iPhone Gaming: Karma Star
Karma Star, developed by Majesco Entertainment, is without a doubt the most fascinating and unique game I’ve played on the iPhone. No seriously—I can’t stop playing the darn thing!
It’s a game that takes you through the paces of life in just 8 turns where you compete against 2 other players (represented by either AI or human). Games are over fairly quickly with an average of 8 minutes in length. You compete with 2 other players (AI controller or human) for the highest score. Each player has 5 traits: Health, Mind, People, Love and Money that are rated with a score of 1 through 5. Each turn you’re given the option to either boost a trait, which improves it’s score by 1, or by attacking another player’s identical trait scoring 2 points if you win the battle.
During combat players roll “dice” against one another. The higher rating your trait has, the more dice rolls you will get. For instance if your trait rating is 4 then you will get 4 dice rolls. If the accumulated score from these rolls are higher than your opponents—you win the round!
To really add some variety to the game Majesco has added wildcards. You can choose to play wildcards at the start of your turn, or during combat to influence the game in your favor. Wildcards vary from the helpful “Corruption” which allows you to steal a trait point from another player and “Moxie” which adds +2 to your dice rolls in combat, to the hell Mary type like “Sacrifice” where you can sacrifice 2 traits for an extra turn.
The game also rewards strategic gameplay with bonuses. Bonuses are a bit like the Achievement system on Xbox Live but more practical in nature because they boost your game score. For instance if you steal a wildcard from both players you will receive the “Thief” bonus boosting your score by 1. Or how about the bonus “Bully”, were attacking both players at least once nets you a point. The “Double Major” bonus get you a point if you get 2 of your traits up to level 5.
Karma Star is a game about human nature: Progression, development and conquest, but in a bite size format. With it's short game time and instant replayability it’s a perfect fit for handheld gaming. On top of all of this it's a steal for $1.99!
Posted by Mark