A long time ago, on games consoles far, far away, modern-day LEGO® Games kicked into life with a game written off by many but loved by a generation of gamers. LEGO Star Wars became the blueprint for all the LEGO games which followed it. As we eagerly await the long-delayed Skywalker Saga, a new LEGO Star Wars has just been released which captures the magic of the very first LEGO Star Wars game.
LEGO Star Wars Castaways is the latest LEGO addition to the Apple Arcade platform. This subscription-based games service for Apple devices has become the favoured place for LEGO game releases, with Builder’s Journey, LEGO Brawls and LEGO Star Wars Battles all launching or exclusive to Apple Arcade.
Build your own in-game LEGO minifigure from hundreds of LEGO pieces in a new Star Wars game on Apple Arcade. Discover a secret world, now home to fellow Castaways and build a life in this new home! Explore a new island, meet new characters, race Microfighters and even throw a dance party on the island! Team up or play solo and immerse yourself in simulations, recorded by the technology of an ancient civilization, spanning moments across the Star Wars universe. Battle foes, solve puzzles, build your skills in battle arenas and learn to pilot your way through flight simulations! Unearth mysteries and discover a growing threat to life on the planet.
Join the ranks of Castaways and write your Star Wars destiny in a new, never before seen LEGO Star Wars adventure!
- Game Title: LEGO Star Wars Castaways
- Publisher: Gameloft/Apple Arcade
- Developer: Gameloft
- RRP: Free to play with an Apple Arcade Subscription
- Features: Playable on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV
- Availability: Apple Arcade Exclusive
Castaways is an entirely original story, which opens with your ship falling through space and crash landing on a tropical planet. Once you emerge from your wreckage, you can tweak your Minifigure avatar including head, face and skin tone along with your outfit. As you play you’ll be able to purchase additional parts of outfits. As an Apple Arcade title, there are no in-app purchases, everything can be unlocked by in-game progression.
The mysterious Island you find yourself on acts as a social hub for players to explore. As well as various NPCs who help with missions, most of the characters you see pottering around are other players. You can’t directly communicate but you can act out different emotes. You can also team up with others to partake in HoloSim missions and races. Once you hit a certain level you can also hit Hippodrome and play Battleground HoloSims. This pits players against each other in free-for-all battles.
Much of the story is focused around the HoloSim, this acts as a clever way to bring in more iconic locations from the Star Wars canon. In these missions, the aim is to clear corruption nodes, which are causing the simulation to go awry and bring in unusual characters. So you may end up fighting Jawas on the Death Star. HoloSim missions can help you gain XP to level up your character as well as obtain items for characters back in the hub. Unfortunately, some of these items are randomly dropped meaning you’ll be playing areas over and over again, which can get a little boring. Some of the better ‘fetch quests’ are those where whatever you need to collect is merely found sitting in a HoloSim mission.
When playing on foot, to start with, you can choose between playing as a Trooper, which is a ranger fighter. Or a Force Adept, an up-close fighter. One uses blasters and projectiles, whilst the other uses staffs or Lightsabers, along with Force powers. As your level cap rises, you’ll also unlock Support and Agent, as well as additional weapons and abilities for each class. Plus vehicle sections also have a Pilot path to progress through. It’s a fairly simple form of gameplay but is very reminiscent of the TT Games, LEGO games. In fact, this even translates to how the characters interact with each other. They speak with classic mumbles in place of full voice acting. In fact, I’m very surprised it’s not been created by TT Games, as Gameloft has done a pretty impressive job of creating a LEGO game.
Popping into another HoloSim will let you take flight in a number of Star Wars ships. These missions are on-rails shooters, where you fly along a set path, dodging turrets and other ships. You can pick up health and ammo as you fly, as well as destroy asteroids or scenery to gain Databits. Although the on-rail, each playthrough can take you off in different directions and you may even face off against bounty hunter bosses.
Every single facet of this planet, apart from the water, has been crafted from LEGO elements. buildings, scenery and terrain have all been built with LEGO bricks, meaning it’s entirely possible to recreate with physical elements. There’s a number of LEGO sets featured in different aspects of the game these include full playsets such as AT-ATs and the USC Falcon. Along with Microfighters to blast around the island in and microscale ships, which are used during flying missions.
It’s a fun and unique LEGO Star Wars adventure, tinged with aspects of the original LEGO Star Wars games. It could quite easily be released as a digital game for consoles. In fact, I highly recommend playing it with a controller as the touch screen controls can get tricky in some places. I’m not a fan of shutting players out of being able to play a third-party game, because they don’t own iOS devices or subscribe to Apple Arcade. At least you have a chance to play it for free by either being a new owner of an Apple device or by using 300 VIP points to get three months of Apple Arcade for free.