Brisksaber Review

Brisksaber– or perhaps more accurately “Star Wars: Brisksaber,” were one to go by the title screen logo– is a free iPhone game released by Mekanism as part of a cross-promotional campaign between Lipton Brisk iced tea and Lucasfilm to promote the upcoming 3D release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

The core of the game is based on Fruit Ninja, but instead of slicing up various fruits with a katana, you’re chopping up everything on the opposing side of the Star Wars universe with a lightsaber. You have to give it points for premise alone, especially when you get to slice Jar Jar Binks in half. At last! And it’s semi-official, too!

My name’s Darth Maul, and I’m here to “maul” you!

When we say “the opposing side,” that leads us into the wide variety of options this game incorporates. Granted, it’s all pretty much aesthetic, but at least it adds some variety. You can choose to be a Jedi Knight on the Light Side of the Force, or a Sith Lord on the Dark Side. That paves the way to a a choice between what kind of lightsaber you wish to wield. Jedis can choose from Obi-Wan’s, Qui-Gon’s, Yoda’s, and Mace “Samuel L. Jackson” Windu’s, while Sith Lords can choose from Darth Maul’s (you only get to use one end, though), and… that’s it until Darth Vader’s is unlocked on March 1st. Well, almost.

Both sides also get to use the titular “Brisksaber,” which glows with a mix of blue and green, and actually looks kind of neat for something which is a blatant promotion.

You choose a mode between Survival and Time Trial, and you’ll be taken to a background based on the side you’ve chosen. There, numerous characters, ships, droids, and items from the opposing side will be tossed up, and you use your finger to control the lightsaber’s blade, moving it around the screen to slice, dice, and perform more cuts than George Lucas in the editing room. On occasion, an ally will pop up– they can be quickly identified by their glowing aura. These are typically droids, with R2 on the Light Side, which is kind of unfortunate, as one of our guiltier pleasures is to hit him anyway, causing him to let out that droid-ish squeal of his. Of course, striking an ally will cost you one of three hits, which are also taken if you miss striking an enemy item.

Jar Jar gets what’s coming to him.

Oh, and in case you’d forgotten half of what they’re selling, both sides see the occasional bottle of Lipton® Brisk® iced tea pop up, and striking it triggers the commercial’s iconic “that’s BRISK®, baby!” soundbyte.

In addition, slicing your foes adds to a meter which will unleash a spinning saber attack which performs multiple hits. You can use these on regular screens full of enemies to good effect, or save them for the occasional multi-slashing boss encounter with the likes of Mace Windu or Darth Maul. The number of items thrown grows more hectic as the game progresses until you finally succumb to defeat. At that point, you can see how you rank on leaderboards, as well as post your score to Twitter and Facebook.

Rounding things out are voice samples, sounds, and music taken from the Star Wars film library, helping give the whole experience the very authentic feel one would expect from a Star Wars product in this day and age. If there is any downside to the game, it’s that the saber doesn’t quite move with the same grace and fluidity that the sword in Fruit Ninja does, but it’s not really bad, either.

As free games go, this is a neat little piece of advergaming which also manages to be fun, especially if you like Star Wars. And you just can’t go wrong with that.

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