit after walking. It’s nothing game breaking, but it’s a bit annoying. I prefer really tight controls. Thankfully, it’s minor enough that it didn’t dramatically impact my experience.

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It’s fun wandering about each stage, jumping on enemy heads and collecting everything possible. The sticker packs are also a cute diversion. You find some in stages, and others are earned whenever you get enough points to “level up”. The quotation marks are there cause it’s not really leveling up. Bo & Kikki have no stats and learn no additional abilities. What leveling up does is give you a cute but barren mini game that results in you picking up a new sticker pack. There’s a chance you can find an extra one, but it’s pretty random. I do wish the Bonus game was more of an actual game, but it’s not that offensive. By opening up sticker packs, you can populate an album of pictures, trading in extras for more packs. It’s a fun loop, though I doubt there’s much relevance to it other than collecting everything. On that note, there’s also a bunch of achievements I kept unlocking in droves as I played.

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One fun bonus are some extra suits in this game – Dino, Unicorn and Dragon. You can select them in some stages, as well as using them for themed Challenges. This was one of my favorite elements of Starlit Adventures, since it was the most challenging part. Also fun, there’s a lot of replay value in the game at large. Besides the 144 levels and Challenges, you also unlock something called Infinite Tower. So there’s a lot more game than I expected from the casual focus. And though it’s not hardcore in the slightest, this is still a fun adventure to unwind with. Visually, the game is nice. There’s a cute Klonoa vibe to everything, with lots of bright colors. The music is underwhelming, though the sound effects are bright and bold.

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Overall, I had a pretty good time with Starlit Adventures Golden Stars. I generally focus on more difficult platforming, but it can be a relief to play something that isn’t trying to murder you outright. With unlimited continues and nothing like time limits, this is a relaxing experience. Though it does offer micro-transactions, you in no way need to use any to experience the full game. If you enjoy platformers but want something milder, you should give this a try.

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About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.