Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Impressions

Sony knows how to capture gamers. While I’ve never been a natural fan of its Free Realms or collectible online card games, they’ve managed to drag me into the upcoming Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures with the most insidious of ploys – casual games with Star Wars themes.

The game is aimed at younger players, ostensibly the fans of the Clone Wars TV series. However they know that includes old folks like me who grew up owing our souls and paper route money to George Lucas for the next cool series of Star Wars action figures.

So instead of cutesy matching games or coin clicking challenges the game features a nice collection of mini-games built off some serious gamer cred. While some games aim squarely for a younger audience, mainstream gamers will still find some fun to be had.

My favorite games available during the beta were “Stunt Gungan” and “Republic Defender”, these are two good examples of the casual versus subversive hardcore games hidden in Clone Wars Adventures.

Stunt Gungan is a cathartic opportunity to inflict pain on the most annoying Star Wars character ever created, Jar Jar Binks, “whosa bombaad stunt Gungan.”  The game lets you fling the character into the air, trying to see how long you can keep him up and moving over a distance. There have been tons of little flash games that are basically the same thing, but somehow inflicting pain on Jar Jar made it even more fun. This is the epitome of casual fun.

On the other side there is Republic Defender, which is a Star Wars tower defense game with multiple levels. Like the popular Plants vs. Zombies, Republic Defender allows you to set static tower guns to defend a bubbled city from an onrush of clankers. Earn points and upgrade as the droid army increases its assault. Like most tower defense games the difficulty ramps up and  you need serious strategy to beat the later levels.

There are also a selection of daily games that players can use to make quick credits to customize their avatars and player housing. One is simply a “click and win” game you can play once per day for free credit, but others need a little knowledge of trivia or basic physics to master.

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures really does offer a lot of variety for gamers of all ages, and the ability to challenge friends to a speeder bike race or head to head competition for points and bragging rights in the Rebel Assault-like Starfighter.

When the game goes live new levels will be added and new games centered around episode content and I can easily see myself spending my ten minute game break at the office blasting droids or throwing Jar Jar into giant piles of Poo Doo. You should join me in that.

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