Star Breed – Episode 1 brilliantly merges game and comic book

Nov 2, 2010
Games

They say that life is all about expectations. What you get out of something is based, almost solely, on what you expected to get. When I started playing (reading) Star Breed – Episode 1 by Agni Studios, I could not figure it out. I felt like I couldn’t get past the intro dialogue so that […]

They say that life is all about expectations. What you get out of something is based, almost solely, on what you expected to get. When I started playing (reading) Star Breed – Episode 1 by Agni Studios, I could not figure it out. I felt like I couldn’t get past the intro dialogue so that I could begin playing. Until this point in time, I had never played, or read, a “gamebook.” I expected a first-person shooter, or some type of third-person, overhead shooter. However, I found an entirely new way to read a story. If you enjoy reading sci-fi, you will enjoy this interactive gamebook.

When I went to download it, all the reviews in the App Store were raving about this app. When I began playing (reading), I assumed that there had been some side-effect (that failed to happen to me) that induced a state of euphoria on the player, with an urge to put a positive review on iTunes. Turns out they were all experienced gamebook readers (players?) and I had something to learn.

Star Breed has a very epic feeling to it. As you watch the intro screens, a great sense of anticipation builds. As a audibly-oriented learner, I focus in on the soundtrack and sound effects before anything else, and they did a wonderful job in this department. As I read through the first few chapters, I was amazed at how drawn into the story I became. You find yourself completely immersed. The music draws emotion out of the words and it becomes more than a book.

As you read you will be presented with decisions that must be made, which will inevitably change the outcome of your story. There are also puzzle-type situations that you will be presented with and you will enter a mini-game scene within the book. This portion of the game reminded me of Myst, in which you have no question but must find the answer.

This brings me to my one grievance with the app. During some of these encounters, or mini-games, you will enter ‘combat’ or begin ‘deciphering’ something. Here, you will have three symbols at the bottom of the screen. An additional symbol, matching one of the three, will fall at varying speeds from the top of the screen. It is your job to tap the matching symbol on the bottom of the screen in order to successfully ‘win’ the mini-game. Really? I felt like I was playing with blocks. I found myself dreading it every time it came up. I did, however, persist through so that I could continue reading.

As I said in the beginning, if you read sci-fi, you will enjoy this app. If you have never tried a gamebook and would like a new experience that may even have you browsing for other ways to sate your desire for interactive reading material, try Star Breed. It will certainly be a different experience for you — and a good one.

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