Star Wars: Trench Run

Star Wars: Trench Run is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

Currently Unavailable

Star Wars: Trench Run Review

Star Wars dorks and fiends unite! If you’re one of the millions and millions of fanatics that are instantly excited by any new wrinkle to the iconic universe that George Lucas created, there’s a special treat that has come to you courtesy of THQ. Star Wars: Trench Run is an original iPhone game that largely rides the coattails of the climatic end of the original 1977 film. Not a shabby piece of lore to steal from, but does it hold up enough to be the underpinning of an entire game? Sort of…

Throughout the game’s Mission mode, which serves it’s main campaign exhibition, you’re taken on a whirlwind tour through some classic scenarios you saw in the original film. In all five interlocked missions, you play Luke Skywalker while piloting an X-Wing. Though you have a one-off dogfighting mission, the rest of the game is spent on the surface of the Death Star. In the trenches, maneuvering your X-Wing around obstacles while taking out stationary Empire cannons comprise the bulk of the experience. There’s no pauses or checkpoints as you go, so it’s completely possible to play through the game while thinking it was one long mission.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

The game is solidly put together, but the lack of gameplay variety and length is a hindrance. Tilting the iPhone influences the flight path of your X-Wing. Actions are split into four quadrants on the iPhone’s screen, and they respond perfectly. Holing the bottom-right fires off your lasers, while holding the bottom-left triggers a bullet time slowdown effect to help with aiming. Rarely used options to toggle your cockpit view and pause the game use the upper regions of the iPhone’s screen.

As we alluded to earlier, the problem is that there isn’t enough core game to use these great mechanics. We were able to complete the game within 10 minutes. Completing the game lets you upload your total score to online leaderbards, but you can only view the top 10 scores. Though you can replay the Mission Mode in different difficulty levels, it’s not a good enough Band-Aid for the lack of game here.

Who would shoot at an adorable little TIE fighter?

On the side, there are two quick play modes dubbed Trench Arcade and Dog Fight Arcade for scenarios where you have a few minutes to kill. Both modes reuse the art assets from the Mission Mode to create never ending endurance style modes that keep going until you die. The objective of scoring the most points you can is undermined by the fact that only the ten best scores are viewable.

Star Wars Trench Run has an awesome presentation layer baked in. Everything looks and sounds like Star Wars, and there aren’t many rough edges at all. In all the standard measurable areas (e.g. object models, frame rate, special effects, soundtrack, etc.) the game delivers brilliantly.

All things considered, this is a good game in a variety of respects. Though it’s lacking in substantive depth, there’s a lot that fans of the brand will totally love. Everyone else, weigh the pros and cons mentioned here and make your own determination.

More stories on Star Wars: Trench Run

Star Wars: Trench Run Updated With New Levels and Features

Hot off the heels of tower defense best-seller Star Wars: Battle For Hoth, last year’s Star Wars game just received a major new update. Star Wars: Trench Run now has new levels, ships, and features that let you use your iPhone to control the web version of the game.

Version 2.0 adds Y-Wings and the Millennium Falcon to the Rebel’s space force, with three missions where you play as Han Solo protecting the Rebel assault on the Death Star. You’ll even have a chance to shoot down Darth Vader’s Advanced TIE Fighter.

The new iPhone version also lets you wirelessly control the web version of the game, found here.

Since it’s Comic-Con week and we’re geeking out big time in San Diego, we’ll be sure to try out this new update and let you know if it makes Trench Run worth revisiting. The original game, as we said in our original review, is fun for Star Wars devotees but a bit too short to be worth five dollars. Maybe this new update will help bring balance to the Force.

Star Wars Trench Run Hands-On Preview

The climactic Death Star battle from the end of the original Star Wars still gets Jedi wannabes pumped up. Some of us still feel sad thinking of Porkins, Biggs Darklighter, and the other members of Red Squadron who died taking on the Empire’s moon-sized space station. Maybe they were just fictional heroes, but their valiant struggle is still iconic.

This is why we’re excited to see this classic moment in Star Wars history reenacted on the iPhone. In THQ’s upcoming shooter, you’ll get to fight TIE fighters with your X-Wing in open space, with hardly anything more than the Death Star or Yavin IV serving as your horizon. You’ll also go into the trenches of the Death Star, disabling its defenses so you can set up that one crucial torpedo shot.

We liked the free-flying dogfighting levels, which reminded us of the classic X-Wing and TIE Fighter space-flight sims from Lucasarts on the PC. They’re quite a bit simplified for Trench Run, though.

Instead of adjustable speed, your most helpful tool is a Force slowdown button that you can activate by touching anywhere on the left side of the screen. This makes it easy to line up your targets and take the shot by hitting the right side of the screen. You have different camera views, including one inside the cockpit, and the tilt controls seemed to work well for this simplified shooter.

Once you get down into the trench, the game becomes a bit more like the Rebel Assault games on the PC: You’re surrounded on all sides by the walls of the Death Star trench and kept on a very narrow flight path. In one level we played we had to take out turrets lining the path while avoiding obstacles, and in another Darth Vader’s TIE fighter loomed behind us, and we had to avoid his targeting system from the point of view of Vader’s cockpit.

Of course, the game ends when you get a direct hit on a particular exhaust port with your proton torpedoes, but we still want to know what replay value the game will have. At this point it looks like a simple but exciting hour or two of gameplay, and now we’re begging THQ to go even deeper with a full-on Star Wars space fighter. This may be just a taste of what’s possible when a skilled developer uses a big license to make a game exclusively for the iPhone. MTFBWY, THQ.