It’s hard to deny that Steven Universe is one of the truly good things in the world, as is its video game.
Let me start by saying that if you’re not on the Steven Universe bandwagon then this game is not for you. You’ll be able to play it fine, but Attack the Light wasn’t made to bring in new fans, it’s made to give the old fans something to enjoy during this horrifying hiatus.
The plot is simple enough: Steven accidently unleashes seven coloured monster types from a crystal and the Gems need to track them down and reimprison them, hijinks and touchscreen battles ensue.
Fights are turn-based, which is the best decision for a touch screen. The Gems use star points to use their various abilities and attacks, you can use them all up in a single turn on save some for extra actions on your next turn. When you launch an attack, or an enemy attacks you, stars will flash up. If you tap the screen when a star appears you can increase the power of your attacks or decrease the strength of enemy blows. This becomes more necessary as the game progresses and enemies become strong enough to wipe out a character in just one or two attacks.
Almost every item is a reference, it actually gets a little silly. Cookie Cat is your standard healing potion, Together Breakfast fully heals your entire party, Rose’s Tear revives a Gem, and Bagel Sandwiches distract foes. It’s a fun joke, but it wears thin quickly.
You also get special badges, which the gems can equip, to give you stat bonuses and other effects. It’s a great way to customise your team and prepare you for the specific challenges you’re facing.
The biggest issue with the game is that it’s easy, but that’s a minor complaint. This game was made for kids, not twenty-two year old RPG veterans. It piles on healing items and bonus star points at every opportunity, but it’s only doing that to give younger and less experienced players a safety net if they mess up the combat.
It’s also not very long, but for around £2 you shouldn’t expect it to be. I completed the main story in maybe three hours, but the extras and secrets added a couple of hours onto the end.
The art style is cute and cartoony. It’s similar enough to the show to be fun, but simplified to make creating game assets easier.
Steven Universe: Attack the Light isn’t anything new, but it’s a solid example of good touchscreen gameplay. There’s enough variety and depth to keep you interested long after the main story is finished, and the various nods and references will keep fans entertained.