Developer: Majesco Entertainment
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Majesco Entertainment’s KarmaStar has gotten nice and shiny reviews in the App Store and elsewhere but I just don’t see what the fuss is about. I didn’t find KarmaStar all that engaging or even mildly entertaining.
KarmaStar’s a well-crafted game, however, with nicely polished graphics and cute cartoon characters. The frame rate is smooth and the game plays without any major glitches (I did have one crash, but no biggie). I didn’t even mind the monotonous Star-Trekkian soundtrack. Also, my head was open to reviewing the app because it was developed by Harvey Smith, the guy who designed Deus Ex.
KarmaStar is a cross between a card game and a board game that lasts for maybe 10 minutes. Three players compete on eight levels, each representing a stage of life from childhood on. You’re one of the three players, of course; the other two can be either be computer players or two friends on the same Wi-Fi network.
Go through life building your personal traits (Health, Mind, People, Love, and Money) and overcoming the inevitable obstacles. It's kinda like rolling dice and playing War, the card game, at the same time.
You also get to make decisions about whether to play nicely with your opponents or to attack them. There are wildcards and bonus points to gather along the way to help you win. Wildcards and bonus scores are similar: It’s take or get taken.
The more of one trait you have, the better your chances in a confrontation. For example, if your Love trait is 5 — the maximum number you can have of any trait — you get the equivalent of 5 dice to throw. If your opponent has only two Love traits, you’re likely to win that battle. You can use wildcards to give, share or take away traits from your opponent.
I found KarmaStar a bit tedious, even though there are only 8 levels and the games last all of about 10 minutes.
But that’s just me. KarmaStar is a quality game and it’s only $1.99 (well down from its introductory price of $4.99 about a month ago).