Tag Archives: Canada

Quick Game Impressions – BarStar for the iPhone

I’m a sucker for local talent. I like Canadians and I like people who feel genuine passion about their product.

So when someone named, @barstar tweeted me, saying that if I liked Plants vs. Zombies (I do), I should try BarStar, my interest was slightly piqued. When I found out that they work practically down the street from me, well I decided to give them a shot. Why not? What have I got to lose? Let’s help that Ottawa  job market one app at a time. So a week later, I downloaded BarStar for the iPhone.

BarStar - Featuring Chase in red; Artie is behind the bar.

Bottom line: It’s a great little app.

BarStar a time management game. In this case, our heroine, Chase is a waitress at a bar that she and her brother, Artie have inherited. Chase has to check IDs, take orders, show people where the bathroom is, take in cash and a myriad of other tasks. Artie has to mix drinks, as well as pour wine and beer. And you only have a certain amount of time to do all of this AND make a certain amount of money. Give someone a wrong drink: it’s game over. Take too long, customers leave the bar.

Over the days and weeks, you can earn enough money to purchase upgrades to your bar. A bouncer will check ID for you. A DJ will keep the dance floor hopping. You can magically make Artie and Chase perform their tasks faster. And so on and so on.

The controls are very simple, intuitive and responsive. Press where you want to go, drag your finger to the selection. Done.  The screen for the iPhone does not show the entire bar, but this adds to the difficulty. You have to keep scanning left and right to make sure a customer in the corner isn’t getting mad. The difficulty ramps up nicely, some levels have quirks, and force you to play the game differently.

It’s fun, it’s cute and it also has that pick up and go-ness that is important in a handheld game. I can play a level in a few minutes while I’m waiting in a line up or whatever. There is a mix of long-term strategy (what upgrades do I purchase?) and simple “in-the-now” gameplay.

I also like Chase as a visual character. She is beautiful without being exploited. She’s also the brains behind the operation. Artie is also decently portrayed. He’s a bit geeky, but not as annoying as I feared. My only criticism is that I can’t necessarily replay a previous level. That is merely my game play preference.  But hey, it’s an iPhone app, its meant to be fun: it is. If that is the only criticism I have: so be it.

I say, if you are looking for a pick up and play game on the iPhone and you have already downloaded the usual suspects, give BarStar a try, and let me know what you think!